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20Aug

Cult cakes: Miss Bunting’s version of Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake

Cult cakes: Miss Bunting’s version of Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake

Rumoured to be the most instagrammed cake in the world,  Sydney’s Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake was one instance where I wanted to have my cake AND eat it. Problem is, I don’t live in Sydney. So when my husbands’ family decided to put on a baby shower breakfast for me, I thought this would be the perfect time to see if I could knock up a homemade version that had the same sentiment, but possibly not the same look and taste. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to find out for real, but for now I was chuffed to find a cake with watermelon  and strawberries in it, I mean, basically it’s a breakfast fruit salad in cake form, right?

Black Star Pastry's cult Watermelon and Strawberry cake.

Black Star Pastry’s cult Watermelon and Strawberry cake.

Not that I can take all the credit though – I’m certainly taking the easy option by using store bought sponge (quelle horreur!) and I’ve actually combined two recipes to create this one here. Firstly, Delicious have a Watermelon & Rose layer cake, which is very similar, but doesn’t have the Almond Dacquoise layer that the Black Star Pastry has. So for this, we’ve borrowed from the King of Desserts himself, Adriano Zumbo and altered his Hazelnut Dacquoise recipe, found here.

Finally, this cake uses rosewater – which I adore, but it is a polarising flavour for many. I couldn’t track down any rose petals and would normally get the ones from Pariya – so here I used some from my garden as I know we don’t used pesticides on them! I also added pomegranate from my garden too, as they suit the middle eastern influence and I just adore their jewel ruby red colour, though mine are a rose colour.

Ingredients

For the Almond Dacquoise: 

  • 150g roast almonds
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 200g egg whites (approx 6 big eggs or 8 small ones)
  • 50g caster sugar

For the rest of the cake: 

  • 1/2 a seedless watermelon
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) rosewater
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
  • 500g punnet strawberries, halved
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • Unfilled sponge cake – I used the 450g rectangular version from Coles.
  • Approx. 15 seedless grapes, halved
  • Slivered pistachios and rose petals to serve.
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional) to serve

Method

For the Almond Dacquoise: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. (160°C fan-forced)
  2. Line a large tray with baking paper –  I used 2 lamington trays the same size as the sponge cake.
  3. Finely grind almonds with the icing sugar. (If your almonds aren’t roasted, simply pop them in the oven for 15 minutes)
  4. To make the meringue, place the egg whites and a pinch of caster sugar in the bowl of a food mixer. Beat, on medium speed, until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, one-third at a time. Let each amount clear before adding the next. Continue mixing on medium speed for a stronger and more developed meringue.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently fold in the nuts and sugar mixture until just combined. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Your dacquoise must be crisp on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside.
  6. Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool completely. Gently remove each of the meringues from the baking paper.
 For the rest of the cake: 
  1. Slice your watermelon into 1cm slices . Arrange on a wire rack in a single layer, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon rosewater and 2 tablespoons sugar, then stand for 30 minutes for flavours to infuse. Pat dry.
  2. Combine strawberries with 1 tablespoon of rosewater in a bowl then stand for 15 minutes to infuse.
  3. Whisk the cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with electric beaters until thickened. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon rosewater and whisk until soft peaks.
  4. If using the Coles rectangular sponge, carefully slice the cake halves in half again, horizontally. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and sprinkle with a little extra rosewater. Spread over one-third of the cream, then using one of the other sponges as a size guide, trim your almond dacquoise to sit on top of the sponge layer.  Repeat layers, then top with a final layer of cake and cream. Press grapes and strawberries into the cream, then garnish with pistachios, dried rose petals and pomegranate seeds.
Tips: 
 This cake looks so much more complicated than it actually is – and it’s a real showstopper! If you were making for a party, get ahead of the game and make the almond dacquoise the night before and chop up your strawberries, watermelon, grapes and even whip your cream and keep it cool. All you need to do then is assemble close to serving!
26Nov

DIY easy-peasy advent calendar

DIY easy-peasy advent calendar

So it’s official – the countdown to Christmas is really on, and what better way to get into the spirit with an easy peasy DIY advent calendar. The simplest way to get your household into the festive mood and get you in the spirit of planning that all-important Christmas lunch. We love all manner of creative advent calendars – think outside the box and you can come up with something super-creative that fits in with your Christmas theming. For a no-fuss option, this year we’ve gone with a simple pegged bag countdown, using our glassine bags with a candy cane tucked in for each date. To create this, all you need is some glue and the following from the Miss Bunting shop – easy as 1,2, 3!

– Medium Glassine Bags

– Alphabet Stamp Kit

– Twine (we used our gold glitter twine)

– Mini Pegs

– Red Love Heart Doilies (or the silver or gold metallic medallion doilies, depending on your theme!)

 

6Feb

DIY Sugar Ombre Hearts

DIY Sugar Ombre Hearts

Hola Lovers! Even if you’re not the type for soft toys and romantic gestures, we thought Valentines Day would still be the perfect opportunity to learn a little DIY that you can bust out at anytime to embellish your baked goods and impress pretty much everyone. I’m of course talking about making sugared shapes, and here we show you how to make ombre sugar hearts, which we sprinkled on top of some cupcakes for Mr Bunting. Bagged up in our glassine bags, these would even make the sweetest retro gift to give the sweet-tooth in your life.

You’ll need from the pantry:
2 cups of sugar
One egg white
Paste or gel food colouring

And from the cupboard:
A small and medium bowl
Measuring spoons & cups
Baking Paper
Wooden spoon
Rolling Pin
Baking Tray lined with baking paper
Mini cookie cutter – we used a small love heart from a cake supply store

2. Start with half a cup of sugar and a small amount of the colouring. We used a good few drops of gel, remembering that once you add the egg white, it will darken. This will be your darkest colour.

3 & 4.  Mix thoroughly and add one teaspoon of the egg white until the mixture resembles wet sand.

5. Pour out onto a sheet of baking paper, pressing down with the back of the wooden spoon. Roll over with the rolling pin, but you will still need to be gentle – the idea is to compact the mixture and make it level – to about half a centimeter. Then, using your cutter, cut shapes and place them on the baking tray. Repeat until you get as many as desired. If the shapes aren’t holding, adjust the mixture with a little more egg white, or sugar if too wet.

6. Place leftover mixture back into the mixing bowl and add another half cup of sugar and teaspoon of egg white and repeat the process. If the shade is not as light as you would like, simply add more sugar and egg whites in the same ratio. We think it looks best if you repeat the process to achieve 3- 4 different shades, unless you want to use one block colour.

7. Bake your shapes in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes and allow to harden overnight. These should be the firmness of sugarcubes the next day.

8. Here are ours decorated on some cupcakes we baked for Valentines Day, complete with Glitter Cupcake wrappers and love heart doilies from Miss Bunting’s shop.