Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scrambled Eggs

The next new food to appear in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets comes to us just before one of the many moments when Harry is presumably going mad due to his hearing a voice no one else can hear. But this time, he hears it while Quidditch captain Oliver Wood is busy preparing his team for a Gryffindor win:

"'Perfect Quidditch conditions!' said Wood enthusiastically at the Gryffindor table, loading the team's plates with scrambled eggs" (Chamber of Secrets 254).

Obviously, scrambled eggs are a breakfast staple, and the recipe for Cheesy, Chivy Scrambled Eggs from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook sounds spectacular! So of course, that's the recipe we'll use today!

To Make 3-4 Servings, You Will Need:
1 Tbs butter
6 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper
1 Tbs chopped fresh chives (or dried, which is what I used)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used cheddar, 'cause that's what I had)

1. Whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and chives.

2. Whisk in the shredded cheese.

3. Heat the butter in a large skillet.
4. Pour the eggs into the hot skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and gently with a wooden spoon (I prefer to scrape with a spatula, but that's just me) until set.

5. To serve, sprinkle more chives on top. Serve with buttered toast and sliced tomatoes for a very British breakfast!

These eggs are delicious! I didn't use the exact measurements listed here, I kind of just tossed a little bit of everything with two eggs (that's how I roll at breakfast time). But however you make them, I highly recommend that you try these tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chocolate Cakes

I don't recommend trying to achieve Hermione's goal when making our next item, though Crabbe and Goyle probably did enjoy this delicacy before they keeled over on the floor:

"She held up two plump chocolate cakes. 'I've filled these with a simple Sleeping Draught'" (Chamber of Secrets 213).

I found an exciting recipe for Flourless Nutella Chocolate Cake that sounds absolutely delicious, so that's what I'll be attempting today.

You Will Need:
200g (almost 1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
100g (almost 1/2 cup) dark chocolate
200g Nutella
100g white sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder (which I left out)

1. Butter and lightly coat either a 9" springform pan or cupcake pan with cocoa powder. Prheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the pans inside.
2. Place the butter chunks and chunks/chips of dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt together at 30 second intervals (or use a double boiler). Stir until smooth.

3. Add the nutella to the melted chocolate/butter mixture and stir well with a whisk or fork until completely incorporated. Mix in the coffee powder if using.

4. Separate the egg whites and yolks into two separate bowls. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk for a minute until combined.

5. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly.

6. Beat the egg whites until stiff(ish) peaks form.

7. Add the chocolate/yolk mix to the egg whites and mix by hand until completely incorporated.

8. Pour the batter into your prepared (hot) pans(s). Don't fill cupcake tins more than 3/4 full. Place in the oven.

9. Bake for 20-30 minutes (my cupcakes were done at 22). They are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean-- you don't want them completely solid all the way through, but the center shouldn't sway when jiggled.

10. Let cool completely and garnish with hazelnuts if you have any.

Theses are cakes are very tasty, but not very plump like Hermione's sleeping draught cakes were. The flourless aspect seems to make them want to collapse on themselves. So while not very pretty, they will certainly cure any chocolate craving! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Technically the next new food item on our list is Plum Cake. But I cannot for the life of me find plums for sale anywhere! So I'm afraid we'll have to skip plum cake until plums are back in season. But no worries, because the following food on our list is perfectly seasonal! What could be more fitting during the holidays than to make some tasty eggnog? Clearly Hagrid agrees:

"Dumbledore led them in a few of his favorite carols, Hagrid booming more and more loudly with every goblet of eggnog he consumed" (Chamber of Secrets 212).

The truth is, my friends, I made eggnog according to the recipe found in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, and it does not actually make eggnog at all. It makes custard. Yep-- thick, eat-with-a-spoon custard. It's tasty, but it's not eggnog. So today we shall use a recipe I found here. Hopefully it is more successful than my last attempt. The mere fact that it contains alcohol leads me to think that it will be!

You Will Need:
6 eggs
2 extra egg yolks
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup bourbon (I didn't quite have enough, so I combined bourbon and brandy, which gave me a little more than 1/2 cup), not pictured

1. Whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt in a pan until combined.

2. Keep whisking while you slowly pour in the milk until completely mixed in.

3. Place on the stove on very low heat, and whisk continuously until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. The recipe says this should take 25 minutes. It took me almost an hour.

4. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl.

5. Stir in the liquor, vanilla, and nutmeg.

6. Cover securely and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
7. When you're ready to serve, whip the heavy cream really well in a bowl and fold (gently!) in the chilled eggnog.

8. Serve and enjoy!

This eggnog is also pretty thick, especially if you fold in your whipped heavy cream a little too vigorously! However it definitely is eggnog, and has the added bonus of lifting your holiday cheer with every alcohol-infused sip! So whip some up this holiday season and ring in a tasty new year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas!!

I won't be posting a recipe today, because I'm to busy drinking mimosas and playing with Christmas presents! I hope your day is filled with fun and crackers (muggle variety I assume) and family and friends! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Death-Day Food

We will definitely not be preparing any of the foods that appear in today's list. I am including them because they are technically food, and they appear next in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. If you've read the book, you understand my reasoning:

"On the other side of the dungeon was a long table, also covered in black velvet. They approached it eagerly but next moment had stopped in their tracks, horrified. The smell was quite disgusting. Large, rotten fish were laid on handsome silver platters; cakes, burned charcoal-black, were heaped on salvers; there was a great maggoty haggis, a slab of cheese covered in furry green mold and, in pride of place, and enormous gray cake in the shape of a tombstone, with tar-like icing forming the words, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington Died 31st October, 1492" (Chamber of Secrets 133).

It might be fun for a Halloween party sometime to conjure up a way to make tasty versions of these foul foods, but for now it is Christmas-time, and I'm just as disgusted by these deathly delicacies as Harry, Ron, and Hermione were!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Treacle Fudge

Hagrid's treacle fudge becomes notorious among our favorite trio-- they most famously been known to use it to clamp Fang's jaws shut on occasion. But their first exposure to it is while Ron is puking up slugs (delightful), and Harry unknowingly glues his own teeth together with it!

"'He was the on'y man for the job,' said Hagrid, offering them a plate of treacle fudge, while Ron coughed squelchily into his basin" (Chamber of Secrets 115).

I have had rather inconsistent luck with my forays into fudge, but hopefully the treacle fudge recipe from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook doesn't fail me!

You Will Need (I doubled what's listed here):
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup heavy cream 
2 Tbs black treacle (or dark molasses or blackstrap molasses)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Grease an 8" square pan and set aside.
2. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, treacle, and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan.

3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Wash down and sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in hot water.

4. Use a candy thermometer and cook without stirring until the mixture is 240 degrees.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
6. Allow the bubbles to subside and let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.

7. Remove the thermometer and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture loses its gloss and is very thick, 15 to 20 minutes (I went at it for a good half hour, and it was still kind of glossy... I think maybe it should be cooked to 245 or even 250 degrees).
8. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

9. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Wow, this is some super sweet fudge! It's tasty though, in that strong molasses-flavor kind of way. My batch turned out super soft, and not at all likely to glue one's mouth together. I ended up storing it in the refrigerator so it wouldn't be a complete melted mess. Still yummy though! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I think most adult readers have wondered about the flavor of our next food item, which appears over and over throughout the Harry Potter series, but is introduced for the first time by Professor Lockhart:

"I clearly state in chapter twelve that my ideal birthday gift would be harmony between all magic and non-magic peoples-- though I wouldn't say no to a large bottle of Ogden's Old Firewhiskey" (Chamber of Secrets 100).

Since Ogden's Old Firewhiskry doesn't exist in the muggle world, I set out to learn how to create it with existing liquors. There are a couple different options. The first and most common recipe is to simply add Tabasco sauce to whiskey. 

Whiskey is not my poison of choice to begin with, and adding Tabasco to it just sounds foul. But never fear, I found another option that seemed slightly less disgusting, yet equally fire-y.

You Will Need:
Your favorite whiskey
Cinnamon Hot Damn

1. Pour two parts whiskey and one part Hot Damn in a shot glass.
2. Enjoy.

Just one sip of this was more than enough for me. My mouth was immediately on fire. I cannot imagine wanting to drink it again, even it was to toast Mad-Eye Moody. If you like whiskey, you may have a different opinion, in which case I recommend you give it a try.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


"Harry and Ron sat down at the Gryffindor table next to Hermione, who had her copy of Voyages with Vampires propped open against a milk jug" (Chamber of Secrets 86).

In my attempt to find something to make for which the main ingredient is milk (aside from telling you to pour yourself a nice tall glass), I have found Milk Jellies. I have a feeling they will be something like flan... which I've never had... but we'll see!

You Will Need:
4 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 glass skim milk (I'm going to assume that means 8oz, let's hope I'm right!)
2 tsp sweetener
4 drops vanilla extract

1. Bring the milk to a boil and add the sweetener.
2. While boiling, pour 150mL of boiling water over the gelatin and stir well.
3. Remove the milk from the heat and add the gelatin mix. Stir well.
4. Stir in the vanilla.
5. Pour the mixture into containers. Washed out yogurt cups work well, silicone ice trays are also a good bet. Unfortunately, I didn't have any individual-size containers around, so I just used the smallest mixing bowl I had.

6. Place in the fridge for at least two hours to set.
7. Invert onto a serving dish if you'd like, or eat right out of the container :)

As you can see, gravity works :) I didn't realize that I only had half the required amount of gelatin. Surprisingly, it still gelled, but I definitely recommend using enough of each ingredient!

I assumed that Milk Jelly would be kind of gross, or at least have a weird texture (and that's from someone who eats tofu every day!). But honestly, it's basically custard-flavored jell-o. And it's a lot better for you than normal custard! So if you want to try a new and pretty healthy treat, make some milk jellies!

Friday, December 16, 2011


I'm afraid we have reached another item for which there simply is no vegetarian substitution:

"The four long house tables were laden with tureens of porridge, plates of kippers, mountains of toast, and dishes of eggs and bacon, beneath the enchanted ceiling (today, a dull, cloudy gray)" (Chamber of Secrets 86).

Kippers, in case you didn't know, is (according to wikipedia, that pinnacle of source materials) a whole herring. A small, oily fish, that has been split from head to tail, gutted, salted or pickled, and cold smoked. They are commonly eaten in Britain for breakfast. 

I will keep my opinions on kippers to myself. Suffice to say, we will not be preparing them today.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chicken and Ham Sandwiches

Our next food is one that I definitely balked at when I read it for the first time. But I have been assured by several people, American and British alike, that it is not, in fact, disgusting. Clearly Harry and Ron are big fans:

"A large plate of sandwiches, two silver goblets, and a jug of iced pumpkin juice appeared with a pop... 'Can you believe our luck though?' said Ron thickly through a mouthful of chicken and ham" (Chamber of Secrets 83).

I suppose the sandwiches McGonagall conjured could have been of several different varieties, since the plate kept refilling itself until the boys were stuffed to satisfaction, but only chicken and ham is specified. So there. 

I found a recipe for this delightful-sounding dish on (thank you google searches). Before we begin, it seems to me that if possible, you should use similarly textured forms of "meats." I was unable to do this, since I used chicken-flavored seitan and Light Life's smoked ham lunchmeat. If you ever find a recipe for "ham" seitan or find a supplier of "chicken" lunchmeat, let me know! Moving on.

You Will Need:
Your favorite chicken substitute, thinly sliced
Your favorite ham substitute, thinly sliced

1. Mix together some mustard and butter/margarine. You'll probably need to significantly soften the butter first.
2. Spread the mustard/butter on two slices of bread.
3. Layer up the "chicken" and "ham" between the two slices of prepared bread. 
4. Eat.

I won't lie to you, I did not actually mix together mustard and butter. And really, the butter is a major component to the British-ness of this sandwich. Brits put butter on most sandwiches (including, in my experience, peanut butter sandwiches). But it turns out that chicken and ham taste fine together. Clearly someone figured that out long before I did, given the relative popularity of chicken cordon bleu. Anyway, if you're looking for a new sandwich for lunch, you might want to give this one a try.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Custard Tart

Custard has somehow remained a tricky dessert in my family. The family recipe for custard pie always ended up tasting like hard boiled eggs. Not very appetizing. Lucky for the students at Hogwarts, the House Elves don't seem to have difficulty preparing their custard tarts:

"'I must go back to the feast, Minerva, I've got to give out a few notices. Come Severus, there's a delicious-looking custard tart I want to sample" (Chamber of Secrets 82).

If Dumbledore likes it, it must be good! I'll be using the recipe included in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. One thing to note however: I used a pie pan instead of a tart pan (because I don't own a tart pan). Tart pans are usually smaller and have vertical sides, so the custard filling was not quite enough to fill the crust.

For the Crust, You Will Need:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbs heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Note: Generally, baking calls for unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter, you can use it, just remove the pinch of salt from the ingredients (which is what I did today).

For the Custard, You Will Need:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla

1. For the crust, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.

2. Scatter the butter pieces over the powder and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse yellow meal, without any white powdery bits remaining. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Beat the egg yolk with the cream and vanilla and pour it into the flour mixture.

4. Toss with a spatula until it sticks together. If too dry, add another Tbs of cream (you might want to do this, I didn't and regretted it later. Better too wet than too dry!).

5. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface into an 11-inch circle. You might need to let it rest on the floured surface for a few minutes if it's too hard.

7. Transfer the dough into the tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom) and trim off the excess. Freeze the shell for 10 minutes.

8. Remove from the freezer and line with aluminum foil and fill it with pie weights (or beans). Bake until the dough is dry and set, about 20 minutes.
9. Remove the weights and foil, reduce the heat to 350 degrees, and continue baking until the crust is golden, about 8 minutes.
10. While the crust is baking, prepare the custard. Heat the milk and cream in a small saucepan until hot but not yet simmering.
11. In the meantime, whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth.

12. Temper the yolk mixture with 1/2 cup of the hot milk and then pour the hot yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
13. Continue to cook the custard, stirring continuously, until the whisk scrapes up some thickened bits of custard. Do not let the custard simmer or boil.
14. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

15. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Pour the hot custard into the hot crust and bake until the custard puffs up but is still jiggly, about 15 minutes.

16. Remove the tart from the oven and set out to cool completely before serving. The custard should set up as it cools.

Mmmm, this is a delicious dessert! No wonder Dumbledore wanted to try it! Enjoy!