Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harry Potter Cauldron Cakes

First off, I know not everyone out there is a Harry Potter fan and
not everyone is an avid fan as some of us. If you’ve never read the
books, watched the films, or taken part in the wizarding world of
J.K. Rowling, I strongly encourage you to.

It may not change your life, but you may be missing out on some really
good entertainment. What’s all the hype about? It may have just gotten
on your nerves and now you’re ignoring it out of principle. Get over it
and go read the books. Really. Honestly. It’s not high classic literature,
but they are really FUN and undeserving of your contempt.

I am not just saying this because of how much I love swords and
sorcery, or because I was one of those teens those wore capes to the
midnight book releases, or was one of those who finished the last book
in less than 48 hours.

I enjoy fan culture like this because of the sense of camaraderie.
Sure you can go to a rocky horror picture show screening or some other
cult flick and experience the same type of tuned-in energy, but the
whimsy of the whole thing becomes addictive. The HP bug doesn’t turn
off when you leave the theater, it stays with you the whole way home
and the next morning and lingers-- leaving you wanting more!

Cult flicks are tons of fun, all the fans cheer when certain characters
come on or when certain credits roll, but Harry Potter is much more.

I think it also has something to do with how loyal the movies were
to the books and how disappointed I was in the new Star Wars and
Lord of the Rings movies. I’ve given up on comic book films (Scott
Pilgrim excluded). I still enjoy the rebooted films like TRON and
Star Trek etc. But they simply don’t exude the same intoxicating energy
that Harry Potter does.

It is engrossing because of the depth, the detail, and the sheer
extent of character development. For many of us it was also a coming
of age ritual. It was something for us to look forward to each year
and to hide away in when reality got a little low. Hogwarts was a little
escape for each of us and sadly it has come to an end. I was a few years
older than the kids in the books when it first came out, but I was still
growing up while I was reading them. So it truly is the end of an age for
some of us.

Now all the films are out, I plan on going back and rereading the series
(when I get some time-- Eventually). I’ve read the first few books more
than once, but not the later ones. So, I’ve gone a little fuzzy on many of
the details. Besides, it is always fun to go back and try and pick up on
all the little hints when you know what the ending is going to be.

To be honest, the end has left me feeling a little low and really old.
I don’t like waiting for Halloween to costume up. How often to I get to
flaunt my Ravenclaw uniform? For now, I’ll have to bid a fond farewell
to Hogwarts and a turning point in my life-- now I’m coming up to my
quarter-life crisis who knows if anything will catch on like Harry Potter
and steal the hearts of so many muggles... at least in our lifetime!

So lets all raise our butterbeer and pumpkin juice to what was a damn
good, magical decade!

Yes, I saw it opening night-- not the midnight showing, but still...
And of course it was epic! (Surprisingly violent, watch out little ‘uns)

In celebration of Book 7 Part Two, I made some Cauldron Cakes
for your enjoyment. To be honest can’t remember if there was a
description in the books of these or not. So I just made what I thought
Cauldron Cakes sounded like. These are not sweet, so don't expect a
cupcake. They are hearty and look like they were cooked over a cauldron!

Harry Potter Cauldron Cakes

3 cups unbleached wheat flour
3 tbsp powdered sugar
2 3/4 cup non-dairy milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup berry jam
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins, cranberries, cherries or chopped dates

Sift together the dry ingredients.
Mix the oil, jam and curdled non-dairy milk, slowly add to the
dry mix and stir briefly to not over-mix the soda. Add the nuts and
which ever dried fruit you like.

Pour into greased and floured cupcake cups or mini bundt tins.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350•F.

Serve while still warm with powdered sugar and jam.

Try em with some Pumpkin Juice!

Here is also a Vegan version of ButterBeer from PETA2 which sounds
pretty good, except I might add some vanilla vodka or spiced rum
to give it a real kick.

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