Monday, April 18, 2011

Harry Potter World and Butter Beer

J.K. Rowling created a make-believe magical world of wizarding in literature. And now Universal Studios Theme Park has a for-real world of wizarding in Orlando, Florida that is every bit as magical as the pages it seeks to bring to life. The most exciting part of Harry Potter World isn't a ride, or a shop, or a show. It's just being there. For just a moment, you have the sensation that you have been admitted into the world of butter beer, flying dragons and magical candy. Walking throught the gates, you spot the snow covered (in the heat of spring, no less) houses of Hogsmeade




























with Hogwarts rising in the distance.

Don't stop there. You'll want to head straight over to Honeydukes and Zonkos for zany toys and magical candy. There are two rollercoasters, one for big thrills and one for smaller thrills. We chose Flight of the Hippogriff, which was just thrilling enough for the eleven and under and thirty and over crowd. Anyone in between those ages would want to opt for the Dragon's Challenge. Maybe next time. The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the chief attraction of the park. The serpentine line stretching through the park will tip you off right away. The line will eventually wind through the Hogwart's castle, complete with Dumbledore's office,


talking portraits on the walls, live action newspapers, indoor snow, and the sorting hat. We were paying so much attention to the details, that we forgot to pay attention to this.

When they say that the ride may cause motion sickness, they aren't kidding. The teacups are child's play compared to this ride. This ride bends you sideways, frontways, backwards, and upside-down maybe. I couldn't keep track. If my stomach had been in my pocket, it would have landed on the floor. I confess to closing my eyes for half of the ride to minimize the impact. But the kids loved it. They really loved it. They were frightened by the dementors, whomping willows, and dragons but they weren't at all put off by the topsy-turvy shaking. What is it about kids and getting dizzy? They throw up on airplanes and cars but they laugh their way through the tilt-o-whirl.

My favorite part of Harry Potter World was frozen, edible, and sweeter than a newborn babe. Frozen Butterbeer, my friends. It's a cousin to a rootbeer freeze with whipped cream, but the flavors are butter, toffee, butterscotch and vanilla. The taste is dazzling. The line is horrendous. Don't wait in it. Find one of these servers milling around and give them cash. They will be back momentarily with this. And you will be in butterbeer heaven. I've been playing around in my kitchen, trying to bring you a good copycat. Some recipes combine butterscotch ice cream syrup with cream soda and vanilla ice cream. It's a good shortcut and produces good results. But the from scratchy, caramely, butterscotchy syrup is better. Be sure to put your cream soda in the freezer until it's slushy. A true frozen butterbeer should have little bits of icy soda. Make the magic come to edible life at your house tonight. Cheers!

Frozen Butterbeer

(adapted from Fox News Recipe) Makes four generous servings

Estimated cost: $6.00 1 cup light or dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons water 6 tablespoon butter 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda

8 scoops vanilla ice cream Place your cream sodas in the freezer about 30 minutes before you plan to have butterbeer. (This recipe takes about one hour because of cooling time.) In a small saucepan 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. Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the vanilla extract. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes. To serve, in the bowl of a blender, combine about 1/4 cup brown sugar mixture, 1/2 cup cream soda and two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Blend until smooth. Pour into glass and add additional cream soda to fill to the top. Stir with a spoon to blend. Top with whipped cream mixture. Repeat.

Up Next:

Chocolate Fudge Easter Eggs

17 comments:

Adrienne said...

Yay! Looks like a great place. I have flame tree barbeque ribs in the oven right now....and I'm making a shopping list for butterbeer. Sigh...cheaper than a trip to Orlando I guess.

Katie and Mark said...

I was already dying to go just to see Hogwarts, and now I want to ge even more for the butter beer! :) Cute pictures too.

momof9 said...

I'm going to have to try the Butter Beer, it looks delicious!

Coby said...

Wow, the magic comes to life! I had no idea that someone had gotten around to bringing the food of HP to life as well though:) What an amazing experience, the rides sound fun but the recipe even funner (?) thanks for sharing, my mouth is watering Pru!

Michal said...

Wow.These look AMAZING. And my boys would love Harry Potter World (okay, Jared and I would geek out a little, too!) Can't wait for the right time to make these.

Seth and Julie said...

You did it! I was wondering how you would duplicate a soda. My friend just went to Harry Potter World and Disney and said the butterbeer was their favorite treat of the trip so I am dying to try it. I am also really excited to go there. I think Harry Potter World is what pushed my desire for a Florida trip over the top, since there is nothing like it in the CA parks.

The Japanese Redneck said...

We luv Harry Potter. Sounds like a fun place

sshallenbu said...

We are going in July, can't wait to see everything. It's a surprise 16th birthday present for my son. I know we will have to try the butter beer. Any tips for us while we are there?

Rachelle said...

Thanks for posting this recipe! I'm planning to make it for the premiere of the last Harry Potter movie.

Jenny said...

We went in October & LOVED it! We died over butterbeer & came home & chose the exact same recipe and thought it was about as close as we could get to the theme park original. We've made it every time my son has finished another Harry Potter book and drank it while we watched the movie. For frozen, we've just put the concoction (well, half of it) into our Cuisinart ice cream maker for 20 minutes. Wonderful, slushy, frozen butterbeer!

See my butterbeer post here: http://www.ratetheplateutah.com/2011/06/eat-in-butterbeer.html .

Karen said...

We tried out your recipe a few months ago and really liked it! :) A couple of weeks ago we got to try the concoction at Harry Potter World. It definitely hit the spot! I kept thinking of your post while we were there!

Amy @ Cake Pops said...

What a fun trip this must be to take the kids on. Sounds like quite an adventure.

England Furniture said...

The butter beer sounds quite interesting. Thanks for the post and recipe.

Randi said...

Can't wait to try and make some Butterbeer! Just went to HP World a couple weeks ago. The guy I bought some from mentioned Nilla wafers in the topping?!? Not sure how but might need to play around with it!

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