Project Sweet Stuff Watermelon Cake Australia
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A New Fruit Cake: Watermelon

For countries in the southern hemisphere, the holiday season takes on a different flavour thanks to hotter, summery temperatures between December to February. In the north, where snow and ice influence menus towards savoury, warming foods, below the equator, ice cream is not an uncommon sight on the table.  In Australia, where temperatures reach their peak between January and February, cooling desserts such as fresh fruits and sorbets are always in demand.

Project Sweet Stuff Watermelon Cake Australia

Transforming fruit from something platter worthy to something that is suitable for a cake stand is a creative feat; no doubt.  For Viola Doyle, a cake decorator and one of the founders of Project Sweet Stuff, a Sydney, Australia lifestyle blog, her watermelon cake with rose creme takes an interesting play on fruit cake and is one that is sure to steal the show of a few festive tables around the country. “The watermelon cake was the product of three concepts” says Doyle. “The first was Black Star Pastry’s (in Sydney) strawberry watermelon cake. It reminded me of a childhood dessert that my mom used to make consisting of fresh watermelon and ricotta cheese. Later on, I saw a similar watermelon cake on Pinterest, which got me thinking of how to create my own version.”

Who knows, perhaps Viola’s watermelon cake will be Australia’s next big thing- Pavlova, watch out!

Project Sweet Stuff Watermelon Cake Australia

INTERVIEW: Viola Doyle, Co-Founder, Project Sweet Stuff {Sydney}

01 What is Project Sweet Stuff about? 
Project Sweet Stuff is all about the journey into the heart of the sweet life. My definition of the sweet life differs from that of my peers so I think that’s what makes this concept so beautiful. It’s all about the human experience and how we search for what makes the heart sing. It’s most definitely a project, as nothing is ever final, and the journey is constantly evolving.

Since re-launching the blog after a one-year hiatus, I have teamed up with three fellow writers and hunters of all things sweet (and not necessarily of the edible kind!). We’ve completely redefined the blog, and now our focus is on Food, Travel and Lifestyle. We cover everything from recipes to travel destinations, and interviews with artists and experts. We’re still fine-tuning the details but we’re having a blast experimenting with recipes, road trips and dining experiences.

02 As an experienced cake person, what are your top three spots for cake in Sydney?

  • If you’re after a special event cake, look no further than Faye Cahill Cake Design. I was mentored and trained by Faye and her team, and I think she could be the best cake decorator in the history of human events.
  • If you’re looking for a killer Italian ricotta cheesecake and an espresso to boot, Pasticceria Papa in Haberfield is the spot!
  • If you’re in the city and just want to to stroll for incredible macarons and indulgent desserts, head straight to Baroque Pantry in the Rocks. (This place is one of my personal favourites!)

Project Sweet Stuff Watermelon Cake Australia
Photo Source: Project Sweet Stuff

03 Do you entertain at home? 
I entertain at home a lot! It’s one of my favourite things to do. I come from a Lebanese family so our entertaining style has always been based on share platters, nibbles, and lots of options. It’s generally called mezza and a usual spread at my place features great bread with at least three varieties, olives, feta, home made dips like babaganoush, labne and humus. No matter the time or event, the table is always incomplete without lots of leafy greens and fresh cut vegetables.

04 Are there any cultural traditions or etiquette unique to Sydney or Australia?
Dining in an Australian home has always had a casual and relaxed feel. We’re known for amazing seafood and lamb barbecues, and for the record, we never call prawns, shrimp! We do love our cold brews so it’s always a good idea to treat your dinner hosts with something bubbly for the cooler.

05 What type of cakes are unique or popular in Australia?
Australians love a good pavlova, which is a baked meringue base, topped with fresh whipped cream and delicious tropical fruits like berries, kiwi and passion fruit. This one is a major hit in the warmer months. In the winter, we love ourselves something a little more dense and decadent, like a sticky date pudding with double cream and butterscotch sauce. Even haters of dates (like me) love this dessert. I’ll be sharing our recipe for sticky date pudding on the site soon!

06 What is next for Project Sweet Stuff?
We’re so excited about 2014 and what the year will bring. Since re-launching in October, we’ve had such a wonderful response from our readers so we know we can’t stop now! We have quite a few travel dates booked so the site will be packed with lots of inspiration and for your world-wide hit lists. We’re also working with a few brands that we absolutely love to bring more unique and delicious recipes as well as home lifestyle and entertaining solutions.

07 How did you originally get involved with Project Sweet Stuff?
PSS was originally a blog based on my personal experience of cake decorating. It was all about the places I travelled to and the sweetness I encountered along the way. At the time I was working in a head-heavy, analytical work place and it was really starting to get the best of me. Given that my background is in visual arts education, I felt like I needed something to bring me back to life. While I was honeymooning in Europe in June of 2009, I discovered a few breathtaking bakeries that displayed immaculately decorated cakes. I immediately wondered why I had never tried my hand at cake decorating. When I got home, I decided to give it a go and that’s when I met Faye Cahill. With her guidance and direction, I was able to get my little cake business going, teach Fayes’s workshops here in Sydney and at Baking Arts in San Francisco, and eventually start blogging about my journey. So after about four years, the project has evolved into something bigger, and I just can’t wait to see where the next four years will take us!

More Juicy Watermelon Recipes:

3 Responses to “A New Fruit Cake: Watermelon”

  1. Claire neill says:

    Viola is a Star as is her treats. love your work V xxx

  2. helen says:

    viola’s work is amazing

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