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!