Intro to Cooking: Harry Potter Recipes Galore!

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So, the new Harry Potter movie comes out this Friday, and if it’s as good as the trailer makes it seem, I may or may not be catching a midnight showing. (If any of you ladies go to Brown and are donning your wizard robes with Emma Watson, I am totes jealous. Major girl crush here.) And if that’s not enough to get you in a Harry Potter frenzy, the International Quidditch Association’s Quidditch World Cup is taking place right now in New York City.

If you’re planning on recreating some of the magic of either of these grand events at home, I’ve found some mouth-watering recreations of famous Potter treats. Cauldron cakes, butterbeer, licorice wands…all simple to make, and perfect for a dorm party!

Cauldron Cakes

Ingredients: Devil’s food cake baking mix, black licorice

Instructions: Bake devil’s food cake according to box instructions in a cupcake tin. Once the cupcakes have cooled significantly, pop the tops off the cakes, set those aside, and turn over the bottoms. Break apart licorice string and insert into the bottoms of the cakes so it makes a curved handle, forming a cauldron.

Cockroach clusters

Ingredients: 3 bars solid dark chocolate, crispy chow mein noodles, devil’s food cake tops

Instructions: Melt the chocolate in a stovetop pan on low. Mix in the chow mein noodles and let cool until semi-solid but malleable enough to be handled with a spoon. Scoop out spoonfulls of the chocolate and noodles and spread over the extra devil’s food cake pieces and place on wax paper in the refrigerator, letting it cool until solid.

Licorice Wands

Ingredients: Black licorice, 2 bars solid white chocolate.

Instructions: Melt the white chocolate in a stovetop pan on low. Spread over the ends of the licorice to form a handle, and let cool on wax paper in the refrigerator until solid.

Butterbeer

Ingredients: 1 cup Butterscotch schnapps, 7 cups cream soda (a 2-liter bottle is all you need to purchase)

Instructions: Pour the schnapps into the soda just before serving, gently, so as to preserve the “head” of the beer.

….and if you’re ready for something TRULY divine, and a little more fancy, you HAVE to check out these Butterbeer Cupcakes by AmyBites. Check out her website for step-by-step photos to guide you along the process, but this is the recipe:

For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda

For the ganache:
1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy cream

For the buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 16-oz. package powdered sugar
Splash of milk or cream (as needed)

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream your butter until light and fluffy. Add your sugars and beat until well-combined. Beat in your eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then beat in your vanilla and butter flavoring.

Alternate adding your buttermilk, cream soda, and dry ingredients in batches until all are well incorporated. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back to the touch. Cool completely on wire racks.

For butterscotch filling: In a double boiler (heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove), combine butterscotch chips and heavy cream and stir until completely combined and smooth. Cool to room temperature. Fill a squeeze bottle with ganache and insert into the center of each cupcake, squeezing until filling begins to overflow.

For buttercream frosting: Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching desired consistency. Add milk or cream by the Tablespoon as needed. Frost cupcakes and top with a drizzle of butterscotch ganache.

There you have it. Harry Potter heaven.

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