Menu Monday...er, Wednesday: HAGRID'S CHOCOLATE CAKE with endless rambling about Harry Potter

Bonjour, mes amis! I can't seem to do my weekly menu posts on time (Menu Monday), so I should probably change the name, right? *lol* It's just busy, busy, busy around here! I don't know how other women who work full-time with kids and a husband and a house manage it all. I can't imagine how some go to school, too, while they are already juggling all of that! I can't hardly manage Zach and Hobie and our home while working part-time. *lol*

Anyway, these days I'm living for the weekends. It's not that I hate my job or dislike it--it's just rather boring most of the time, and I know it is not what I am supposed to do with my life. What am I? Good question. Let me know if you find the answer before I do! I'm gearing up to start my first class at Phoenix next month (COM170). Last week I had almost finished reading all of the materials when I signed on Monday to find out that they had updated the class coursework! (This is part of the reason why I did not post then.) So I frantically had to finish up what I hadn't read yet while starting lesson planning and working on my syllabus. Thankfully so much is laid out for Phoenix's first time facilitators, not to mention the fact that a lot of the new material I will be covering was formerly covered in COM172, which I almost taught back in May. Sooo I am probably breaking even right now. :)

I also interviewed with the head of the English department at NWACC to teach composition there. Right now they don't have any openings, but once they do, I should be notified.

Anyhoooooo, unless you are living under a rock (which means you probably wouldn't be reading this anyway), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was released at midnight on Friday!!!!!!!! I had been waiting for this sooo long! It was very serious business. Because much of our journey with Harry Potter had been completed together, Monica and I decided we would attend the opening of this film together, too. We didn't get to go to Part 1 together because Zach and I were staying with his aunt and uncle after moving up here. Monica was supposed to come up and visit us a few months ago, but she fell ill with mono. As a result, we thought HP 7.2 would be the perfect excuse for her to come visit The Owlery finally! Of course, Zach came, too, as he finally read the series last summer and we watched the films after that. :)

Zach had promised Monica another cake many moons ago (i.e. last summer) after she completed her therapy because she enjoyed her cake I made her so much after her surgery last June. As she says, "Cake is my world." :)

I had to add the stars in the O's because they didn't turn out too well. I don't think the stars helped much. *lol* But overall the cake was cute!

Since I have a darling Harry Potter cookbook, I thought it would be appropriate to make a cake out of it. I decided on HAGRID'S CHOCOLATE CAKE because I could add some decorations on top, which I feel is a requirement for birthday cakes... unless you are Zach and Black Forest Cake is your favorite. Then it's all about the cherries and chocolate chips. :)

This is the cake Hagrid brought Harry in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I don't know if the cake just looks pink or if it actually was pink because brown sometimes looks pinkish in certain lights. Find the picture here.

HAGRID'S CHOCOLATE CAKE
(adapted from Dinah Bucholz's The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut wax paper or parchment paper circles to line two cake pans. Spray pans with cooking spray with flour, line pan with circles, and spray circles.

-Combine 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1 tsp. instant coffee in a small bowl.

-Add 3/4 cup boiling water and whisk until smooth. It will smell heavenly!

-In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a dash of cinnamon.

-With an electric mixer, beat 1 stick of butter (at room temperature), 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar until light and fluffy for five minutes. Be sure to scrap the bowl after each time you add a new ingredient.

I included all of the pictures of my whisking the butter and sugars together because it looks cool:



-Add 3 eggs one at a time, beating after each until incorporated.

-Add 1 tsp. vanilla and beat until combined.

-Add half of the hot cocoa mixture and beat until combined.

-Add the flour mixture and stir on the slowest speed until well combined. Finish by scraping the bottom of the bowl and folding it in.

-Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 20+ minutes until the cakes feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Be careful not to overbake.

-Cool the layers in their pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Be careful to peel away the wax paper because it may stick. Your cake will be flat as Hagrid's cake was. :) Remember Rubeus Hagrid made rock cakes that literally could chip your teeth like a rock could!

-To prepare the glaze, place 8 ounces of chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, 3/4 cup whipping cream, 1/4 stick butter, and 1/4 cup corn syrup in a bowl and microwave for 15 or 20 seconds at a time until melted. It should take between 1 and 3 minutes to melt completely.

