Sunday, January 15, 2012

Butterbeer from Harry Potter

Since Eric gave me the last three Harry Potter movies for Christmas, we decided to have a Harry Potter marathon that started on Christmas Eve with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and ended just last week with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two. For the occasion I made up a batch of butterbeer. This seems to be the most popular recipe out there on the web. I found it on at least a dozen sites, but who originated the recipe, I don't know. It's extremely sweet. So sweet that I wasn't able to finish my drink. Eric not only drank my butterbeer, but finished off the whole batch and gave himself a stomachache as well as a sugar buzz.

In the movies we noticed that the butterbeer had a more orange  than brownish yellow color.

1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
6 cups cream soda

Special Equipment: Candy thermometer

In a saucepan, bring the brown sugar and water to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Allow to boil until the mixture reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer then remove from heat. Add butter, salt, cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add rum extract (I used dark rum that we had in the pantry instead).

Mix 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat for about 3 minutes or until you've made whipped cream.

Divide the brown sugar between four tall glasses, about a 1/4 for each glass. Divide the cream soda between the glasses and stir to combine the two layers. Add a layer of whipped cream to each glass, about 1/4 cup. Serve at room temperature.
Chances are I'm not going to make this again, at least not anytime soon. It's more of a special occasion beverage than an everyday drink. However, I do love Harry Potter and to entertain, so somewhere in the distant future, I may have a Harry Potter party and make a bunch of food featured in the books and movies. Here's what I would/will change if/when I make it again: add less brown sugar mixture to the soda cream and add zero brown sugar mixture to the whipped cream. The whipped cream is the only ingredient that really helps cut the sugar.

There is also a cold, alcoholic version of butterbeer for the adults that we tested out. 1 part butterscotch schnapps, 2 parts cream soda. Add ice and top with unsweeted, homemade whipped cream. Again this is a very sweet drink, nothing I'd drink on a regular basis. Actually, I prefer it as a shot, minus the whipped cream, of course.



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