Despite recently wandering into the worlds of Woolf and Joyce, the first book I was to open after finishing my summer exams was a well-thumbed copy of Harry Potter, suggesting the series retains much of the appeal it held to my childhood self, even if now fuelled by nostalgia. Yet I was not to be disappointed, once more finding myself lost in the intricacies of Diagon Alley, exhilarating Quidditch matches, roaring fires and, what undoubtedly remains one of the most appealing aspects of Harry’s world, the gloriously rich depiction of food. Retaining a similar place in the hearts of many of us, there is no better excuse than Halloween to indulge this affection and hold your own wizard-themed bash, complete with authentic Harry Potter-inspired edibles. Don’t stop at chocolate frogs and pumpkin pasties – go the whole way and treat your friends to homemade Butterbeer! You could even produce a bottle of Snape’s ‘veritaserum’ to accessorize the standard game of Truth or Dare (find any random, weird looking bottle…) All together this could make for a memorable night; after all, we are in the most Potter-esque university in England!
The following list is composed of the best recipes and ideas I can recommend, after scouring through the internet, so please follow the links to see where the recipes were originally found.
Edible Potter delights: Recipes and Ideas
Although requiring you to buy an appropriately-shaped chocolate mould, these are extremely easy to make.
Once purchased simply melt some chocolate (ideally in a bowl balanced over a saucepan of boiling water), spoon it into the mould and leave to set overnight in the fridge.
For the very committed, you could even make boxes for the frogs and print famous wizard cards!
This site gives a recipe which includes adding a peanut butter filling!
One suggestion to purchase your frog mould –
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HALLOWEEN-CHOCOLATE-FROG-TOAD-MOULD-8-ON-1-MOULD-/311070095590?pt=Uk_Crafts_Cake_Decorating_MJ&hash=item486d38f8e6 (but there are several others on ebay)
These are a little more complicated, but don’t be put off – the final result is epic and delicious, and many corners can be cut to make it easier, such as buying ready-made pastry. Plus pumpkin is pretty good value in Tesco around Halloween!
Make a basic cupcake mixture, adding dark, melted chocolate to the pre-cooked cake mixture.
Once cooked, scoop out a teaspoon’s worth of cake from the centre of each cupcake. These are your cauldrons. Now for the potions! This can be composed of ludicrously coloured icing, poured into the holes made in the centre of each cake. Cool potion effects can be made by swirling together icing of different colours. You can also give your ‘potion’ a more creative consistency by adding small edible items such as raisins – get creative and do Professor Snape proud!
This is an idea stolen from a Hild Bede Winter Ball, wonderfully renamed the Yule Ball, when the formal tables were adorned with glasses filled with cheese straws – labelled for clarity (I recommend you add a label too, to ensure appreciation by those less Harry Potter-minded)!
The photo indicates just how magical cheese straws really can become with a little imagination!
Cake-pops are becoming all the rage, and they can be very simply accessorized to make fabulous golden snitches! You can even buy gold icing for that added accuracy!
Every party needs a good beverage, and this recipe (which can be made alcoholic with the addition of Butterscotch schnapps) is not too hard, but will thoroughly impress your guests.
This one involves a little more cooking, but could produce a more authentic appearance!
Or try an alternative, using ale
Hagrid’s Rock cakes
Our favourite trio may never have been too keen on Hagrid’s frequently-baked delicacy, but we can nonetheless honour our favourite gamekeeper by baking his speciality – and with a little less attention to accuracy, they can be an extremely tasty addition to your range of Potter-inspired edibles!
A signature dish on the Hogwarts dinner table from those trusty house elves who spend their time whipping up fabulous dishes to feed the hungry students! Baking it yourself, however, will appease the ethics behind SPEW and keep Hermione happy!
Ok, these are going to have to just be custard creams – though the committed could provide an appropriately bird-themed hat to be placed on the head of those brave enough to nibble one of those innocent-looking biscuits!
An appropriately ridiculous bird hat – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HALLOWEEN-YELLOW-BIG-BIRD-COSTUME-ADULT-KIDS-HAT-MASK-BIRTHDAY-PARTY-DRESS-UP-/271243542882
And for the very adventurous…
(and those who can also fill the requirement of completely having abandoned the idea of ever writing any essays this term)
Have a stab at The Weasly’s Burrow gingerbread house!
Finally, so far as non-foody ideas…how about adorning your bathroom with a printed picture of Moaning Myrtle?
The wonderful world of Harry Potter is endless, so be as creative as possible!