July 15, 2011

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Anyone fancy a butterbeer? – Hermione Granger

Ahh… have yourself a glass of butterbeer. For those who aren’t Harry Potter fanatics, you must be imaging a big mug of beer with a block of butter bobbing up and down. It’s the popular wizarding beverage that Harry, Hermione, and Ron drink at The Three Broomsticks and The Hog’s Head. Butterbeer has been brought to life at Universal Studios by Chef Steven who supposedly took 15 to 16 tries before he got it right. Upon arriving at the real glass of Butterbeer, J.K. Rowling reportedly took one sip and then reportedly broke into a big smile, saying “Yes, Chef. That’s it.”

Huffington Post.

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 rum extract
Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda

In a small saucepan over medium, 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.

Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.

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, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

“So what exactly is the Universal’s version of Butterbeer?,” you ask. That information — as they say in the military — is classified. On a need-to-know basis. What I can tell you is that this popular beverage is prepared on property. Beyond that, UOR officials are determined to do whatever they have to in order to keep the precise ingredients of this super-popular ale a secret. In direct response to a series of questions that I submitted to Chef Jayson about Butterbeer earlier this year, he admitted that Universal has already “…implanted special security procedures (in order) to protect the recipe.”

“So — that said — what is actually known about this amber ale?,” you query. Well, there are two distinct phases to the preparation / pouring of a glass of Butterbeer. First the bottom layer — a slightly thickened mixture which tastes like a combination of butterscotch, cream soda and shortbread cookies — is poured into the bottom of the glass. Then the Butterbeer’s head — which is this lighter, fluffier, less sweet version of marshmallow fluff — is carefully placed on top of the brown brew that has previously been poured into this glass.

Now where this gets interesting is that those who have tried to smuggle glasses of Butterbeer out of Universal’s Islands of Adventure (and you know who you are) have noticed that — after a half hour or so — this artificial ale loses cohesion. Meaning that the top layer and the bottom layer then blend together, which creates this somewhat unsightly (and — to be blunt — hard to drink) beverage. – Huffington Post

If you don’t get the chance to visit Universal Studios, try out this recipe, It’s super easy! If you live in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse serves Butterbeer and a bunch of other dishes from Harry Potter.


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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