On Saturday I (TBP) made my way to Bryt’s, of Food in Literature fame, Harry Potter party. When I throw a party, I throw a mean party, so believe me when I say this was above and beyond all realm of ordinary decorating.
To skip straight past these pictures to my Harry Potter themed recipes just click these links:
As soon as I walked in the door I transported, almost as if by floo powered, to what my brain could only conceive of as a tiny version of Hogwarts. I need you to know that upon entering childlike delight took hold of me and I ran around gasping with my eyes wide for at least 15 minutes.
Prior to all this I had been envisioning the perfect food to eat at such a party. I foolishly had thought it was an afternoon tea originally and had planned as such! So I made only dessert snacky things, which, all in all, was ok since we had quite enough dinner!
My first step is, as always, check the wiki. In the end I decided on Spindle’s Lick’O’Rish, fungus covered nuts (which are smelly enough a ghost can almost taste it) and chocolate truffle snitches. The latter idea I got from Pinterest though, and not the wiki. The last was the wine Sainte-Stephenie Chardonnay, which I thought would be easy done, just print out a label and stick it on a bottle (never listen when I say something is easy).
Note: Making liquorish with liquorish root wont taste like store bought liquorish! Store bought liquorish is always made with anise extract.
4 tbsp unsalted butter
½C brown sugar
1/4C light corn syrup
1/4C sweetened condensed milk
1/4C blackstrap molasses
⅛ tsp. kosher salt
½C wholemeal flour
1½ tbsp liquorish root powder
1. If you have time you can probably order a set of spider molds online, however, if like me you take a trip to Spotlight the week before and find none, you’ll need to improvise. I took some paper clay that I bought, pushed a plastic spider from Halloween into it, covered that with alfoil, and then rolled the spider into it again, making sure not to tear the alfoil. Now if your plastic spider is fat and makes a deep impression you can just put the liquorish straight into the mold. If not, like me, get an egg ring or a round pie cutter or a cookie cutter, and put this around the spider impression. You’ll be pushing the liquorish into the sides of this so that you get the spider impression and a circle of liquorish.
2. Have the flour and liquorish root powder well mixed in a small bowl. Mix the butter, sugar, syrup, milk, molasses, and salt in a small bowl. You only want to make up enough mixture for the amount of spider molds you have, I made 4 spider molds and so I did about a 5th of the mixture at a time, about 3 heaped tablespoons of wet mixture. Boil the wet mixture and remove from heat at 130 degrees Celsius. Now pour into flour and liquorish powder and mix in enough dry mixture to come to the consistency of stiff caramel, the ratio doesn’t need to be exact.
3. Then take about a tablespoon (or the amount to fit your spider mold) and drop into your spider, pressing down with the back of a spoon. The mixture will still be hot so careful not to burn yourself! Let cool for in the mold for about 5 mins, and then on baking paper for about 30 mins. The liquorish doesn’t go toffee hard, and if it’s hot will melt. So keep cold and separate stacks of spiders with baking paper.
The recipe is adapted from Sauveur’s liquorish recipe.
Fungus Covered Nuts
2C unsalted roasted peanuts
3 dashes of green food colouring
1 dash of blue food colouring
1.5tspns of salt
1. Heat peanuts, sugar, water and food colouring in a large frypan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is grainy and crystallized, 15 to 18 minutes. (Sugar should not caramelize.)
2. Raise heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until sugar just starts to melt again. Turn down the heat if it starts to burn. Sprinkle with salt. Once peanuts are coated, with some crystallized sugar remaining, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; spread into a single layer using a rubber spatula.
3. Transfer sheet to a wire rack, and let stand until cool for about 15 mins and then break the nuts apart to make sure they don’t solidify as one large sugar-nut mass.
4. After 15 mins, stick the nuts into clear cellophane and tie up with rough string and tie a little ghost to the string. Make up your own ghost stencil or copy mine from the photo. I cut out a little stack using a scalpel knife and because I was cutting through 15 sheets it came out a little rough, but I think it gave each ghost a little character!
This was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Sugar-Candied Peanuts recipe.
Chocolate Ginger Snitch Truffles
Note: I didn’t actually have time to complete these for the party, so instead of attaching the wings I placed them next to the truffles. Also originally I wanted to coat the balls with ginger instead of truffle but it made them overwhelmingly gingery and ended up not tasting like chocolate. I’d suggest if you didn’t want to coat in glitter give a final coat of ginger after rolling in cocoa.
200g dark chocolate, chopped
30ml whipping cream
2 tablespoons port
1/2 to 1 tbspn of ginger
1/4C cocoa powder, sifted
Gold edible glitter
100g white chocolate, chopped
1. Place dark chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, add the ginger and port and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
2. Remove from the fridge and allow to stand for 5–10 minutes or until softened slightly. Roll 2 teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Toss the truffles in the cocoa to coat. Do not cover in glitter straight away, the mixture is porous and will waste a lot of your edible glitter. Once you’ve rolled each in cocoa and it’s less wet, roll in gold glitter. Set aside.
3. On baking paper use this stencil to draw enough wings for the number of truffles you’ve made (I made about 15). Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Use a bread knife to drop about a teaspoon of mixture onto each wing drawn on the paper. Use the knife to shape each wing and scrape around each wing to give a well defined edge. Make sure to leave enough white chocolate for attaching each wing to the truffles. Set in the fridge for 30 mins or until hard.
4. Take the truffles a use a corner of a paper towel to wipe away the cocoa and glitter from two points where you’ll attach the wings. Remelt the leftover white chocolate using the method above and use a butter knife or similar to out about a 1/4 tspn onto the square end of two opposing wings. Stick both onto the bare patches on the truffle and hold until dry (should be no more than a minute). Store delicately in an air tight container.
This was adapted from Donna Hay’s Chocolate and Ginger Truffles.
1. Take a bottle of chardonnay (I used a clean skin for ease of removing the label, and there’s no branding on the screw-top).
2. Print and cut out this label I made.
Optional: wet the label and tear to give a distressed look.
3. Attach to the bottle with glue (I used wood glue because that’s what I had).
All in all a great night, would definitely do again!