Harry Potter and the Deathly Mince Pies

Whoa. We have been baking up a storm in all this Harry Potter excitement! Today, we’ve got mince pies, which are a British Christmas thing, but they’re also really good in July!
Mince Pies are a sweet mixture of raisins and other dried fruits, but traditionally have some pretty nasty animal products in them that I won’t mention here.
I based the recipe for the filling on Alton Brown’s Mincemeat Pie recipe and the crust was based on a recipe from The Joy of Baking for shortcrust.  I don’t think mincemeat traditionally has cinnamon, but I don’t especially like clove or allspice, so I just used cinnamon and nutmeg.

I’m really happy with the way these came out! I hope you enjoy!

Recipe follows

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Chocolate-Covered Pretzel “Wands”

Lumos.

Chocolate-covered pretzel “wands” almost feel like a cop-out post, because they’re easy to make and simple to veganize… you just have to make sure your pretzel rods and chocolate chips are vegan. However, I’ve added a special twist to regular ol’ chocolate-covered pretzels: clear sugar sprinkles on the end to make them look like they’re casting a spell. I also sprayed the ends with silver food spray paint (found at a craft store in the cake decorating section) to make them shimmer.

Ingredients:
20 pretzel rods
1/2 C chocolate chips
2 tsp vegetable shortening
Clear sugar sprinkles, edible glitter, or turbinado or demerara sugar

Directions
If you don’t have a double boiler, fashion a makeshift one by putting water inside a medium-large pot and putting another, slightly smaller pot inside. Melt chocolate and shortening in the smaller pot over medium-low heat, stirring often.

Dip one end of each pretzel rod in the chocolate, twirling to make sure all sides are covered. Gently dip the tip in the sugar and place on wax paper to set. Repeat for each pretzel rod.

Optional: Once set, spray the ends with silver food color mist.

 

Nox.

Dumbledore’s Gay Cake

Though not explicitly stated in the books, J.K. Rowling has revealed in interviews that she has always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Of course, when you look closely at his relationship with Grindelwald it all makes sense… For instance, Bathilda Bagshot was quoted as saying of the two “they got on like a cauldron on fire.”

 

Well, one thing that I’m known for is making gay cakes, so of course I had to make a Dumbledore gay cake! This cake is lemon flavored, something that would please Dumbledore himself… remember the password to his office in Chamber of Secrets? Lemon drop! I used the lemon gem cupcake recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance for the cake, and topped and decorated it with a basic vegan buttercream.

Three cheers for Grindeldore!

Kris is at it again! Dementor’s Kiss and Mrs. Weasley’s Fudge

Our pal Kris from Nom! Nom! Nom! has been cooking up a storm in these last days before the final (*sob) movie premiere!

First up, she’s got some aptly named (they’re full of garlic!) Dementor’s Kiss bread twists, made in the shape of the Dark Mark. As an evil witch myself (remember my Delightfully Dark Mark cookies?), I very much appreciate these.

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, she’s got Mrs. Weasley’s Easy-as-Magic Fudge! Mrs. Weasley cooks up the best food ever, so if it’s got her name on it you know it’s going to be great (and easy, because she is one busy mama)!

 

Cornish Pasties

It seems like all the Hogwarts kids eat dessert 24/7, but they have to eat real food sometimes, too, right? Ron shoves a Cornish Pasty into his mouth at some point during the Triwizard Tournament, so I take it these are probably not an everyday Hogwarts food.  These savory pockets of dough filled with seitan, carrots, potatoes and onions do seem like they’d make a great spectator food!

Technically, I don’t think I’m allowed to call these Cornish Pasties because they don’t have the traditional turnip or rutabaga and they weren’t made in Cornwall, but I did my best to stick to tradition even though I added some spices and wine, which traditional recipes don’t have.

What I really like about these is that you don’t need to cook the filling before filling the pies – the traditional recipes seem to just place the meat and veg right onto the dough and bake.  For this reason, it’s important that you cut your potatoes and vegetables pretty small, so that they can cook through before the dough gets too crunchy.  Seitan is perfect in these, but I bet some marinated tempeh or fake chicken strips would be great, too.

Dough

This is the empanada dough from Veganomicon without the cornmeal and it’s the easiest to work with, flakiest crust I’ve ever made.  It’s the same as the pumpkin pasties, but with whole wheat flour and a bit more margarine.

2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat)

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup non hydrogenated shortening

2 tablespoons non hydrogenated margarine

½ – ¾  cup cold water

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.  Add the shortening in small chunks and mix on low-med speed until the dough is crumbly and resembles pebbles.  Add the vinegar to ½ a cup of the water and add slowly while the mixer is going or in batches if not using an electric mixer.    The dough should form a ball.  If it’s still crumbly add a little more water until it holds together.   Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Pasty Filling

12oz seitan cut into 1/4 inch cubes

6-8 oz potatoes (4 small potatoes) – peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes

1 cup of carrots – diced into 1/4 inch cubes

1 small onion, diced

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/4 cup white wine or broth

Preheat the oven to 375. In a bowl combine the seitan, potatoes, carrots and onions.  Add the salt,pepper, thyme, rosemary and wine. Mix and set aside while you roll out the dough.

Roll the dough into a circle that is about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut the dough into 6 or 7, six inch circles. I used my 4 cup measuring cup for this. I got 4 circles the first time, and then three more rolling out the scraps.

Take a circle and roll it out a bit more with your rolling pin and put a heaping 1/4 cup of filling into the center of the dough.  Fold the dough over and press with a fork to seal the edges.  Place the pasties on a baking sheet and cut three slits in the top of each and then brush with some unsweetened non-dairy milk to make them shiny.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are golden brown and you can poke a knife or fork through one of the slits and feel that the potatoes are done.

A Very Potter New Year at Vegan Dad

Nathan Kozuskanich, AKA Vegan Dad, had a totally awesome vegan Harry Potter-themed new year complete with games, HP movies, and of course… food! The menu included butterbeer, Deathly Hallows pretzels, and treacle tart. Click links for recipes!! Everything looks great.

1/15/10 edit: Vegan Dad added the last recipe for his Very Potter New Year’s party to his blog just yesterday! He made Hogwart’s Tofu with Roasted Vegetables, a dish based off of the meat-and-potatoes Ron’s always stuffing his face with in the Great Hall.

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