Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hot Chocolate

I kind of love that the Weasley family seems to always serve hot cocoa before bed. But the adult in me is confused... sugar right before bedtime... chocolate right before brushing teeth... oh well. Harry and the Weaselys like it!

"Then it was time for a last mug of hot chocolate and bed" (Chamber of Secrets 65).

The best hot chocolate I've ever had was in Edinborough, Scotland, at a cafe called Pleasir du Chocolat. That was seven years ago. And I still think about it.

It was some seriously amazing hot chocolate, okay?

Let's hope that Dinah Bucholz' recipe comes close!

You Will Need:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee (or not...)
2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 cups milk (the higher the fat content, the creamier the hot cocoa)
1/2 tsp vanilla
whipped cream for serving
cocoa powder for serving

1.  Combine the water, sugar, cocoa powder, and coffee (if using) in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until hot and bubbling.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate until smooth.

3. Return to the heat and add the milk, cooking and stirring until heated through (do not boil).

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
5. Pour into teacups and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

This hot chocolate is really delicious. It doesn't beat the hot chocolate I had in Scotland, but it's certainly better than microwaved milk with chocolate syrup! Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Treacle Pudding

One of my favorite British foods I've learned about through the Harry Potter series is one of Harry's favorites as well:

"On their last evening, Mrs. Weasley conjured up a sumptuous dinner that included all of Harry's favorite things, ending with a mouthwatering treacle pudding"
(Chamber of Secrets 65).

This will be the third time I've used Dinah Bucholz' recipe for treacle pudding. While it is always delicious, the batter somehow manages to turn out slightly different every time. Oh well!

You Will Need:
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup treacle (or light molasses)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup golden syrup treacle (or light molasses), plus more for serving
I always forget that this recipe makes way more batter than will fit in the dish I use to make pudding. I highly recommend that unless your cookware is ENORMOUS that you halve this recipe.

1. Fill a large pot with water and place a shallow bowl or tall plate upside down inside the pot. I didn't have one that would fit, so I used the jam-jar-lid-as-a-trivet trick. Butter and flour a 2.5qt dish or glass bowl and its lid; set aside.
2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and 1/3 cup treacle, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each until incorporated.

3rd Egg

5. Add the lemon zest and juice (watch out for the seeds!) and beat until incorporated.

6. Scrape down the sides and add the flour and milk mixtures, alternating and mixing on the lowest speed until combined, and beginning and ending with the flour.

7. Pour the 1/2 cup treacle in the bottom of the prepared pudding dish. Scrape the batter unto the dish and smooth the top. Cover tightly with the lid (I also covered the lid with foil just to be safe) and place it in the pot on top of your "trivet." Add water to the pot so that it comes halfway up the sides of your pudding dish.

8. Cover the pot and simmer for 2.5 hours. Check every so often to see if more water needs to be added (don't let it boil dry).
9. Remove the pudding from the pot. Remove the lid and invert the pudding onto a serving dish. Serve with warmed treacle.

This is such a delicious dessert (and the batter is dangerously delicious too!)! It's very sweet but also citrusy and seems very impressive when served (even though it's super easy to make!). Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Strawberry-and-Peanut-Butter Ice Creams

Today's food is one of the many that is offered at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Sadly I didn't find that out until my very last day of living in Orlando! Lucky for our favorite trio, they discovered this delight at Florean Fortescue's early:

"The bag of gold, silver, and bronze jangling cheerfully in Harry's pocket was clamoring to be spent, so he bought three large strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice creams, which they slurped happily as they wandered up the alley, examining the fascinating shop windows"(Chamber of Secrets 58).

Now, the way Ms. Rowling has written our ice cream flavor, with hyphens, led me to think that it is one single flavor of ice cream, and not one scoop of each. However, I am concerned that swirling peanut butter into strawberry ice cream might not turn out so great. Because of this, I will use Dianh Bucholz' recipe from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

For Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream, You Will Need:
 1 pound strawberries, roughly chopped (can be frozen)
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 cup strawberry jam

1. Process the strawberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar until smooth (if you're using frozen strawberries, like me, your texture won't really be "smooth").

2. If you want, push the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds. I left my seeds in.
3. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is reduced and very thick. Set aside.

4. In a separate saucepan, heat the heavy cream, milk, and remaining sugar over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until hot but not bubbling.

5. Temper the egg yolks by whisking in 1 cup of the hot milk mixture (whisk constantly!). Then pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan while constantly whisking.
6. Continue whisking over medium-high heat until the mixture is hot but not bubbling. Pour the mixture through a sieve if you'd like. (Can you tell I'm not really a fan of the whole sieve thing?)
7. Whisk in the strawberry mixture until smooth and transfer to an airtight container.

8. Allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator until very cold (at least 6 hours).
9. Remove the cold mix from the fridge and give it a quick whisk to reincorporate the strawberries.
10. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

11. Transfer the ice cream into a clean airtight container and swirl in the (whisked) jam. Don't swirl too much, or it will just become incorporated. Place the container in the freezer until firm.

For Peanut Butter Ice Cream, You Will Need:
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 cup chunky peanut butter

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream, milk, and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until hot but not bubbling.

2. Temper the egg yolks (like above) and pour back into the hot milk mixture while whisking constantly.
3. Continue whisking over medium-high heat until the mixture is hot but not bubbling and pour into another bowl.
4. Immediately cover the surface directly with plastic wrap so a skin doesn't form. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge at least 6 hours.

5. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. I recommend adding and mixing in the peanut butter one scoop at a time using a rubber spatula while the mixer is still running (assuming your ice cream maker is like mine!). Or you can transfer the plain ice cream to an airtight bowl and then mix in the peanut butter. Adding large amounts of extras to homemade ice cream (like a whole cup of peanut butter) makes the ice cream softer, so you'll definitely need to pop it back in the freezer for awhile.

To assemble your strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice creams, add a scoop of each to either a cone or a bowl, and slurp to your heart's content!

I will add that the Florean Fortescue's ice cream was better... but this version has no chemicals or preservatives, and isn't miles and miles away in Hogsmeade. So enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Today's food is not actually mentioned with regard to eating, but is one of Hagrid's many excuses:

"'I was lookin' fer a Flesh-Eatin' Sluf Repellent,' growled Hagrid. 'They're ruinin' the school cabbages" (Chamber of Secrets 55).

So today I will share the family recipe for Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage! Of course, I will have to experiment with a way to make them vegetarian, soooo.... here we go!

You Will Need:
a cabbage
your favorite ground beef substitute (I used Morningstar Farms Meal Starter Grounds)
your favorite ground pork substitute (I used seitan)
either 1 cup of cooked brown rice, or 1 pkg of soy Tempeh
1 can of tomato soup
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper

When relaying this recipe to me, my mother forgot to tell me to parboil the cabbage. She realized her error after I was finished and mentioned how difficult it is to roll the raw cabbage leaves. Yeah. Boil your cabbage.

1. Place the cabbage in a pot of water and boil for a few minutes, until slightly tender. Let it cool.
2. Mix together your "meats" with your rice/tempeh.

3. In a large skillet, heat a little vegetable oil and add your onion. Cook until tender.
4. Add your meat mixture to the skillet and mix with the onion. Since it's not really meat, you just have to mix it all together... it doesn't even really need to be super hot at this point either.

5. Carefully peel the cabbage leaves apart and place a scoop of filling in the middle.

6. Fold/roll the cabbage leaf around the filling like a burrito (carefully, but tightly!). If you need to, you can use a toothpick to secure it (just don't forget to take them out again!)

7. Arrange the rolls in a large pot, with the seams facing downward.

8. Mix the tomato soup with about 3 cans worth of water and pour over the cabbage rolls.

9. Place the pot on medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour, until the cabbage is completely tender.
10. Carefully scoop out the rolls, serve, and enjoy!

This turned out really well! It's pretty simple to make, and is super healthy! And my mom says my version tastes the same as the carnivore kind! I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bacon Sandwiches

It seams that every meal at the Weasley house is both excellent and enormous. And breakfast is no different! Before leaving for Diagon Alley, Mrs. Weasley basically stuffs her family (and Harry) with bacon sandwiches:

"After a quick half a dozen bacon sandwiches each, they pulled on their coats and Mrs. Weasley took a flowerpot off the kitchen mantelpiece and peered inside" 
(Chamber of Secrets 47).

You may not want to eat half a dozen sandwiches at once, and you may not be rushing off to Diagon Alley by Floo Powder, but I think you might enjoy bacon sandwiches for breakfast! When I think of "bacon sandwiches," I think of a BLT. But I would not eat a BLT at breakfast, and I imagine you wouldn't either. I do however enjoy what I have always called "fried egg sandwiches," which happen to have "bacon" on them! So that's what we're making!

You Will Need:
Your favorite type of bread (I usually use an English muffin, but I didn't have any)
An egg
Your favorite cheese (I prefer cheddar on this sandwich)
Your preferred brand of vegetarian bacon (Normally I use Morningstar Farms, but my grocery store weirdly did not have any this week, so I tried LightLife's Tempeh Fakin' Bacon. The smokey flavor is really intense, so it really does taste like bacon! ...I think)

1. Place your bread in the toaster and toast to your preferred level of done-ness.
2. Grease a skillet and crack an egg into it. If you're using Fakin' Bacon, add a strip or two to the skillet. If you're using Morningstar Farms, I recommend microwaving it. Fry your egg however you like your fried eggs :)

3. Slice your cheese and arrange it on your hot toast.
4. When your egg is done, lay it on top of the cheese, and the "bacon" on top of that.

5. Add the other piece of bread, smash the yolk (assuming it's an over-easy or over-medium egg), and enjoy!

Yummy! Breakfast of (tri-wizard) Champions!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Our next food isn't mentioned with regard to eating, but it appears nonetheless:

"They couldn't use real Quidditch balls, which would have been hard to explain if they had escaped and flown away over the village; instead they threw apples for one another to catch" (Chamber of Secrets 46).

In case you decide you'd like to eat your apples instead of throw them at people on broomsticks, I found a lovely recipe for Baked Breakfast Apples on recipe.com

You Will Need:
2 medium apples, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbs snipped, pitted, whole dates (I had leftover dried date cubes, so I used those)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used 1/2 tsp, but I really like cinnamon)
1/2 cup apple juice (I realized too late that I didn't have any... so I blended up an extra apple, which kind of worked)
1 Tbs raspberry (I used currant) spreadable fruit
1/4 cup low-fat granola

1. Combine your cubed apples and dates in a small casserole dish.
2. Sprinkle cinnamon on top (If you don't have apple juice, you'll want to mix it up).
3. Pour apple juice over the mixture.

4. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
5. Stir in the spreadable fruit and plop an extra dollop on top.

6. Sprinkle with granola and serve warm.

This is a pretty tasty apple dish! And would definitely be delicious for breakfast! So the next time you're looking for something different (but still simple!) to eat in the morning, give this a try!