If you’ve been hanging around this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m an insane Zelda fan. I have been ever since I could hold a controller. I love pretty much every game in the franchise, but the Nintendo 64 games hold a special place in my heart. As a kid our parents could never afford the latest consoles or games, so a lot of my childhood gaming took place in stints at the houses of friends or cousins. But when the Nintendo 64 came out my dad managed to pull together enough to get one. I still remember seeing the commercials for Ocarina of Time and just hoping, only to be greeted with the most amazing surprise one day after school. The same was true by the time Majora’s Mask came out, but by then I’d gotten the entire family hooked on Zelda with our frequent group play-throughs and they were all just as excited about getting it. A lot of my childhood was spent playing those two 64 games over and over. I’d complete the game in its entirety, reset the file and start again. Other days we’d just spend hours playing the mini-games together and see who could catch the biggest fish or get the best score in archery.
When more recently Nintendo re-released Ocarina of time on the 3Ds I was so excited I went out and bought the console, the first handheld console I’d been able to own. The same was true when late last year they announced the 3D remake of Majora’s Mask along with the limited edition console. Since it was released last weekend I’ve been playing it at every possible opportunity on the gorgeous Majora’s Mask-themed console. It’s absolute perfection wrapped in a little bubble of nostalgia.
But while I was biding the time until the game was released, I couldn’t help but make a celebratory cake. I was kind of tempted to make a Majora’s mask cake, but since I’ve done that before I decided I should try something new. The next most significant thing aside from the mask has to be the creepy moon that looms above Termina for the 3 day duration of the game, threatening to obliterate everything in sight.
I started off with a two hemisphere chocolate cakes I joined with some whipped chocolate ganache.
I coated that in more chocolate ganache before carving the features of the face. Once that was carved I covered it in a thin layer of chocolate ganache. The face carving was decidedly nerve-wracking. I’m not very good at faces, and once it’s carved and covered you’re pretty much locked into that shape for the rest of the cake. Eeep.
I covered that all with marshmallow fondant, made the eyes and teeth, then set about making the crater shapes.
There weren’t a lot of amazing references for the moon. The N64 graphics don’t make for the greatest clarity of detail, and available images of the new moon pre-release were few and far between. So rather than trying to replicate the details, I instead turned to references of our actual moon and used that as inspiration for making the craters.
The same was true when it came to colouring it. The older references make it look brown or green, but I wanted it to be gray. So I went for a bit of a medium between available references and actual moon.
Painting the fondant with food colouring took about 6 hours. I used a dry brushing technique and a size 00 brush to build up different levels of gray all over the surface of the moon.
Then I went back over it with whites and blacks, adding shadows to the craters and highlights elsewhere. It was hard to not go completely overboard and keep that really patchy texture, mostly just because how incredibly long it took to cover a small area. You just wanted to get a big fat brush and be done with it.
The eyes totally stressed me out painting. I made 4 and picked the two that had the least mistakes. I used a very tiny brush and added strokes of either yellow or orange to try and get the colouring accurate. It would have been much easier if I owned an airbrush. The teeth on the other hand were a lot easier to paint because they needed to look terrible and aged. I built up blacks, browns and yellows until they looked gross and the colour had crept into all the crevices.
All up it was a much more challenging cake than I thought it would be from the onset. During the process I kept asking people if it looked creepy enough, which is definitely the first time I’ve had that concern over a cake. I don’t think I managed to capture the menacing expression of the moon well enough. But I do take comfort in that fact that as I was uploading progress pics to my Facebook page my friends knew what the cake was of without my prompting, so it is at least recognisable enough.
I had wanted to take photos of the cake getting completely stabbed and cut up, but so far I haven’t been able to bring myself to cut it up! As I’m progressing through the new version of the game, though, I can’t help but think how much easier Termina could be saved if we all just ate the moon instead.