Wimbledon is a true summer institution in England. While the world’s elite tennis players sweat it out under the summer sun (or get rained off, you never can trust the weather), spectators cheer them on from the stands and living rooms, usually while indulging in strawberries and cream, champagne or Pimm’s.
If you prefer to indulge in something a little sweeter while watching rallies and aces here’s a Wimbledon inspired cake that uses yellow fondant icing to great effect.
Baking The Ball Cake
Spherical cakes always make for a pleasing and eye-catching sight, but many people shy away thinking they’re only for the pros to make. Actually, there’s nothing arcane about making one.
These quantities will make one big tennis ball cake. You could use the same quantities to make several smaller cakes if you desire, using smaller cake tins.
• 290g butter
• 290g caster sugar
• 290g self-raising flour
• 145g plain flour
• 5 eggs
Before you begin preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and grease and flour a set of ball or Christmas pudding cake tins.
1. In a large mixing bowl mix your butter and sugar until it’s soft and creamy in texture.
2. Mix in your eggs, one at a time. In between eggs mix in a spoonful of flour.
3. Sieve your plain and self-raising flour together then stir it into the cake mix until it’s combined.
4. Pour your mix into the two tins, dividing the mixture cleanly. Bake for about 25 minutes. To check it’s ready insert a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean then it’s ready.
5. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins on a rack for about 10 minutes. Turn out on the wire rack and leave to cool fully before decorating
How To Decorate Your Cake
Now that you have the two halves of your tennis ball it’s time to get decorating. We’ll be using a buttercream and jam filling to fuse the two cakes together, then adding a coating of buttercream before adding the yellow fondant icing.
• 125g unsalted butter
• 250g icing sugar
• 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
• Raspberry jam
• 500g yellow fondant icing
• 250g white fondant icing
• 250g green fondant icing
1. To make your buttercream put your unsalted butter into a mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until soft and creamy.
2. Add your icing sugar a bit at a time stirring it in until the mix is smooth.
3. Pour in two teaspoons of vanilla extract and then mix in and continue mixing the buttercream until it’s light and fluffy.
4. Sandwich the two cakes together with a layer of raspberry jam and buttercream, leaving enough buttercream for the next stage.
5. Give your cake a thin coating of buttercream. This gives a smooth surface for your yellow fondant icing.
6. Dust your work surface with icing sugar and knead and roll out your green fondant icing.
7. Take an 8in cake board and cover with your green fondant. Use a wire brush to stipple and rough up the surface to great a grass effect.
8. Re-dust your work surface and roll out your yellow fondant icing. You’ll want it fairly thick, about 5-8mm. Next comes the tricky part.
9. Using your rolling pin for support lift the icing over the cake and place it down.
10. Allow the icing to drop down and smooth it into place using your hands, gently working out any wrinkles. Be careful not to tear the fondant icing as you work.
11. At the base of the cake press the fondant in underneath using a cake smoother and then cut away any excess that remains.
12. Using a cake slice transfer the yellow fondant icing covered cake to the cake board. It should sit securely but you can use some royal icing as a glue if you need to.
13. For the white stripe on the tennis ball take white fondant and roll it out into a rectangle about 3mm deep. Then cut two strips about an inch wide, each long enough to cover about half the cake.
14. Brush the back of each strip with cooled boiled water then carefully position one in place. Hold it in place for a while until it is firmly stuck.
15. Overlap the end of the next strip slightly with the first one and press into place.
Serve and enjoy.
It’s amazing what you can achieve with some Renshaw fondant icing and a little bit of imagination.