Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cream Cakes

Today we make another delightful delicacy perfect for pairing with a cup of tea, provided by the ever-obliging House Elves of Hogwarts:

"Hermione refused, with a pained look at the way the elves kept bowing and curtsying, but Harry and Ron loaded their pockets with cream cakes and pies"
(Goblet of Fire 382).

When searching for recipes for "cream cakes," I found a lot of pound cakes with whipped cream. I also found a lot of recipes similar to the "Bun" recipe we prepared for our very first food item. I settled on a cake similar to those sent to Harry four his "four birthday cakes." I don't have the equipment to make small "cakes," as the text suggests, so I made one great big Cream Cake with Strawberries. Unfortunately... I made this cake months ago... and no longer know where I found the recipe... which means I don't know exactly how I made it...

I fail.

But here are some pictures of a very tasty Cream Cake with Strawberries. I'm sure if you do a bit of searching, you will easily find a similar recipe :)

Friday, August 23, 2013


Today marks the return of everyone's favorite house elf, Dobby! Today's food is suitable for breakfast, tea, served with fried chicken(?)...

"Instantly, about six house-elves came trotting up behind him, bearing a large silver laden tray with a teapot, cups for Harry, Ron, and Hermione, a milk jug, and a large plate of biscuits" (Goblet of Fire 377).

We should check to see if the British publication of Goblet of Fire also says "biscuit," because a British biscuit (at least as far as I could tell by the ones given to me when I was in England) are much closer to an American cookie than what we'll be baking today. And that certainly seems to make more sense contextually. But I made American biscuits, because it was breakfast time and I'm in America. Today's recipe comes from

You Will Need:
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup milk

1. Mix the dry ingredients
2. Pour oil in a measuring cup and add the milk. Do not stir.

3. Add the milk/oil to the the dry ingredients.

4. Mix lightly to moisten the ingredients and knead a couple times to form a ball.
At this point you can roll out the dough and cut biscuits, or pull them apart and plop "drop biscuits" on an ungreased baking sheet.

5. Bake at 475 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

A very quick and simple biscuit recipe! Easy to whip up for surprise guests from out of town for breakfast or served with jam and clotted cream for a quick tea. Enjoy!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Canary Creams

Today's new food item reveals one of the Weasley's many tricks of the trade:

"'It's all right,' he said. 'I haven't done anything to them. It's the custard creams you've got to watch--'" (Goblet of Fire, 366).

Moments later, when Neville turns into a bird, we learn that the Weasely twins have created not just "custard creams," but "canary creams." When I imagined Canary Creams, which are later qualified as being "custard creams," I imagined custard-filled chocolates. But in fact, Dinah Bucholz presents a recipe for delightful sandwich cookies in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, with a slight twist. So today, we will prepare her recipe.

For the cookie dough, You Will Need:
2.25 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vanilla pudding mix (1 packet, NOT instant!)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8Tbs) butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

For the filling, You Will Need:
1.25 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 stick (2 Tbs) butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
bowl of sugar, for flattening cookies

1. Set the oven racks to the upper and lower positions, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, vanilla pudding mix, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and confectioner's sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 5 minutes. 
4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. 

5. Add the flour mixture and stir until the mixture is crumbly.

6. Add the milk and stir until the mixture forms a dough.

7. Break off small pieces, roll into balls (about 1"), and place them on the cookie sheets 1.5" apart.

8. Oil the bottom of a glass and dip it into the bowl of sugar to coat. Press the glass down on the balls of dough, dipping it in the sugar between each cookie.

9. Bake for 16 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to brown a bit at the edges, rotating the cookie sheets and switching shelves halfway through baking. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
10.Beat the filling ingredients together until creamy. If the mixture is too dry, add milk 1 Tbs at a time until it becomes spreadable.

11. Sandwich the cooled cookies with about 1 tsp of the filling.

These cookies are surprisingly delicious! I was expecting regular old vanilla sandwich cookies, but adding the vanilla pudding mix in place of some of the flour makes an incredible difference! And the recipe yields dozens! I had to send most of them away to protect myself from turning into a canary... by which I mean suffering major sugar shock. I highly recommend you give these a try!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jam Tarts

And now, a seemingly infinite expanse of time later (I'm so sorry everyone), we finally reach our next new food item in our saga of preparing (or at least exploring) all the foods to appear in the Harry Potter series:

"'Want a jam tart, Hermione?' said Fred.
Hermione looked doubtfully at the plate he was offering her. Fred grinned.
'It's alright,' he said. 'I haven't done anything to them. It's the custard creams you've got to watch--'"
(Goblet of Fire 366).

