|In the presence of octopus royalty.|
While I enjoy creating tasty, fun and often nerdy treats for any occasion, I find birthday cakes to be especially entertaining. I've made a lot of cakes in my time, but the product of one of my more recent birthdays is one of my all-time favorites: Ultros!
|Look at me! I'm a birthday cake!|
In case you're not familiar, Ultros is a giant, mischievous purple octopus from the video game Final Fantasy VI (FFVI). If you like playing video games and you haven't tried it yet, this game is worth checking out. As a testament to its awesomeness, it's been released for SNES, Playstation and Gameboy Advance (& I may or may not own all three...). The Legend of Zelda is my favorite video game series by far, but in terms of single best game, FFVI takes the cake.
Speaking of which...
|I have more lives than I do arms!|
Creating an octopus birthday cake is surprisingly simple. For the body, I baked one layer in a typical round cake pan and the rest of the batter in an oven safe metal mixing bowl. Invert and stack the subsequent cakes to get a nice dome shaped head. As for the arms... bananas!
|What a delicious morsel!|
To make Ultros' face, complete with devious, toothy grin, I employed some grapefruit gummy candies which were well-suited for the job with very little alteration. For the eyes, I took two extra gummies, cut them to the proper shape and added dried cranberries for that villainous, red gleam.
|I ain't no garden variety octopus!|
For the icing, I made a traditional buttercream from scratch. I wasn't in the mood to use a ton of food coloring to get Ultros' signature purple, so I incorporated blueberries into the mix and it ended up turning out quite nicely.
|Alright, Uncle Ulty really wants you to take his picture.|
(Point of fact: Blueberry buttercream does not take well to bananas. By the time Ultros was done with his photo shoot, he was quite... melty, to say the least.)
Once he was all put together, I took the liberty of giving Ultros some iconic props from his Final Fantasy VI roots. Throughout the game, you meet this mischievous octopus no less than five times. From river rafting to opera house rafters, Ultros aims to wreak havoc in every situation as only a giant, purple octopus can.
|I'm gonna jam up your opera!|
|Zelda, playing the role of Celes, playing the role of Maria,|
& Link, her scene stealing hero
There are plenty of other villains, heroes, props and creatures worthy of attention from Final Fantasy VI (i.e. pretty much everyone and everything), but Ultros just had too much character to pass up.
|G'fa ha ha!|