Thursday, 16 January 2014

Game. Set. Matchstick!

One of my greatest tennis memories is watching Husband and his father verse each other in this game of giant ping pong. He (my father-in-law) lived on a farm, which was set up with tractors, sheep, horses... and a tennis court. One of the farmers was the commentator/score keeper for the match, and it was an enjoyable couple of hours listening to them trash talk each other while they played.

Owning a tennis court came with many hassles of upkeep. It takes just as long to set up for a game as it does to play it, as the court needs to be rolled, the lines marked, and the net hung up. And, of course, the spiders and snakes removed... Much unlike the perfectly maintained courts at the Australian Open, e.g.

A friend of mine has a son who lives and breathes tennis. She asked if I could make a tennis themed cake and cupcakes for his 13th birthday.

I'd designed a simple tennis court cake, with some tennis ball cupcakes. I'd felt very clever with the cupcakes, using bright yellow sprinkles to make them look furry, and white fudge frosting to mark the lines on them.

In my original plan, the tennis court was going to be perfect (much like an Australian Open court). But, instead, I didn't have quite enough fondant to cover the entire cake, so it was spontaneously surrounded by darker green tufts of grass to hopefully hide the cracks and gaps...

For the tennis ball cupcakes, I had attempted to mimic a Wilson ball, and changed the number on the ball, with the age Matthew was turning.

In a delightful turn of events, the 13 cupcakes sat perfectly around the cake to aid in extra coverage to the various blemishes.

The request also included Matthew's racquet ->

I managed to make something that almost resembled a tennis racquet, though could have been easily mistaken for a ping pong paddle with wires.

I used white royal icing to draw the tennis court lines, and then placed the "racquet" on top of the cake.

For the net (because you have to have a net in tennis), I used a strip of fly screen, and glued it to two cake pop sticks. Sure, proportionately it looks more like a volley ball net, but hey, no-one's perfect, right?

Did you know that the origin of using "love" in tennis scoring quite likely came from the French word for egg (which is l'eouf) because 0 looks like an egg? Though, there is dispute that the use of "love" actually came from the acceptance that at the start of a tennis match (when the scores are zero), the players still have "love for each other".

I like the French version, personally... Everything sounds better in French.

Joyeux Anniversaire, Matthew!

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