…Watermelon & rose water cake, watermelon & vodka granita, marinated grilled watermelon.

Serves 4

Prep time 90 mins


For the watermelon and rose water layered cake

100g self-raising flour
100g castor sugar
100g soft butter
2 eggs
½ tsp. baking powder
12 thin slices of watermelon, seeds removed
200ml heavy whipping cream
80g icing sugar
few drops of rose water (according to your taste buds)
few crystallized rose petals and ground pistachios (to garnish)

For the grilled marinated watermelon

8 chunky slices of watermelon, about 4cm thick
1 tsp. fine table salt
150g raw honey
zest of 1 lime

For the watermelon and vodka granita

600g watermelon
150ml plain vodka
Juice of 1 lime


For the cake

(Serves 6, Prep time 60 mins + 4 hours chill time)
Mix the flour, sugar, butter, eggs and baking powder, in a planetary mixer, using a beater. Start on low speed, then increase it gradually until the batter has become light and fluffy.
Transfer the cake mix to a greased, baking tin, preferably of a square or rectangular shape. Pre-heat your oven to 190C.
Bake your cake for 20-25 mins. Before removing from the oven, pierce the centre of the cake with a small knife. If the knife doesn’t come out clean, increase the cooking with a further 5-10 minutes.
Transfer the cake on to a wire rack, and let cool completely before attempting to use.

Meanwhile, whip up the cream with the icing sugar and rose water until it doubles in size and becomes stiff.
Once the cake is totally cold, cut it into 3, horizontally. Spread the bottom slice evenly with a generous amount of cream. Then arrange 4 slices of watermelon on the cream, totally covering it.
Repeat the same process with the other 2 cake slices, covering the top one with cream.
Garnish the top with rose petals and ground pistachios. One can also use some diced fresh strawberries, as an optional decoration.
Chill well for about 3-4 hours before cutting and serving.

For the grilled watermelon

(Serves 6, Prep time 40 mins)
Start by sprinkling the watermelon with the salt on both sides. Once done, put them on a wire rack, for about half an hour, so they release some of the excessive water.
Meanwhile, make a syrup by mixing the honey, lime and a splash of water. Heat them up gently in a microwave oven for about 20 seconds.
Wipe the watermelon chunks with kitchen paper. Set your grill on a high mark.
Grill the watermelon for 2 minutes on each side, until grill marks are clearly visible. Set them on a tray to cool down.
Spread them slightly with the honey and lime syrup and reserve any excess to serve on the side as a dip.

For the watermelon and vodka granita

(Serves 6, Prep time 20 mins + 8 hours freeze time)
Process the fresh watermelon into a blender, until it completely liquefies and becomes a juice. Add the vodka and lime juice, then strain well to remove unwanted pips and pulp.
Pour into a shallow glass dish and transfer directly to a freezer.
Check after 2 hours, and a few ice crystals should have formed already. Break them up using a fork. Repeat this process every 2 hours, maybe 4/5 times until the liquid has transformed into ice crystals and not turned into a block. When serving, scrape a two spoonful’s and transfer them into a glass.