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Create fantastic treats with these recipes from the updated Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

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Nov 14, 2018

Fans of Harry Potter who haven't had their fill of J.K. Rowling's wizarding world yet are in luck. The upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will add lots of new information and lore to Harry Potter's menu, and an updated cookbook will do the same, literally, here in the muggle world.

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, a creation of longtime foodie and Harry Potter fan Dinah Bucholz, makes some of the most delectable dishes in Harry Potter a reality, no House Elf chefs required. Bucholz first had the idea for the cookbook while rereading Order of the Phoenix before the release of Half-Blood Prince. To her, the food in the series was so interesting with such great descriptions that they "really makes your mouth water when you're reading it."

"You can almost taste it. I said 'I wonder if I'm the only one wondering what treacle tart is? It sounds so good and Harry Potter loves it, but what is it?'" she tells SYFY WIRE.

That set Bucholz on the path to writing a book that features recipes for pumpkin juice, Kreacher's French onion soup, lemon drops, and much more. She went through the entire Harry Potter series again to note all references to food because she wanted to create a cookbook with recipes for everything mentioned.

"I wanted the fans to be able to find recipes for any of the foods mentioned in the series, so some of the foods are as simple as bacon and eggs. Some are more complex layer cakes," she explains. "Some of its food that's familiar to Americans. Some of it is food that would be familiar to British fans of the books, but not to Americans. And so, for Americans, they're very intriguing — like the treacle tart."

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

Credit: Adams Media

Bucholz worked hard to make sure the recipes would be authentic and that treacle tart is a perfect example of her approach. She researched its history, how it's evolved, its basic components, and just what treacle is. From there she created her own recipe, testing it over and over to tweak it until she was happy. Some recipes went through this process dozens of times. Creating the cookbook took her about three years.

Since the book's initial publication, there's been an exclusive expanded edition with 30 new recipes. The new recipes include some that Bucholz left out the first time due to copyright concerns. Butterbeer, in fact, was not in the first edition to the consternation of some fans.

"A lot of people were very upset. It's like the most popular drink in the series and it's not in the book? How could it not be in the book? I didn't put it in because I thought J.K. Rowling invented it," Bucholz recalls. "Then I discovered, later on, there's actually a recipe for buttered beer in a 16th-century cookbook so that gave me permission to use it and I put that in the expanded edition."

To Bucholz that expanded edition is the book fans have been wanting, with improved recipes as well as new ones. It's currently exclusively available at Target, but she hopes it will become more mainstream soon. It has to her, everything from Harry Potter that is doable in a home kitchen. That includes a recipe for Bertie Botts Every Flavor Jelly Beans, however, since they're impossible to make without the right equipment, they're not quite real jelly beans.

It's such creative twists though that still allow fans to bring these recipes to life and make the cookbook a fun option for everyone that has dreamed of purchasing something off the Hogwarts Express trolley. Plus if you only want to try some of the recipes and not the whole book, you have that option as well. Smaller ebooks based on specific themes featuring select recipes from the cookbook are also available. For example, you can go with a magizoology theme with A Fantastic Beasts & Treats menu with recipes from the book like sugar mice or prepare for the holidays with A Magical Christmas menu containing 16 recipes such as Mrs. Weasley's hot chocolate.

Those Potterheads who only want to try one or two magical recipes are in luck! We have four of Bucholz's recipes right here. Try your hand at two types of butterbeer, pumpkin pasties, and fluffy "cauldron cake" pancakes below!

Excerpted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike Copyright © 2010 by Dinah Bucholz and published by Adams Media, a division of Simon and Schuster. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

BUTTERBEER

Butterbeer is one of the most popular drinks in the wizarding world, and when Harry has his first butterbeer during a sneak visit to Hogsmeade, he finds it to be the most delicious drink he has ever tasted (see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10). But what is this most warming and comforting of drinks? Is it Buttered Beere, as described in a 16th-century cookbook? Is it more like a cream soda? Recipes for both concepts follow.

