This Australian Open Tennis Court Tim Tam Cake post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market.
I can already tell 2017 is going to be an amazing year since my first recipe for Cost Plus World Market combines BOTH of my worlds. Food and tennis! I made a Tennis Court Tim Tam Cake on behalf of the Australian Open.
This tennis court Tim Tam cake is a labor of love, BUT, it really didn't take that long to make and decorate. I took a few cake decorating classes years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter. It was a Wilton cake decorating class at a local Michael's craft store. I didn't learn covering cakes in fondant in that class, I thank youtube for those classes. But I did learn the basics of decorating a cake and preparing it to be covered in fondant. Do you have to cover a cake in fondant? No. You can use blue dye, or green or clay colored if you want to make a tennis court cake. I chose blue fondant to match the tennis courts of the Australian Open.
I decided to go ahead and do step-by-step photos for most of the cake. The only part I didn't do was the covering in the fondant since I am still relatively new to it, I have only covered about 5 cakes in fondant in my cake decorating career, and I am not sure my technique is the best that is out there. There are so many amazing tutorials online so will leave that part up to the experts. So with that in mind, here is my Tennis Court Tim Tam cake in steps and lots of photos. AND there is also a sweepstakes form at the end of the post after the cake recipe for a chance to win a trip for two to Australia to see the 2018 Australian Open, a $1000 Cost Plus World Market gift card and more!!
Tim Tam's are a popular Australian biscuit, or as well call it in the states, a cookie. It is a chocolate covered sandwich cookie filled with malted creamy chocolate. They are quite delicious and I decided since I was making a cake for the Australian Open it had to be a flavor popular to Australia. World Market carries a variety of Australian foods and I knew exactly what I wanted to use for this cake. - Tim Tam!I started with high quality chocolate, cocoa powder and vanilla.
Malted Milk powder is the secret ingredient to this cake for getting that Tim Tam flavor. Malted Milk is an awesome ingredient to have as a pantry staple for adding to milk shakes and smoothies, ice cream etc.
A Tim Tam cake cannot be without actual Tim Tams. I decided to chop up most of a packet of Tim Tams to have as part of the cake filling. I might have eaten one or two during the chopping of the biscuits.
One of my cake "secrets" is dusting my cake pans with cocoa powder instead of flour when baking chocolate cakes. This way it doesn't leave any white streaks on the cake. I also forgot to add parchment paper to my cake pan and didn't realize until after I was done baking! So please use parchment unless your cakes don't tend to stick to your pans. I was lucky enough that my cakes didn't stick this time. But I normally use parchment paper.
Ready to bake. I made this two layer cake with two cake pans. If you only have one cake pan you can bake in that then carefully cut in half for the two layers.
Freshly baked chocolate cake. I can't think of much else that makes my house smell more amazing than freshly baked chocolate cake.
The filling for this cake is quite thick, since the filling for the cookies is quite thick. I made a scaled down buttercream using way less butter than normal and adding in more of the malted milk. I took my time spreading it onto the cake since I didn't want the cake to tear. Feel free to spread with your hands as well, pressing it around the cake evenly.
Press in the chopped up Tim Tams into the filling. Then top with the other cake layer.
I used dark and milk chocolate for the ganache. I love the creaminess of milk chocolate but sometimes it can be a bit too sweet and using all dark can be a little too bitter sometimes. I love the variety of baking products that Cost Plus World Market has, especially the high quality Guittard chocolate chips. They are amazing and melt perfectly for ganache.
You can see the consistency of the filling better in this photo. It is quite thick.
I made a whipped ganache for the frosting. If you wanted to stop here you can make a regular ganache and pour over the cake smoothing it out with a spatula and be done for a Tim Tam cake that isn't transformed into a tennis court. Traditional Tim Tams have a chocolate coating over them more like a ganache. Since I was planning on covering the cake in fondant I needed a tackier frosting to help hold the fondant to the cake. Whipped ganache is super easy to make. And really delicious!
And the finished cake!! I had so much fun making this cake, and taking photos of it!
The tennis racquets are white chocolate. I found tennis racquet molds online and filled with melted white chocolate. Candy melts work well too. The molds I got actually made tennis racquet lollipops but I only filled the racquet portion of the molds. My kids have already requested I make more chocolate tennis racquets and make them into lollipops to share at tennis practice one of these days.
The Tennis Balls are Sugarpova tennis ball gumballs. I was contemplating making them out of fondant, but I only have so much time in my day so on a whim I ordered these and they are perfect for my Tennis Court Tim Tam Cake!! I am taking this cake to the center where my daughter's play tennis. The director of the tennis center is originally from Australia so I know he is going to love this cake. I don't need to eat it all and there are a ton of amazing teenagers that play tennis there that I know would love to eat some of this cake after practice.
