Only 3 months late, here’s (finally) the completed Pitfall: The Lost Expedition birthday cake.
The morning of Henri’s party I woke up and went downstairs, peering cautiously into the gloom of the laundry room to see how the cake had held up overnight. There’s always the chance for decorations to slip, or icing to crack or worse – to discover that one of the kids had found the cake and begun to dig in…so I was nervous when I slowly approached.
Then I breathed a sigh of relief. It looked good. I’d finished so late in the morning that I’d passed out, so seeing the cake again was a pleasant surprise. I was actually feeling quite proud of myself.
Oh yeah, I thought- Henri’s gonna love it! All that remained was to transport it to the party without incident and then it would be-
W-wait. Why does something look wrong…?
Do you see it?
Remember in my last cake post when I was all cocky about the vines working out? Hmm. Looked like I’d spoken too soon. The first vine I’d attempted had had a chance to set up while laying horizontally… so when I hung it over the edge of the back board to test out it held its shape perfectly. The new vines, however… I’d rolled each out and tucked them into place under the top cake right away. And they’d looked good. ‘Great’, even, if I may be so bold.
But overnight gravity took hold, and the once relatively-uniform vines began to sag slowly. Some had narrowed enough to look delicate and thin, twisting and tangling among others in a pretty cool, natural way (see the ones on the right). Others, though… like the ones on the left… they’d basically collapsed. Luckily they’d thinned before falling, so the resulting puddle of vines still looked pretty natural, I guess…which was good because it would have seriously messed things up to try and detach them. The only one I did detach was the vine that had attached itself to the waterfall. I thought it ruined the illusion of flowing water to have a vine stuck up alongside. :P
This pic was taken on my lap in the car en route to the party, and is probably the only pic taken strictly with sunlight. The color is pretty accurate though I find the blue too bright. (That may have been my phone, it’s notorious for having a hard time photographing blues and purples accurately).
I took a last quick set of pics at the party before serving. Here’s the backside. You can see how the vines here too have thinned and sagged.
And here’s the finished cake, complete with Pitfall Harry himself.
I waited until the very last moment to stick him in the cake, partially to avoid the risk of snapping the figure, and partially so he wouldn’t absorb moisture from the cake/icing and then have the fondant soften and fold over. I likely needn’t have worried… there was probably enough ‘paint’ on the front at least to seal the moisture out, but the back was still bare fondant and I didn’t want to take a chance.
Add one quick candle for the birthday boy’s age, and then I wheeled it over to his table. It was a huge hit! The kids got their choice of location to eat from and we served some to the parents as they came to pick up their children.
In the end this is all that was left – a tiny bit of cake and a filthy board.
I had planned to take it home and pop the fondant off the base stand so I could use it again, but sadly I broke it. The fondant ‘glue’ was so strong in adhering the stand to the cake board, that when I was trying to separate the two I cracked the plastic of the stand itself. I was impressed with the strength… but unfortunately it meant I had to throw out the stand. Ah well.
All the ‘making of’ posts: