Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cauldron Cakes

"What she did have were Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life" (Sorcerer's Stone 101).

Along with Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes are the thing Harry seems to eat most when on the Hogwarts Express. But we have no real clue as to what exactly they are. Dunah Bucholz interpreted them as pancakes in her cookbook, which does stand to reason since Harry often buys "stacks" of them. But why would a wizard make pancakes in a cauldron? At The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Honeydukes sells pastries shaped like cauldrons and calls them Cauldron Cakes. And they are really delicious (but like lots of things there, are almost painfully sweet). The Internet is rife with recipes for Cauldron Cakes, and while several of them look delicious, they don't quite fit what I have in my imagination. So today, I am making up my own recipe for Cauldron Cakes!

You Will Need
A box of Devil's Food Cake Mix (yes, cake mix is kind of cheating, but it costs $3 instead of the $20 that ingredients would cost to make it from scratch!)
Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
2/3 cup butterscotch pieces or chips
2 Tbs dark rum
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
4 egg whites
dash of salt
dash cream of tartar
3/4 cup heavy cream (not pictured)
chocolate chips or melting chocolate

1. Make your devil's food cake according to the manufacturer's instructions, pour into cupcake pans, and bake for a couple minutes less than manufacturer recommends (the cupcake pans cook faster than cake pans).

2. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare your butterscotch mousse! Melt the butterscotch, either in the microwave or with a double boiler. Stir until smooth.
3. Stir in the rum and let the mixture cool a little bit (mine was cool enough by the time I needed it).

4. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and combine with the butterscotch mixture.
5. Beat the egg whites until foamy, then add the dashes of salt and cream of tartar.
6. Beat the egg whites until firm (but not stiff) peaks form.
7. Beat a little of the egg whites into the butterscotch to loosen, then pour the butterscotch mixture into the egg whites and mix gently but completely.

8. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and fold into the butterscotch mixture, mixing completely.

9. Put in the fridge to chill.
10. When the cupcakes are done, turn them out on a wire rack to cool.
11. The bottoms are the tops with cauldron cakes! When cool, use a sharp knife at an angle to cut a hole out of the bottom of the cupcake, hollowing out the center without poking any holes in the sides or bottom.

12. Use a teaspoon to fill the hollow cupcakes with the butterscotch mouse. There should be enough mousse to fill them to the very top. Place the filled back in the fridge at every opportunity so the mousse keeps chilling.

13. Melt your chosen chocolate. Note on melting chocolate: On a whim, I bought a bag of Wilton's Melting Chocolate at a craft store, and it is the best choice ever! It melts so much better than chocolate chips, and you can re-melt over and over, and you can melt it right in the bag and use it as a pastry tube. Genius.
14. Use a pastry bag with a small tip (or just cut the corner off a plastic bag) and pipe little cauldron handles on a piece of parchment paper. Check to see how wide your cupcake tops are and use that as a size guide.

15. Pipe a ring of melted chocolate around the top of your cauldrons.

16. When your handles have hardened, apply them to the tops of your cauldrons, using melted chocolate as adhesive.

How cute are these?? They are the perfect dessert to serve at a Halloween party (even if it's not Harry Potter themed!). And they are SOOO delicious. Quite possibly my favorite thing to appear on In the Kitchen With Harry Potter so far.


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