Saturday, July 19, 2014

Watermelon Cake









I have eaten a myriad variety of cakes during my lifetime... But Watermelon Cake??? Never before! I bet you have not either!I have to confess, out of all the cakes I have so far eaten, this is one cake I would eat again and again and again.. I bet you would too... That too without feeling guilty!


I came across this wonderful cake on Facebook when it was shared with me by one of my friends who knows I avoid gluten and eat healthy most of the time.I immediately fell in love with the idea of this cake! How clever of whoever originally thought of it! You can find the original recipe here.


Summertime, my home has a constant flow of guests. Currently, my sister-in-law is visiting us with her two kids. My 5-year old daughter and 8-year old niece had tons of fun making this cake, of course with help from me ( hence the cake is a little askew, the decoration on the cake trying to push free.. But, hey, I am not complaining...it kept them occupied for almost an hour! Believe it or not, the cake was gone within 20 minutes of making it and everyone took seconds too.. 


Without further ado, I bring to you the recipe for the guilt- free Watermelon Cake. I am taking this cake to Angie's Fiesta Friday who's co-hosts this week again are Hilda @ Along the grapevine and Julianna @ Foodie on Board.We have so much fun at Fiesta Friday!

Servings: 6( I made a 6-inch cake)


Ingredients:


For the cake:
Watermelon: 1 medium sized
Sliced almonds: 1 cup
Craisins: 1/4 cup
Strawberries: 4-6 nos
Blueberries: 1/2 cup 
Red cherries:5 nos
Rainier cherry: 1

For the frosting:Whipping cream: 2 cups
Sugar: 2 tbsp

Method:


The frosting: Place a metal bowl and whisk in the freezer for atleast 15 minutes.


Make sure that the whipping cream is also cold( not frozen).

Add 2 tbsp sugar to the cold bowl. Add the cream in and using an electric beater/ whisk whip it for 1 1/2-2 mins or until stiff peaks start appearing.

Place it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

The cake:

Slice off the ends of the watermelon so that you end up with an equal sized  symmetrical central cylinder.

Slice  the outer peel of the cylinder.



Place the central cylinder on a serving plate.

Pat the watermelon dry with paper towels so as to get rid of the excess moisture.

Now ice the watermelon with the whipped cream frosting.



Decorate the sides of the cakes with sliced almonds and the top with fresh berries as shown in the picture. You could decorate it any which way you want. I have lined the bottom of the cake with a ring of Craisins.








Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.




Once the cake is sliced, serve immediately as the watermelon tends to leave water and the frosting starts melting as shown in the above picture.



Enjoy this beautiful guilt-free cake!

Cooking made easy:


You could pick any fruits to decorate the above cake. Use your imagination!

For a nut-free cake you could substitute nuts with granola or some other cereal like corn-flakes.You could also decorate the sides with Craisins.

The pieces leftover from cutting the watermelon could be used to make watermelon juice or smoothie. So refreshing!

Tip for healthy living:


I always emphasize on filling 3/4 ths of your meal plate with fruits and vegetables. While that is important it is also important to buy good fruits and vegetables that are locally and/or organically grown. Locally grown produce is fresher and leaves fewer carbon footprints. Eating organic food is important to avoid accumulation and the effects of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in our bodies.

So what is organic produce?? Organic produce is produce that has been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and minimal pesticide use. One automatically thinks: organic produce is expensive!  Not all produce needs to be organic. It is essential to know which produce could be eaten without it being grown organically and is still safe and which fruits and vegetables have the highest chemical content in them and hence is better consumed when organically grown.

A simple rule of thumb is that any produce that needs to be peeled to be consumed, need NOT be organic. This is because the peel is where most of the pesticide accumulation is seen. Here the knowledge of the "dirty dozen" and the " clean fifteen" comes in handy. The dirty dozen are the fruits an vegetables that have been found to have the highest accumulation of pesticides and hence is better to consume the ones grown organically. Similarly the clean fifteen are the produce that have the least chemical residue in them and we don't have to worry about buying them organic.

The full Dirty list: Apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes.

The Clean list: Avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
Mind you, FDA has repeatedly stated that all chemical residue that is found in produce in the United States is within the "safe limits". Here is an interesting titbit: FDA keeps raising the "acceptable chemical limit" every year! That should tell you something!

References:

http://www.fda.gov/iceci/compliancemanuals/compliancepolicyguidancemanual/ucm123236.htm
http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/_mobile/recipes/healthy/dirty-dozen-foods#slide-1
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5246989
http://blogs.seattletimes.com/allyoucaneat/2014/04/29/which-dirty-dozen-fruits-and-vegetables-made-the-2014-list/

Food for thought:


With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. Eleanor Roosevelt