Here is the recipe for the tennis court Tim Tam cake. If you have ANY questions please leave a comment or email me via my contact form and I will help as best as I can. This Tennis Court Tim Tam cake is not only a stunning show piece but also incredibly delicious. I can see this cake at any tennis birthday party or for an Australian Open viewing party or even to celebrate the end of tennis league season. Whatever tennis occasion you have - this cake will be perfect for it.
For the Cake:
- 2 ½ C ( 300g) Flour
- ¾ C (80g) cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 C (165g) Malted Milk powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 C (226G) butter, at room temperature
- 1 ⅓ C (300G) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 11/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 C (236 ml) sour cream
- 1 C (236 ml) milk
- For the Filling:
- 3 C ( 375g) Powdered ( confectioners) sugar
- 5 tablespoon (50g) Malted Milk Powder
- 10 tablespoon (125g) butter
- 3 tablespoon milk
- 9 oz ( 260g) milk chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 150 G Tim Tams, roughly chopped ( about 9-10 cookies)
For the Frosting:
- 400 G dark Chocolate (chips or bar chopped up)
- 200 G milk Chocolate (chips or bar chopped up)
- 1 ¾ C ( 450 ML) Heavy Cream
- ½ C powdered sugar
- Fondant - Blue and White
- Sugarpova Tennis Ball Gumballs
- Candy Melts or white chocolate for Tennis Racquets
- Netting and dowels for tennis net
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 Deg F ( 180 C) and prepare two 9x13” pans with butter and dust with cocoa powder. You can use parchment paper if you would like. Butter the pan, place the parchment inside, butter the paper then dust with cocoa powder and set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, malted milk powder and salt.
- Using a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together, about 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Lower speed slightly and add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Then add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix well again. Alternate the flour and milk in three additions with the mixer on low. Scrape down the sides then mix on medium for one minute until the batter is mostly smooth. Divide between the prepared pans, smooth out the tops with a spatula and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the top bounces back when pressed lightly or a toothpick comes out clean when stuck into the center of the cakes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then carefully invert onto wire cooling racks and cool completely before filling and decorating.
Make the filling:
- Mix the powdered sugar and malted milk powder together. Cream the butter then slowly add the sugar/malted milk powder mixture one half a cup at a time mixing until all of it is mixed in. This will be pretty thick. Add in the milk and then slowly add in the melted and cooled chocolate. Spread over the top of one of the cakes then press the chopped Tim Tams into the frosting. Top with the other cake layer.
For the Frosting:
- Put the dark and milk chocolate in a nonreactive bowl such as a stainless steel bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer/low boil then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute. Slowly stir the chocolate until completely melted and smooth. This will take a little while but make sure you stir slowly and throughly to make the mixture smooth. Chill in refrigerator for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled and thickened but not so thick you can’t stir anymore. If that happens soften back up over a double boiler then cool again, stirring often until you reach proper consistency. Once it is thickened ( think buttercream thickness) place in a bowl of a stand mixer and whip until thickened more and lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar and whip again. Spread over the sides and top of the cake, filling in and crevices on the sides from the filling and smooth out as much as possible.
- Using 30 G of Blue Fondant roll out on a smooth clean surface dusted with powdered sugar to about ⅛” thin. Carefully lift using your rolling pin and drape over the cake. Smoothing the top and sides until the cake is covered, being careful around the corners so you don’t tear the fondant. Roll out white fondant and cut into thin strips for the tennis court lines, using vodka or lemon extract to “glue” the lines to the blue fondant.
- For tennis racquets I used a tennis racquet candy mold and melted white chocolate into the cavities. Let them firm up in the freezer then popped them out. The tennis balls are Sugarpova tennis ball gumballs. I used craft burlap ribbon and shoelace string for the net, hot glued to wooden dowels along with some thread for the net rope. I cut the dowels long enough to fit into the cake to keep it stable.
The cake should be served once covered in fondant since cakes covered in fondant typically can no longer be refrigerated. It causes the fondant to get too much moisture and get soggy. The fondant seals in the moisture and keeps the cake fresh for up to 2 days. You can refrigerate it if desired, just keep in mind it might make the cake look not as neat.
Watch the Australian Open on the Tennis Channel January 10 through January 28, 2018. You know I will be watching!!
For details: http://tennischannel.com
I debated cutting into the cake since it is so cute and I didn't want to destroy all my hard work. My husband looked at me and said " umm cake is meant to be eaten." So I cut a slice. You can see the layers that look just like a Tim Tam. And it is so delicious. My husband wanted me to cut into it so he could have the first bite. "Not overly sweet, nice and malty and chocolatey. Well done. Another perfect cake" I think I will keep him.
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