My friend Dorna goes all out for birthdays. Her daughter Violet and Esme have been best friends since before they were three. I'm always teasing her about how crafty she is, to which she replies, "Youtube! You can learn anything on Youtube!" Last year for Violet's birthday she crocheted over a dozen Toteros. They were so cute and I bowed down to her dedication — it's something I would never take on. But my kids love them and always talk about how Dorna made them herself.
At this year's party, though, Dorna did something I did want to try myself. After the kids had run through a sprinkler park in the blazing sun for an hour, she called them to gather round for the birthday cake. And it was the prettiest thing you've ever seen — tall, covered in a light, whipped icing and topped with fruit. When she cut into it — voila! — it was watermelon! And the icing was just plain old whipped cream. As a parent who dreads taking home kids who are hopped up on sugar after most parties, I was so thrilled. And the kids loved the novelty of a cool, juicy fruit cake.
I decided to try a cupcake version and I'll definitely be doing these again this summer. This is barely a recipe at all but I still wanted to share it with you. If you're looking for a cool, light finish to a barbecue, this is it.
(makes 6 cupcakes)
1/4 to 1/2 of a large-ish watermelon
250 ml whipping cream
berries for garnish
Cut your watermelon into thick slices — say, about 2 or 3 inches. Place the slice flat or a cutting board and use a thin-rimmed water glass to press into it. Continue until you have six cupcakes. Put them in the fridge to chill.
Pour the whipping cream into a medium bowl and use an electric mixer until it's light and fluffy.
Place each watermelon round on a small plate. Top the cupcakes with a generous dollop of whipped cream and garnish with fresh berries.