-Whisk until smooth. Cool the glaze until it is pourable and thick.

-To make the chocolate frosting, place 1 stick of butter (at room temperature), 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. whipping cream, and 1 tsp. vanilla in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy about 7 minutes. Add half of the cooled glaze and beat until combined. If the frosting is too soft or runny, chill for 10 minutes or so and beat again. Continue chilling and beating as necessary.
I apologize I don't have any other pictures of the baking process after this point. Monica showed up earlier than I had planned, so she was there while I was assembling the cake.

-To make green icing, you can combine some sugar and water to perform a paste and mix in green food coloring until you reach your desired shade of green. I had some Wilton's buttercream made up already, so I just tinted it until it was green enough for me!

-To assemble the cake, place a large dollop of icing in the center of a cardboard round and center one layer on top of the cardboard round. Spread 3/4 cup of the chocolate frosting over the cake and smooth it with the edges. To smooth, use a spatula or a knife continuously dipped in warm or hot water. Place the second layer over the first and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Start to pour the remaining glaze over the top of the cake, smoothing it to the edges and allowing it to drip over the sides. You may need to warm the glaze and cool it if it is too stiff to pour initially. (I would warn to pour slowly and carefully because I had A LOT of glaze left and it just poured everywhere. It still turned out well, but you couldn't really see the frosting underneath the glaze. It's okay because, once again, it is supposed to look as if Hagrid made it. :)

-Place green icing in a pastry bag fitted with a round tip for writing and write "Happy Birthday" on top. For kicks, you could misspell the words, but, as an English major, that would bother me too much. *lol*

I made Monica a coffee cup cozy I saw on Etsy when I did my Muggle Baby, Magical Nursery treasury. It says, "Accio Brain." Get it?! :)

I decided to make this for Monica long before I decided to do this whole themed weekend. I swear!

Once we decided to go see HP 7.2 and I decided to surprise her with the cake, I just kept on with the theme. When we were at Brickworld in Chicago, I got some Harry Potter magnets, which is perfect because Monica just moved into a new apartment and needed some magnets!

modeling her cozy

Snape on a Chain!

Monica with her very delicious HAGRID'S CHOCOLATE CAKE
I'm telling you: I am not a cake person, but I have eaten at least one piece every single day since I've made it. Sometimes two pieces! The glaze and chocolate frosting is addictive.

Here I am prepared to go see the movie in my Gryffindor beanie, scarf, knee socks, and shirt. Yes, it was 100+ degrees, but I. did. not. CARE. That is devotion (as I told Zach). *lol*

I look like a Gryffindor field hockey player or something. *haha*

And here we are in the theatre!!!

We went to Table Mesa for dinner Saturday night, and they had butterbeer! It was not at all how I imagined. But it was quite refreshing. :)

I built my Burrow LEGO set after our guests left for the weekend to make the magic last a bit longer. I also started rereading the series. ;)
HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY, MONICA! I HOPE YOU HAD A MAGICAL WEEKEND AT THE OWLERY!!

What can I say about HP 7.2?!?!?!?
I took so much for granted.



I don't remember the first time I read Sorcerer's Stone, but I remember I loved it.

I remember buying Chamber of Secrets in hardback at the Hastings in Benton because I could not wait for it to come out in paperback like my copy of Sorcerer's Stone.

I remember I loved that people at little ole' Bryant High were reading it and loving it and carrying around HP folders and wearing HP beanies.

I remember we did a layout on HP during my junior year on yearbook staff, and I knew we were cool.

I remember my friends got me a Harry Potter cake for my surprise seventeenth birthday party. I still cherish the little Harry Potter and charm Sara got me.

I remember when we thought the HP movies would always be released in the fall until we first saw Gary Oldman in the summer.

I remember my mama picked up Chamber of Secrets on VHS for me, and I still have it--among the last VHS tapes released.

I remember reading Order of the Phoenix while I was recuperating after being diagnosed with Crohn's.

I remember my heart skipped a beat every time a child checked out a Harry Potter book from Maumelle Library.

I remember skipping class my freshmen year to go rent Prisoner of Azkaban in the rain when it came out.

