“From Butterbeer to Cauldron Pie and 150 Other Delicious Recipes for Magicians and Non-Magicians”: This is how the book is presented Cook with Harry Potter, an unofficial recipe book by the American writer and cook Dinah Bucholz inspired by everything that is cooked in the saga of JK Rowling.
A fan of the Harry stories, Bucholz recreated in her own style many of the meals prepared by the characters in the various volumes. Researching ingredients and recipes mentioned by Rowling, she discovered that most of them come from the traditional british cuisine.
In an interview for the YouTube channel “The land that must not be named”, Bucholz, who lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children, told how she came up with the idea of the magical cookbook: “I have read the books several times. and I’ve also seen all the movies more than once. One day, about 15 years ago, I was driving after shopping for food, and suddenly the idea came to me. At home we have a lot of cookbooks that are related to children’s literature”.
The first thing he did when he got home was look for the Harry Potter series, start rereading the first volume of the saga and make notes. “I took all the food references in the books (some are classic British foods, others are so British in nature that they are not known in America). I had to investigate because many ingredients and foods that Rowling names exist, but I did not know them and I thought that she had invented them. What I did next was reinterpret those British recipes in my own way”.
Still, she had to ask Rowling’s lawyers if she could publish the book because most publishers were turning her down for fear of future copyright lawsuits. It is known that the British author is very jealous of her children (and of the generous dividends they have provided), although at the start of the pandemic she released the rights to some of her books for a few days for teachers and students to share.
“My husband had the idea that he write to some author of books about the Harry Potter phenomenon to see how he had solved the problem. An author advised me to write to Rowling’s lawyers to tell them what she planned to do. I did and they told me that my project did not conflict with the author’s rights”. With that “official” letter that said that he could make an “unofficial” cookbook, Bucholz presented the book again in publishers until he got a publisher. The whole process took two years. It took her another year to finish the volume, which is nearly 400 pages long and has more than 150 recipes. Now in its fifth edition, it has sold 1.2 million copies and appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.
Just in case, for fear that Rowling and company would change their minds after the publication of the book, already from the cover, the author and the publishers (the Spanish edition is from Duomo) clarify: “This book is not official or authorized . It is not authorized, endorsed, or endorsed by JK Rowling, her publishers, or Warner Bros. Entertainment.”
“There is one branch of magic that is still open to all: the art of cooking, which combines potions with transmuted substances, plus a touch of herbalism and some divination,” says the author in the introduction. You are right: even the cooks muggles they can prepare Bucholz’s magical recipes. Each is accompanied by precise references from history.
Recipes include treacle tart, Harry’s favorite dessert; butterbeer, which is the favorite drink of magicians; Kreacher’s onion soup, the house elf’s specialty; and pumpkin pies, which are never missing from the Hogwarts Express dessert cart.
Molasses cake (or cane honey)
In a scene from chapter 11 of Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixRon and Hermione argue, but Harry doesn’t intervene. He is busy eating his favorite dessert, treacle tart, which is prepared with a homemade dough and a filling of cane syrup, lemon and breadcrumbs.
For the dough you will need:
For the filling:
Mix the flour, sugar and salt in an electric mixer. Add the pieces of butter. Continue mixing until the dough looks like a puree, with no white areas. Put the mixture in a large bowl. Beat the yolks with the cream and vanilla and pour over the previous mixture. If the dough is dry, add a tablespoon more cream (better wet than dry). Cut the dough in half, forming two discs, wrap in plastic and chill for two hours minimum, three days maximum.
Before stretching the dough, prepare the filling. Heat the cane syrup until it is liquid, over a fire, or in the microwave for one minute. Mix in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, the zest and the lemon juice and beat well.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Take the dough out of the cold. On a floured surface, flatten the largest disc to form a 25 cm circle. Fold it into quarters, brush off excess flour after each fold, and unfold it into a 20cm pan, carefully folding the edges over and pressing the dough against the ribbed sides. Trim the dough so it doesn’t overhang the edge. Flatten the other disk, forming a circle a little less than ½ cm thick. Cut the dough into strips to form the top lattice.
Add the filling over the dough and flatten the top with a silicone spatula. Lay half the dough strips over the filling in one direction and the other half in the opposite direction to form a lattice. Cut what is left over. Carefully paint the strips of beaten egg.
Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the temperature to 190 degrees and continue cooking for another 25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the filling has risen in the center. Serve hot with cream. And enjoy!
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