This cake, created by Amber Weiss of Sweetpea Darlingheart was inspired by the exotic scents of the Middle East, in particular the incredible fresh food markets along the Bosphorus River in Istanbul.
Fresh fruit, nuts and spices are so luscious and abundant, with great heaving tables of white mulberries and figs, and the freshest pistachios in vibrant green and lilac.
Heady scents fill the air, sweet mint tea wafts by and flower waters are sprinkled as a welcome. Here, there is magic in the air.
The combination of watermelon, rosewater and pistachios creates a fresh, delicate cake that evokes a sense of romance and wistfulness.
To create the rosewater cake, simply follow this Vanilla Sponge base recipe, but instead of the vanilla paste, substitute in 1 tablespoon (20mls) of rosewater.
1 hour (not including items that need to be made ahead of time)
What you’ll need
this vanilla sponge recipe as the base | 1 tablespoon of rosewater | 100g sugar | 40g raw pistachio | fresh, unsprayed rose petals (preferably from your garden) | 1 egg white | caster sugar | 250ml cream pistachio praline to taste | 1 watermelon
What to do
Pistachio Praline (make ahead)
- Line a tray with baking paper. Pour the sugar into a non-stick frying pan and place over a medium heat. Don’t touch or move the sugar until it starts to melt, then use a heatproof spatula to stir the sugar until it has fully melted. Continue stirring the sugar until it has turned a medium gold. When it starts to colour, it will colour quickly, so keep a close eye on it. Once it is beautiful and golden, stir in your pistachios, then pour the mixture onto your prepared tray, and let cool completely. You can then smash it up by covering with an extra piece of baking paper and crushing with a rolling pin or in a mortar and pestle.
Crystallised Rose Petals (make ahead)
- Line a tray with baking paper. Pour a small amount of caster sugar into a bowl. In a separate bowl, crack in one egg white (no yolk please!) Using a pastry brush, very lightly paint each rose petal all over with the egg white, then, using a teaspoon, lightly scatter the petals with caster sugar, covering completely. Place on your prepared tray and leave to dry at least overnight, or until the petals are crisp and fragile to the touch. The inside of a turned off oven is an excellent place to dry your rose petals. Just make sure you pop a note on the oven door so you don’t turn it on and accidentally scorch your beautiful petals!
Whipped Cream and Pistachio Filling
- Whip the cream into stiff peaks, and then fold through your broken up praline pieces You can add as much or as little praline as you like, for minimum or maximum crunch, but you may like to keep some behind for sprinkling on top of your finished cake.
- Buy yourself the roundest piece of watermelon you can find. Cut a thin round of watermelon about 1cm thick. Then get the springform from your cake tin and use it as a guide to cut a perfect disc of watermelon. Cut a little inside the edge of the springform to make the disc slightly smaller so it fits snugly inside your cake and doesn’t peek out the sides. Once you have cut two discs, place them on some paper towel to absorb any excess moisture for 10 minutes or so. The paper towel should be quite wet, and the watermelon should no longer drip. Now it’s ready for layering!
- Place the first layer of rosewater cake on your cake plate. Next, pop on the first watermelon disc. Top this with 1/3 of the whipped cream pistachio filling, leaving a little space around the edge to allow for oozing when you place the next cake layer on. Repeat. Finally, add the top layer of cake and then cover it with the last of the whipped cream filling. Sprinkle your reserved pistachio praline on top and decorate with the crystallised rose petals. Close your eyes, inhale the aroma of roses, imagine yourself somewhere exotic, and enjoy.