Monday, February 25, 2013

Neil Perry's Strawberry and Yoghurt Cake; White Night Festival

On Saturday night in Melbourne, the first Australian White Night Festival was held.  The White Night Festival was an all-night arts festival, in the style of similar festivals held around the world and originating in Russia.  My firends V & C invited me to accompany them to the White Night Festival/  The thing that initially astonished me was the number of people clogging areas that are normally main roads in the CBD.  As an example, here is a shot of Swanston Street with some of the 300,000 strong crowd:


It was rather surreal wandering the streets that are normally out of bounds to pedestrians, with such enormous crowds. 

We didn't linger on the bands.  Rather, we went down to watch the light show on the Yarra River from Birrarung Mar, which was not dissimilar to (but not as grand as) the light show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  A number of CBD buildings were also lit up including Flinders Street Station with Harry Potter-like lightening bolts on the dome:

and a row of buildings on Flinders Street, including The Forum theatre:

While I enjoyed the lights, I was left a little puzzled by the White Night festival.  There seemed to be an awful lot of people moving very fast in all directions, but I am not sure what we were all hurrying to see.  However, the festival was lauded a success, and plans are afoot to repeat the festival next year. 

Moving on to the cake, The Age Sunday Life Magazine featured Neil Perry's Strawberry and Yoghurt Cake a few weekends back, and I tore it out as a "must bake".  The cake contains polenta for texture and colour, chopped strawberries, and the smooth moistness of yoghurt.  I substituted the yoghurt for cream, and it didn't seem to matter. The cake still looked wonderful and tasted delicious:

You can find the recipe online here

Provided that you are not adverse to polenta or strawberries, I believe that you will enjoy this cake, and urge you to give it a go - hopefully your weather will be kinder for baking than it is here at present.


Johanna GGG said...

I am sure you are living the life I want to lead because I really wanted to go the white night festival (but I only heard of it on sunday and I was too busy on saturday to go anyway) and I have cut out that recipe from the age to bake. (ok just kidding but it resonates)

Glad you enjoyed the cake - hope to bake it sometime

Cindy said...

Looks like you had a wonderful evening and a delicious dessert. Win/win.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I wonder what the festival was about in the end? The cake looks divinely soft and delicious! I made a strawberry cake too-I'm trying to make the most of the last of the strawberries! :P

Kari said...

It sounds like a great night - I love the coloured lights. I also love the sound of this cake! I am definitely not adverse to polenta or strawberries and I love yoghurt in baking :)

Anonymous said...

That festival sounds fun! Great looking cake, too.

Kayte said...

I loved reading about the White Night Festival...sounds very fun! Interesting that one can do this in Russia (north) and Australia (south) with diverse conditions at the time of year. The cake looks lovely...the problem of reading your blog is that I always want to try all your cakes and desserts and I can't possibly eat this much dessert and still be walking, so I try a certain number and then just dream about the rest.