For our jam tarts, we shall use Dinah Bucholz' recipe from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. I'm a big fan of individually-sized desserts, so I'm a big fan of this one!

You Will Need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut into chunks
1 cold large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbs ice water
1/2 cup any flavor of jam (alas, not pictures)

1. For the crust, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
2. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse yellow meal with no white powdery bits remaining (probably around 20 pulses).
3. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.

4. Beat the egg yolk with the vanilla and water and pour it into the flour-butter mixture. Toss with a spatula until the dough clumps together. If the dough is too dry add 1 more Tbs water (better too wet than too dry).
5. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.

6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out the dough 1/8" thick.
7. Use a 4" round cookie cutter (or a glass and a knife) to stamp out circles of dough. 

8. Fit the circles of dough into tartlet (or muffin) pans.
9. Place 1 Tbs of jam in each tart. The jam should just cover the bottom of the tart. If you use too much jam, it will bubble over and the tarts will never escape their tins in one piece.

10. Decorate the tarts with cutouts from the leftover dough (like my deathly hallows marks?)

11. Ms. Bucholz says to bake the tarts for 20-25 minutes. I say start with 15 minutes and then start checking every two minutes until they're golden brown. 

Allegedly this recipe makes 8 tarts, but I ended up with way more than that! And they are quite tasty! Perfect when accompanied with a cup of tea with cream. Cheers!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sausage Rolls

Our next new food item appears in the Gryffindor common room, following Harry's first attempt at opening his golden egg for the Tri-Wizard Tournament:

"'It was someone being tourtured!' said Neville, who had gone very white and spilled sausage rolls on the floor. 'You're going to have to fight the Cruciatus Curse!'" 
(Goblet of Fire 366).

Since these sausage rolls were nicked from the Hogwarts kitchens, our recreation better be as delicious as possible to compete with the House Elves' cooking! Luckily, I have a very simple plan.

You Will Need:
1 roll of Pilsbury (or similar) crescent rolls
1 box Morningstar Farms sausage links, preferably not completely frozen

1. Unroll your crescent dough and separate the individual sections.

2. Depending on how bread-y you'd like your sausage rolls to be, cut each section in two or three smaller equal triangles.

3. Starting at the longest side of the triangles, roll each sausage link in a triangle of dough and place on a cookie sheet.

4. Bake according to the directions on the crescent package.

These are so simple and SO tasty! Be careful, or you'll have eaten a whole tube of crescents without even noticing (not that that happened to any particular blogger or anything...)! A delightful option for breakfast or a protein-filled snack. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Today's food item is the first occurrence of butterbeer in The Goblet of Fire, and it comes during one of Harry's many attempts at trying to avoid the vicious pen of Rita Skeeter:

"'She's gone,' said Hermione, looking right through Harry toward the end of the street. 'Why don't we go and have a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, it's a bit cold, isn't it?'" (Goblet of Fire 319).

If I remember correctly, we've done two butterbeer recipes already, but today's comes from

To Make 4-6 servings, You Will Need:
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp butterscotch extract (I couldn't find this, so I used butterscotch syrup)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 qt apple cider
apple slices for garnish, optional

1. On medium speed, beat together the vanilla ice cream, butter, butterscotch extract, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined. Place in an air-tight container and re-freeze.

2. Gently heat the apple cider on the stove until steaming hot.
3. Place 1 scoop of the ice cream in a mug and top with hot cider. Garnish with an apple slice if desired. 

Alas, this is not my favorite butterbeer recipe. It really isn't very tasty when it's no longer hot. And I definitely recommend using melted butter instead of just room-temperature butter and just re-freezing the ice cream for longer (unless of course, you'd like butter chips in your ice cream; I spent a lot of time spitting out butter bits). It tastes fine for a few sips/bites, but I'd suggest trying one of the other butterbeer recipes out there. Cheers!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Today's food item continues the trio's exposure to foreign delicacies (and Ron's hopes that his new Veela crush will come speak to him again!).

"When the second course arrived they noticed a number of unfamiliar desserts too. Ron examined an odd sort of pale blancmange closely, then moved it carefully a few inches to his right, so that it would be clearly visible from the Ravenclaw table"
(Goblet of Fire 253).

This French dessert comes from the words "blanc," which means "white," and "mange," which is a derivative of the verb "to eat." So basically, we're making "white food." Yep. The recipe comes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, so here we go!

You Will Need:
3 cups whole milk (divided)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup ground almonds
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 pint strawberries (for the sauce)
2 Tbs granulated sugar (for the sauce)

1. Grease 8 tartlet molds or a muffin pan and set aside (I needed 10 muffin cups, so be prepared!).
2. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside.

