Happy (belated) birthday, Hermione!

Herminone Jean Granger turned 35 on Sept 19th. Happy Birthday, Hermione!  My first thought for Hermione’s birthday was MCDHAPO EC495that, being the daughter of dentists, she’s probably not into a super sweet cake. I bet she stays away from sweets as much as one possibly can in the wizarding world. Since there wasn’t much talk of Hermione and food in the books, I turned to Emma Watson’s favorites. Emma Watson is pretty darn amazing, so I feel confident that she and Hermione may have liked the same things. I also really like to imagine that Hermione is vegetarian or vegan since starting SPEW seems like a pretty vegan thing to do.

I found this short interview about some of Emma Watson’s favorite things and they seem like things Hermione might also like.

First:

“Mexican food. I make a really amazing [tofu] tortilla in the morning. It’s my special thing. I make guacamole, salsa, and scrambled [tofu], and then I cook the tortilla. It’s pretty simple, really, but yummy.”

This one is really easy to make vegan! It sounds like she’s talking more about a breakfast burrito than a Spanish tortilla. My personal preference for tofu scramble lately is super simple. No added vegetables. No chopping. No real prep involved. It makes for the perfect quick breakfast, lunch or dinner and it goes with any type of cuisine. Vegan Mom’s Tofu Scramble from Vegan Dad is the best. 

Second:

“…chocolate chip banana bread, which I’m obsessed with. I think I’ve made it five times in the past three weeks. “

My favorite banana bread is the Lower Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon. It’s not posted online officially, but Isa has two other fabulous banana breads on her blog that you can easily add chocolate chips to. I think Hermione would be into these.
1. Marbled Banana Bread
2. Zucchini Banana Bread

Mini Post: Golden Wonder smoky bacon crisps

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Yay, these are suitable for vegetarians and no whey or other weird milk products. These and the salt and vinegar crisps by the same brand were the only non-sweet snack I found in Harry Potter. Great to eat along with the sandwich you made in your hotel room using peanut butter and jelly packets you got from the continental breakfast.

Oh, you can also get a side of chips (fries) if you want to eat in the Leaky Cauldron or Three Broomsticks.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Firewhiskey

Are you still fawning over Gilderoy Lockhart? Do you want to get him a large bottle of Odgen’s Old Firewhiskey for his birthday but don’t know where to find it? Not to worry, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you gifted him a bottle of Sazerac’s Fireball instead. It’s easy to find even in muggle stores, and is probably  named for the burning sensation as it goes down–much like what you’d expect from the breath of a Chinese Fireball.

For the more enterprising of you (and those who want to serve Firewhiskey to underage wizards), you can even make your own Firewhiskey! All you need are Atomic Fireballs, whiskey and/or apple juice.

We used 1 atomic fireball per ounce of liquid. Initially we tried using less, but it wasn’t enough. However, if you don’t like spicy things you may want to start with less and add more as needed.

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Leave the candy/juice or whiskey mixture to sit for about 6 hours until the fireballs are mostly dissolved.  Warning: your drink will turn REALLY red. It won’t look like whiskey or apple juice anymore. It looks like something brewed up by Professor Snape. This would be fun to serve out of a cauldron!

Next, simply strain the mixture and enjoy! And don’t forget about these awesome labels you can print!

*note: make sure you label this stuff well. You won’t be able to tell the difference between juice and whiskey unless you sniff it. Whiskey is on the right, apple juice on the left in the Ask Me Another shot glass.

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Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Cake

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He also ordered a variety of food that had been tainted to make it stronger, and therefore more likely to be possible for ghosts to taste. This food included large, rotten fish on handsome silver platters, cakes burned charcoal-black, heaped on salvers, maggoty haggis, mouldy cheese, and, in pride of place, an enormous grey cake in the shape of a tombstone, which had his name and date of death written on it in tar-like frosting.

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Disclaimer: I am awful at cake decorating, particularly writing on cakes. It looks like a 5 year old made it or a ghost who isn’t particularly corporeal!

Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington died on October 31st 1492 and here’s a cake to celebrate his 500th deathiversary. I made this cake using magic, or just straight up cheating, really. It’s a soda cake made with a box cake mix and canned frosting. Vegan versions of Duncan Hines cake mix and Pillsbury frosting are pretty easy to find in the grocery store. Many of the brands have no animal ingredients. What’s a soda cake, you ask? Well, you just take a 12 ounce can or bottle of soda and mix it into your cake mix, skipping the oil and there’s no need for an egg substitute. The cake comes out a little more crumbly, but it’s still moist and tastes pretty much the same. Plus, no measuring. I used a black cherry soda, but it seems like you can’t really taste the soda very much, so you could probably even use seltzer.

Bake the cake in a 13×9″ pan at 350 degrees for 35-35 minutes. Let it cool and then transfer it to a cookie sheet or whatever platter you have that will hold the cake. I found that it was easier to put it in the freezer overnight before trying to cut it into the tombstone shape.

Then I added some black food color gel to the frosting in the can. Add only a teeny tiny bit. If you add too much it will turn totally black. That stuff is potent! I did a quick crumb coat so the cake wouldn’t get too messy and stuck it back in the freezer for about half an hour. Next, I coated the whole cake in tombstone-gray colored frosting and stuck it back in the freezer for another 20 minutes or so. Lastly, I added some extra black food color to the frosting to make it darker and wrote on it using the plastic baggie with a frosting tip “technique.” as you can see it makes for some beautiful, ghostly writing. *sarcasm*

You can also add some black food color to the cake if you want to make it black.  Don’t do what I tried to do initially and add a bunch of black cocoa powder to the cake without compensating with extra sugar unless you like your cake to be bitter!

This was fun and really pretty easy using all cake mix and canned frosting.

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Ton-Tongue Toffee Bars

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Ton-Tongue Toffees are a classic from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes that hold a special place in Dudley Dursley’s heart. Toffee Bars from the Betty Crocker cookbook hold a special place in my heart because they were one of the first things I baked when I was a kid, and I used to make them all the time. I haven’t had them in years, but they are very easy to veganize by using margarine/earth balance and substituting 1 tablespoon ground flax and 3 tablespoons water for the egg. I think you could get away with leaving the egg out all together, but they might be a little bit more like shortbread.  My favorite part of these is spreading the chocolate on at the end.

If you wrap them up in cute little papers like candies, they would be perfect for a Potter party favor.

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