Makes 2 servings

1 12-ounce bottle beer

1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar, according to taste

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces

¼ teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan combine the beer, sugar, and spices and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until steaming hot, then temper the egg yolks and add to the mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is steaming hot but not boiling. This will be hard to tell as it is very foamy. Turn off the heat.

Add the butter and vanilla and whisk until the butter is melted and combined. Pour the Buttered Beere through a strainer into another pot or directly into 2 mugs.

Note: This drink is very filling, so have it after a light meal. If you find it too thick for your taste, use two egg yolks.

"CREAM SODA" BUTTER BEER

Makes about 1 gallon

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

4 cups water, divided

2 tablespoons corn syrup

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Ice, for serving

Cold seltzer, for serving

Place the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, cream of tartar, and 2 cups of the water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Wash the sides down with a pastry brush dipped in hot sugar. Clip a candy thermometer to the pot and cook on a medium flame until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F. As the mixture approaches 300 degrees F, stir to prevent burning.

Turn off the heat and add the remaining 2 cups water and stir quickly. Turn the heat back on and continue to cook until any hardened parts of the mixture are liquefied again. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Transfer the syrup to a container and cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.

To serve, fill a tall glass with ice. Add three tablespoons of the syrup and top with the cold seltzer. Stir gently.

PUMPKIN PASTIES

To Harry's surprise, the snacks witch on the Hogwarts Express isn't selling Heath Bars or Doritos. For the first time in his life, Harry pulls out some money and buys as many treats as he wants, which include Pumpkin Pasties (see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 6).

Ingredients | Makes 6 pasties

Pasty Crust

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks

3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into chunks

4–6 tablespoons ice water

Filling

1 cup canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling

¼ cup granulated sugar

1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter and shortening over the flour mixture. Pulse about 15 times until the mixture resembles coarse yellow meal, with no white powdery bits remaining.

2. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of cold water over the mixture. Toss the mixture together with a spatula until it starts clumping together. If it's too dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time (better too wet than too dry). Gather the dough into a ball and pat it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

3. Combine the pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll out the dough 1⁄8-inch thick. Use a saucer to cut out 6-inch circles.

4. Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each circle of dough. Moisten the edges with water, fold the dough over the filling, and crimp with a fork to seal the edges. Cut slits to make vents. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 30 minutes or until browned.

Imagine biting into a pasty only to discover you've just chomped down on a whole bird, skin and bones and all. Yuck! But in the Middle Ages, huge too-tough-to-eat pasties enclosed whole birds or whole beef roasts. Today the most common pasty is the Cornish pasty, but in Cyprus a pasty filled with pumpkin and crushed wheat is a popular treat.

BIG, FLUFFY PANCAKES

In the wizarding world this dish is called Cauldron Cakes. Harry sees them for the first time on the witch's trolley on board the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. He generously shares with Ron, who finds his dry corned beef sandwich unappealing (Chapter 6).

Ingredients | Makes about 11 large pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2⁄3 cup granulated sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 stick butter (8 tablespoons), melted

2½ cups whole milk mixed with juice of 1 lemon, left to sit at room temperature until thickened or microwaved for 30 seconds to 1 minute until thickened

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Marmalade, for serving

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Drizzle in the melted butter while whisking vigorously. Whisk in the milk.

2. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Whisk the two mixtures together briefly until just combined. The batter may be lumpy. Take care not to overmix or the pancakes will come out tough.

3. Spray an 8-inch skillet with cooking spray. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Pour ½ cup of batter into the skillet and cook until the surface bubbles and the bottom is golden brown (check by lifting gently with a fork). Cook on the other side for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden. Remove the cake from the pan and repeat until all the batter is used up, spraying the pan with cooking spray between each pancake.

4. Dust the pancakes with confectioners' sugar or serve with a dab of marmalade.

The humble pancake had an exciting birth. Frantically trying to use up all their butter, milk, and cream by Lent, housewives fried stacks and stacks of the stuff. One legend has a housewife flipping pancakes while running to church to be shriven (receive penance for her sins). So Shrove Tuesday became known as Pancake Day, a day when pancake-eating contests are still held. Women in some towns race to church while carrying frying pans filled with pancakes. The prize? A prayer book.

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