Wednesday, March 28, 2012

As Good As The Real Butter Beer

Last December I went with my husband to Florida where he was attending a Business Conference.  We rented a vacation home for a week and my parents joined us to keep me company while Bruce was at his meetings.  One of the days we were there we visited Universal Studios and “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”. 
At the entry gates of Hogsmead
The Hogwarts Express with the Conductor.

It was the most amazing themed attraction I have ever been to! (Sorry Disney).  There were only 3 rides, but the Hogwarts ride was the best and longest ride I have ever been on, it was amazing!  Even though there were only 3 rides, we spent the entire day just in this section of Universal Studios, where they had recreated the village of Hogsmead as described in the books.  There were so many shops and things to see that the time passed quickly.  We had lunch at “The Three Broomsticks” and of course we had to have the famous butter beer! 
In front of The Three Broomsticks Restaurant
Now if I had ever written a book, especially a book of fantasy, I think I would worry about someone creating an actual item that I had in my book, and I wonder if Ms. Rowling worried about what the butter beer would turn out like.  Well, it is wonderful!  Really, it is one of the best drinks I have ever had! ( I know I am using that phrase a lot but…).   I wanted to have as much as possible because I knew it would be a while before I got to have some again!  You could have it either of two ways, frozen/slushy or just cold.  Bruce had it frozen and I didn’t.  It was quite sweet, so it was more like a dessert than a drink to have with our lunch.  I can still taste it in my memory!
About ready to taste for the first time, Butter Beer!  YUM!!!
When I got home, my mom sent me a copy cat recipe that tastes almost as good as what they had at the park.  She found it in an article by Heather Witherspoon (McClatchy Newspapers), along with a few other “Harry Potter” recipes in addition to the Butter Beer.  I made it for my family one Sunday night when they were all over for dinner, and then I also had it for the neighbors when our street had our Christmas luminary and dessert night.  Everyone that tried it LOVED it!  I slightly tweaked it when I made it for my family to make it a bit easier and it was just as good.  I will put her recipe here then explain the variation that I made:

Butter Beer

1 c light or dark brown sugar
            2 T water
            6 T butter
            ½ t salt
            ½  t cider vinegar
            ¾ c heavy cream, divided
            Four 12-ounce bottles of cream soda

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and water.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240° F on a candy thermometer (I just did the drops in cold water until it forms the soft ball stage).  Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar, and ¼ c. of the heavy cream.  Once the mixture has cooled, stir in rum extract (this is not a typo, I know it is not listed in the ingredients, so I just added 1 teaspoon and it was sufficient.  You may want to add more to according to your taste). 

(*see below))  In a medium bowl, combine 2 T of the sugar mixture and the remaining ½ c of cream.  Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened but not completely whipped, about 2-3 minutes.  To serve, divide the sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about ¼ c per glass).  Add ¼ cup cream soda to each glass and stir to combine.  Then continue to fill each glass to the top with the cream soda, and then spoon some of the whipped topping on top of the soda. 

*(Here is where I changed the recipe)
My alternative:  Instead of following the recipe at this point, here is what I did.  I had 12 ounce cups.  I put 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture into the cup, 1-2 tablespoons of un-whipped heavy cream and mix those in the cup until combined.  Then pour the cream soda into the cup.  It makes its own foam, just like when you make root beer floats, so you don’t need that extra step of whipping up the flavored foam. 
Looking up at Hogwarts from Hogsmead

The Village of Hogsmead

The Frog Choir from Hogwarts singing "Bubble bubble, toil and trouble..." See, Shakespeare is EVERYWHERE!!!

So, try this delicious treat on your Harry Potter fans and it will tide you over until you have a chance to try the real thing when you go to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. 

1 comment:

Kim said...

I want to go. Now. Maybe we should skip Istanbul.