I remember how I passionately argued in defense of the series with my sister-in-law who felt magic = fear +/=sin--and planned to keep them from my niece and nephew. I remember I wrote a passionate defense for the series in my freshman composition class, arguing that the series helped spur on a child's vocabulary and creative skills. At that time, it was hard to find many academic articles on my thesis, although I cherished one on the value of learning communities at Hogwarts.

I remember watching my pirated copy of Goblet of Fire (courtesy Rocky and Steph) over and over when I was sick with a stomach bug at Brentwood after a disastrous first date.

I remember I had a crush on Oliver Wood until Cedric Diggory. Then I mourned the fact he joined the Twilight camp. *ick*

I remember being horrified to find that all copies of Half-Blood Prince had not been checked out at Lonoke Library UPON. ITS. RELEASE!!! Shame on you, Lonoke!

I remember going to the midnight release of Deathly Hallows at the Barnes & Noble in NLR with Monica and wearing a red and gold Jose Cuervo t-shirt from Mexico because I didn't have a Gryffindor shirt and getting a scar painted on my forehead that actually itched. (Part of it is missing in the pictures we took out in the parking lot because I scratched it off.)

I remember Monica purchasing Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and handing them out to children in the bookstore and nearly vomiting over the vomit-flavored one. I still feel that the soap one is a palate cleanser.

Alas, I forgot about the picture that is currently serving as my profile picture until I found in my copy of Deathly Hallows when I reread it last summer.

(I also forgot that Monica and I attended to midnight premiere of Order of the Phoenix until Monica reminded me, and I remembered that I named her birthday album from that July "Harry Potter and the Electric Cowboy" in honor of the birthday gift Rowling bestowed upon her and how we celebrated it.)

I remember we goaded Katie into reading Deathly Hallows as she put it off and put it off some more to make the experience last longer.

I remember shaking my head when Katie said Voldemort was hot.

I remember that I ordered used copies of books five and six off of Amazon and how disappointed I was to find that the book jackets were missing. At least those books were given a good home! I hope they were given up because they were replaced with newer copies!!

I remember that I put off watching Half-Blood Prince because Zach wanted to read the series and go with me to the movies. I finally had to give him a deadline: to finish before the last movie was released or else.

I remember feeling annoyed when I heard that the Burrow was burned although it was not in the book and seeing Half-Blood Prince a month late and still feeling annoyed that the Burrow was burned although it was not in the book. You win some, you lose some.

I remember crying as I watched Dumbledore's death.

I remember Momo "bought" me a hardback copy of Sorcerer's Stone for my first Christmas as a Pharr, so all of my books now matched.

I remember how I compared the Terrible Things to the Dementors in Cuaron's film in an early draft of the first chapter of my thesis.

I remember a surprise from Zach: a child's XL Gryffindor shirt on clearance. He got a Muggle one. :)

I remember encouraging my magical husby to read the series last year and answering all his questions and ensuring him that all would be well in the end.

I remember knitting my hands off and buying cranberry-colored yarn at Hobby Lobby and cutting golden strands to make my own Gryffindor scarf with my blood, sweat, and love. I remember making Zach one and Tommy one and hoping to share more with others.

I remember how Zach and I got up early the Saturday morning after the release of HP 7.1 last November. We wore our magical wear and went to the Fiesta Square theatre to watch Deathly Hallows Part 1 before lunch. I remember skipping through Big Lots and looking at the red and gold Christmas balls on display and boohooing over the scene where Hermione erased her parents' memories of her.

I remember adding all things magical to my Amazon Wish List and using some of my Swagbucks to get a Harry Potter cookbook.

I remember counting down the days to Part 2.

I remember buying burgundy and gold knee socks from the sock store in Eureka on our Valentine's Day trip.

I remember picking up a Slytherin beanie at Five Below in Cleveland and happening to peer inside to see that the reverse was a Gryffindor beanie...and buying it for $1.

I remember that I tried to "Like" everyone's HP statuses this week.

I remember planning to go with Monica for her birthday. I decided to make her a Hagrid-inspired cake and a HP-related present. :)

I remember the wooziness I felt inside the dark theater and the stress I felt when the fake trailers were too soft to hear. I was going to blow a gasket if the sound was not up when the film started!

I remember the laughter and the tears.



I am so thankful Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home.

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  1. Oh my gosh I LOVE your cakes you talented thing you! :)

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