My life was forever changed one summer evening during a backyard bbq. A few families had come over for a get together around the campfire with hotdogs, burgers, and s’mores and one family brought a salad. Not just any salad…it was a watermelon salad. Chunks of fresh sweet juicy watermelon, cubes of salty savoury feta cheese, and sprigs of garden-grown mint.
Despite the dairy, I forged ahead with a scoop and oh silent night it was insanely delicious. I never would have thought to put those flavours together but they worked beautifully. And that, my sweet cake friends, was the beginning of a fun flavourful Watermelon Mint Feta Cake!
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Watermelon is a tricky flavour. It’s hard to nail down a genuine flavour without it either being 1) weak or 2) fake. I hummed and hawed over how to create watermelon flavour in this cake and actually tried out a few different cake and filling recipes.
I settled on using real watermelon fruit juice and reducing it to concentrate the flavour as I did in my guava cake. This keeps the true watermelon flavour but intensifies it. And with an added teaspoon of watermelon flavour to give it a friendly but not overly fake boost I think I achieved a great flavour. This reduced watermelon juice is used in both the cake layers and the filling.
Feta: It’s Worth The Pain
I’m dairy intolerant. My tummy is not a happy camper when I eat anything that has dairy in it. Not just lactose, but any and all dairy. I was diagnosed with a dairy allergy back when I was probably 10 or 11 and have pretty much steered clear of all dairy since then.
Now here comes the but. But…I will indulge every few blue moons when I know it’s going to be worth it. And this mint feta buttercream…it was worth it. Using crumbled goat’s milk feta cheese, I added it to my vanilla mint buttercream. And let me tell you, folks…it was worth every tummy cramp that followed. Salty, minty, savoury, and sweet. Mmmmmm. It balanced beautifully against the sweet watermelon cake layers and filling.