Believe it or not, a Tennis Cake is a thing. It was an elaborate Victorian Cake made with a fruit cake base and a marzipan and fondant topping. I saw this cake for the first time on the Great British Bake Off as the technical challenge:
When I first made this cake, it was for the Australian Open, which has blue tennis courts. In addition, although I love the GBBO, I usually hate their recipes because in order to make such elaborate things, they often sacrifice flavor. No one wants a big mouthful of fondant icing ever, but especially on top of a fruit cake. So I made a few adjustments.
The fruit cake recipe I used is from Christopher Kimball’s The Desert Bible. This is my old standby dessert cookbook. Everything in there is perfect. Now, I hate fruit cake, I think it’s super nasty. I always think I’m going to like it and then I don’t. I have to say, this fruitcake was amazing. It was moist, boozy, and had this amazing sort of bread pudding texture I can’t quite describe. I also discovered that treacle is molasses. I’ve always wondered what that was ever since I first saw Alice in Wonderland.
The next amendment I made to the original is I decided to build the tennis court out of marzipan instead of fondant. Although fondant would have looked smoother and been easier to work with, marzipan just tastes so good. And I dyed it blue.
I did make some fondant to create the yellow and green stripes on the sides and I used royal icing to make the tennis net and the lines on the court.
Today is the men’s final of the US Open, which, you guessed it, now has a blue court as well! If you’re feeling super motivated, you can make one in Wawrika’s honor. Go Stan!
I’m thinking green coconut icing for Wimbledon and cocoa dusting for French Open…
P.S. It took me three weeks to think of a post associated with blue. If I’m going to keep this up, I need your help! Post a comment about blue things you see in your life.