Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In the Spirit of the last Harry Potter... Butterbeer and Pumpkin Pasties

I know it is a bit out of season for a pumpkin dessert and hot drinks, but I thought it would be fun to let my inner geek out in spirit of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  Before heading off to the premier, prepare this festive dessert and pre-movie cocktail to get in the mood.

Today I am experimenting with pumpkin pasties (which are served throughout the series) and butterbeer (adult-style).  When asked what Butterbeer tastes like, JK Rowling reported to Bon Appetit magazine that she made it up and imagines that it tastes like a "much less sickly version of butterscotch".  As I researched into the history of butterbeer, it seems as though it was a real drink in the tudor time period; containing beer, butter, sugar, eggs, nutmeg and cloves.  Very different from what Rowling herself imagined, and this recipe sounds much more delicious!  The new Harry Potter park at Universal serves a non-alcoholic version of this sweet, cold drink, but in the books the drink seemed to have its tasters a bit tipsy, so I went for a alcoholic version.

Many of the recipes online call for butter, sugar, heavy cream, and cream soda, but I couldn't imagine trying to promote such an unhealthy drink, so I am going to attempt for a drink a bit lighter, but just as flavorful.  In the movies Butterbeer is served hot, so I made a hot version for tradition and a cold one for the summer months.

"Lighter" Hot Butterbeer Recipe
Serves 6

1 liter Diet Cream Soda
1 Tablespoon Splenda brown sugar
1 Tbsp light Smart Balance or margarine.
1/2 cup skim milk
3/4 cup Butterscotch Schnapps
Light Whipped Cream

Heat cream soda, margarine, and brown sugar over medium heat.  After the mixture simmers, add skim milk, cinnamon, and Butterscotch Schnapps and take off of heat.  Pour into a mug, top with whipped cream and sprinkle cinnamon.  Enjoy your hot drink!

Nutrition facts: ~115 calories

Cold Butterbeer
1 drink

1 shot of Butterscotch Schnapps
8 oz of diet cream soda

Directions: Serve over ice and shake well.

Nutrition Facts: ~75 calories

Butterbeer Review:  The hot version of this drink was delicious and everyone was commenting on how much they enjoyed it... It was sweet, creamy, rich... everything you would expect from a delicious Harry Potter drink!  The cold butterbeer, in comparison to the hot version, was nothing out of the ordinary.  It tastes very similar to a cream soda, just a bit sweeter.  Next time I would make this a butterbeer float by adding a scoop of ice cream!

Pumpkin Pastie Recipe to come tomorrow...  Tune in for more Harry Potter treats then.

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