Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday -posting two Pern recipes

Today, well yesterday by the time this is published, I made two recipes from the Pern world. I will post them Sunday with pictures of each step and of course the finish products. 1. The dish Fiona makes as a brand new queen rider at Fort Weyr and has to serve to the Weyrleaders and Wingleaders from Todd McCaffrey's DragonHeart. and 2. a version of a drink as old as Pern itself, Klah, which had a lot of input from Todd as well.

Question: Please comment. If I sold packages of Klah mix, with the input Todd gave me, would people be interested in buying bags of it? For how much? The proceeds would go to dragoncon prizes.

The first recipe I had to consult Todd McCaffrey a few times yesterday about mushrooms: Pernooms and Sagooms. I picked correctly from how they were described in the book. Yet here is how our conversation went:

Me: What mushrooms are most similar to pernooms "the hearty ones" and sagooms "the ones you shredded and don't use much of"?
Todd: Sorry, I'm not a mushroom expert. Whatever terrestrial mushrooms we have won't work, that's for sure.
Me: I figured the only meaty kind other than portabello is crimini, mini portabello, and the only kind you can shred is black or white truffle, especially if you only use a little for a lot of flavor
Todd: You might be right. I know that the sagoom I was referring to had a sage-like flavor to it but not as strong.
Me: A couple wild mushrooms especially one in India has a sage flavor off the top of my head
Made it - It was awesome and quite addictive will send you link tomorrow. 

I did end up using the crimini or in most supermarkets labeled baby portabello, then slicing them. I used black truffle OIL for the Sagooms with the crimini and added a dash of sage at the end. The oil is easier to come by and a whole lot cheaper, my large can (like 16oz.) was $10.
Note: Perigord, or black, truffle costs Binkley between $900 and $1,400 a pound, it can be shredded, you only need a little, and it does have that earthly hint of sage taste.

The passage from DragonHeart by Todd McCaffrey in chapter 4, section 3: "Garlic, lots of garlic, she decided, throwing it in the sizzling bowl and stirring it quickly. She found a pepper mill and ground it over the garlic, tossing in only a drop of the soya sauce before stirring more. The smell wafted up enticingly. Pernooms, Fiona decided, looking among the various edible Pernese fungi for the ones she wanted the most. It had a special flavor, piquant, and unlike and other flavor, hearty yet fresh. There! Sagooms. She only needed a few and that was just as well as they were always hard to find. She shredded three and poured them on. The smell changed again and she looked for some vinegar. Yes. Then she was ready for the vegetables. Broccoli, carrots, onions. She added beef and, when it was brown, more soya sauce. A bit more pepper, she decided.
'Done?' Zirana asked, intruding into Fiona's reverie. She didn't wait for Fiona's answer but spooned up a small piece of meat and tasted it. 'Good,' she declared. 'You serve this to the Weyrleader.' -
Tannaz called out from across the hall. 'It's a Fort tradition.'-'Not telling you is also a Fort tradition.'
'Weyrwomen must cook,' Zirana said."
You'll have to wait for Earth directions tomorrow...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cauldron Cakes and Butterbeer

I had bought the unofficial Harry Potter cookbook - it was rubbish. I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and took cues from them, even getting a recipe for their butterbeer (which even though is cold, it warms the soul on a winter day).

Butterbeer is often mentioned as the beverage of choice in Hogsmeade and sometimes pilfered out by the Weasley twins.
First you have to find a suitable creme soda; not the clear stuff. I use the Sugar Free Boylan's as I've tasted many and Boylan's is the best replica.

  • Boylan's Creme Soda (it can be found at World Market, Meijer's, etc)
  • Whipped Cream (you can make it yourself or use a tub - I usually make it myself with heavy whipping cream and a cracker for aeration).
  • Butterscotch flavoring
1. Pour the cold creme soda into a mug. 2. Take the whipped cream and add a touch, not, much of butterscotch flavoring. 3. Take a dollop of the whip cream mixture and carefully put it into the creme soda; then mixed it to give that frothy look.

Don't fill the mug up all the way with soda or it with fuzz and overflow. Plus you can add more whipped cream mixture on the top.

Chocolate Cauldron Cakes
These are often eating by the Hogwarts students on the Hogwart's Express train to school.
You can make the chocolate cake yourself with any chocolate cake recipe however, I cannot have sugar so I had to use Betty Crocker's Sugar-Free box mixture and my normal French chocolate cake would not suit this recipe. Also you can make the chocolate mousse (recipe below) or buy the Jello Chocolate Mousse pudding cups in the refrigerated area.

  • Chocolate Cake Batter (any plain chocolate with do, no fancy ones)
  • Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate Bar if you don't like Dark (not cheap bars, but Russell Stover's or Dove, etc. as they don't contain as much oils)
  • Chocolate Mousse (Direction's below)
Directions: 1. Bake the chocolate batter in cupcakes. 2. When cool, make a hole in the cupcake (with the hole maker, a grapefruit spoons, an apple corer, carefully with a knife). 3. Fill the cupcakes with the chocolate mousse. 4. Melt the chocolate bar. 5. Fill a piping bag (or cut the tip of a ziplock bag to make one) with the melted chocolate. 5. Take a cold baking sheet with cooking parchment over it and pipe out long sticks and the same amount of arches that are the size of the diameter of the cupcake top. 6. Once these harder (you may need to stick the sheet in the freezer again), scrape the chocolate formations of the sheet. 7. Place the arch over the cupcake like the handle of the cauldron and stick the chocolate stick into the mouse like a cauldron ladle.

Tips: you can use the left over "cupcake wholes" by putting a little frosting on them for a mini-dessert.

Chocolate Mousse:
1 1/2 c. Heavy Whipping Cream (can use down to half & half, but it is richer with heavy)
1 tb. Sugar (or in my case, 1 package Splenda)
1/2 c. Chocolate Syrup (I use the Sugar-Free kind in the Ice Cream aisle)
You will need my favorite piece of kitchen equipment: the whip cream charger and nitrous oxide cartridges (look for more recipe ideas in the tips).

Directions: Take a whipped cream charger and pour 1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, the sugar or splenda, and the chocolate syrup into the charger. 2. Screw the top of the charger on really tight and shake the ingredients together really well. 3. Place the nitrous oxide cartridge into it's chamber on the charger and you should hear a smooth SHORT air sound that means the chamber top is filling up with air. If you hear a lot of air and it goes on for awhile, you didn't screw the top on correctly and all the nitrous oxide escaped. 4. Place in refrigerator, and take out when ready to use, but be sure to shake it first again and make sure it is coming out in a stead steam an not spurts by testing it in the kitchen sink first.

Tips: You can use the same base of heavy whip cream with blended fruit, other syrups. So essentially you could make strawberry, butterscotch (like for the Butterbeer), or even maple syrup mousse with just these two other ingredients and a charger. Around Christmas, my family always have to buy more nitrous oxide chargers for all the drinks and desserts.

This is the Whip Cream Charger that I use and it has been working for 10 years:

I will be making these soon again and will add pictures then. :-)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I created a page about how this blog came to be:

I will post my recipe for chocolate cauldron cake and butterbeer from the Harry Potter Series soon. The next recipe will be a Pern one; and following that one from Game of Thrones.