3. Heat the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and almonds in a small saucepan until hot but not simmering.

4. Pour the mixture through a sieve (into another bowl) to discard the almonds.

5. Stir the gelatin mixture into the milk mixture until dissolved. You may need to heat it some more over  the stove to help the gelatin dissolve (again, don't let it simmer).
6. Stir in the almond extract.

7. Fill the prepared molds to the very top and refrigerate until form, about 2 hours.

8. Place the strawberries and 2 Tbs sugar in a blender or food processor and process until completely blended.

9. Apparently you should be able to just invert the molds onto a plate to unmold them, but I had to peel them a little bit with my fingers (it wasn't hard though; one stretch and they popped right out).
10. Serve with strawberry sauce.

This dessert not only looks really elegant, but it is SO jiggly that I pretty much giggled the whole time I was eating it. The strawberry sauce is delicious! The texture of the blancmange might be strange to some people (because really, it's milk jell-o), but I live on tofu, so textures aren't an issue for me. The blancmange's taste is super subtle, so it's almost just a vehicle for the strawberry sauce. Leave it to the French to make something super fattening that has very little taste. No wonder Fleur wasn't interested!
But all together, it's pretty tasty, and would look really impressive as a dessert at a party. Give it a try!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Black Pudding

On the coattails of bouillabaisse, we reach another food I sadly cannot prepare. But this food does not hail from France, it is British to the core:

"'I'll take your word for it,' said Ron, helping himself to black pudding
(Goblet of Fire 251).

You may, like me, not blame Ron for passing up the bouillabaisse for something more familiar to him. But knowing the ingredients of black pudding makes me wonder which carnivorous "casserole" is more... well... icky.

In The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, Dinah Bucholz includes a recipe for black pudding, but includes the caveat that it is almost impossible to prepare in the United States because of laws regarding certain ingredients. 

The recipe requires 3.5 cups of blood (sheep's or pig's is recommended). And unless you happen to be connected in some way to a slaughterhouse, you probably have no way to legally obtain animal blood while residing in the U.S. And there is NO WAY that I'm going to attempt to create a vegetarian version of black pudding, as I have no desire of tasting ingredients to find a substitution for the flavor of blood. 

Sorry folks, this is one you'll have to imagine on your own. Or take a trip to Britain.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Today we reach Ron and Harry's first exposure to some decidedly foreign dishes:

"'What's that?' said Ron, pointing at a large dish of some sort of shellfish stew that stood beside a large steak-and-kidney pudding. 'Bouillabaisse,' said Hermione" 
(Goblet of Fire 251).

Bouillabaisse is, as Hermione goes on to say, a French dish which many find quite tasty. As a vegetarian (even before I was a vegetarian), I do not care to eat fish of any kind. While it is likely possible to create a vegetarian version of bouillabaisse, it would require creating so many subtly different flavors of seitan that I would be cooking for days.

However, if you do enjoy the flavors of seafood, I recommend that you give bouillabaisse a try. There is a promising looking recipe in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beef Casserole

Today's food item follows Malfoy's appearance as the amazing bouncing ferret (though it has nothing to do with that delightful scene):

"Harry and Hermione both laughed, and Hermione began doling beef casserole into each of their plates" (Goblet of Fire 207).

Beef cassrole is of course mentioned again in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Hagrid serves it to our trio... and in it they discover a suspicious talon! Casserole is, in my mind, an amalgam of veggies and protein and usually noodles. The recipe we're making today is from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, and has no talons. It reminds me more of a stew than a casserole, but it is tasty nonetheless. I'll be tweaking the recipe a bit for the vegetarian factor, so here we go!

You Will Need:
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1.5 pounds vegetarian steak substitute (I used Gardein Beefless Tips)
1 onion, finely chopped (my onions were really teeny, so I used two)
1 celery rib, finely chopped
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
3 cups No-Chicken broth
1 Tbs tomato paste
10 oz mushrooms, sliced (I only used 8oz)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet on the stovetop.
2. Add the onion and celery. Cook over medium heat until the onion turns brown, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, 10-15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and celery and stir until absorbed/dissolved.

4. Add the broth while stirring.

5. Add the tomato paste, mushrooms, beefless tips, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.

6. Cover the skillet and transfer it to the oven. Bake the casserole for two hours. Stir at least every 30 minutes so the bottom doesn't burn.

7. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Even though this doesn't meet my personal qualifications as a "casserole" (definitely more of a stew, I think), it's still quite delicious, and an excellent protein source. It's also a super easy meal you can prep, go live your life for two hours, come back and it's ready to eat! Enjoy!