Books, movies, and TV shows can provide an escape from reality. We fall in love with fictional people, towns, schools, and storylines. We want to become a part of those worlds for at least a little bit. The good news is, we can. There are many ways a person can recreate aspects of his or her favorite stories. You could have a themed party, dress up like the characters for Halloween, decorate a room in your house to resemble the setting, or fix a recipe of a beloved food.
Oftentimes, to help make a tale memorable, a writer creates a unique dish or drink that then becomes associated with the story. Word choice in books and images in movies and TV shows leaves the audience’s mouths watering for these items. Also, the popularity of the narratives influences people’s yearnings for the food. For example, butterbeer wasn’t around until the Harry Potter books were published. Yet, after their publication and even today, people are still curious to see what the drink tastes like. Sometimes you are able to purchase these items at restaurants or stores, but recipes, such as the ones below, are available to make some of these treats at home. Enjoy creating these three beloved recipes from our favorite books, movies, and TV shows.
Harry Potter – Butterbeer
Despite its name, butterbeer is a non-alcoholic butterscotch-flavored drink with a whipped cream topping that can be served hot or cold. It was featured in the Harry Potter series as a favorite treat from Hogwarts, The Three Broomsticks, and other novel locations. There are multiple versions of the recipe, including this one.
Ingredients for the Butterbeer:
- 1 cup cream soda
- ½ cup butterscotch syrup (this is the same syrup used as an ice cream topping)
- ½ Tbsp. butter, softened
Ingredients for the Whipped Cream:
- Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream (you can also purchase already made whipped cream or Cool Whip)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. caramel extract
- Pour the butterscotch syrup into a bowl. Add in the softened butter and mix together.
- Combine the butterscotch mixture with the cream soda and stir. Pour into a mug and set aside.
- Now, it is time to make the whipped cream topping. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms peaks as whipped cream.
- Add the whipped cream to the top of the drink mixture and enjoy!
Beauty and the Beast – The Grey Stuff (a.k.a., A Chocolate Cream)
“Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious.” We all have wondered at least once, “What is the grey stuff?”, upon hearing the lyrics to Disney’s “Be Our Guest.” Featured in the classic movie, Beauty and the Beast, the grey stuff is actually a chocolate dessert.
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 15 Oreos or cookies and cream sandwich cookies
- 1 (8 oz.) whipped topping
- 1 Tbsp. instant chocolate pudding mix
- Shortbread cookies
- In a mixing bowl, combine the milk and vanilla pudding mix. Whisk until smooth.
- With a food processor or by hand, crush the sandwich cookies until finely ground. Stir into the vanilla pudding mixture.
- Next, add in the whipped topping and chocolate pudding mix. Combine until mixed well.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill. Once chilled, you can put it in a piping bag or spread onto the shortbread cookies.
Friends – Rachel’s Thanksgiving Trifle
If you are a fan of the TV show, Friends, you probably remember the classic Thanksgiving episode where Rachel attempts to make a traditional English trifle. In the end, her efforts didn’t quite resemble the trifle. Instead, Rachel accidentally added “beef sauteed with onions and peas” to her version. You can try your hand at a similar trifle, but our beef is actually going to be chocolate!
Ingredients for the Custard Layer:
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the Beef Layer:
- One package of chocolate fudge sandwich cookies
- ¼ cup shaved coconut
- 3 Tbsp. green M&Ms or a similar green candy-coated sweet
Ingredients for the Assembly Layer:
- Two (3 oz.) packages of ladyfingers
- ¾ cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1¼ cups whole raspberries
- 1 large banana, sliced
Ingredients for the Whipped Cream Layer:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Begin with the custard layer. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk until smooth and set aside.
- Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the milk is steaming. Whisk in the egg mixture. Stir until thickened.
- Once the ingredients are mixed, transfer the custard to a larger bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
- Next, create the whipped cream layer. Using an electric mixture or by hand, whip the heavy cream into peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the beef layer, crush the cookies until they are crumbs. Place into a bowl and stir in the shaved coconut and candy pieces.
- Now it is time to start assembling the trifle. In a 4-quart trifle dish, line the bottom with a single row of ladyfingers, completely covering the bottom. Also circle the side of the dish with ladyfingers standing upright against the side.
- Spoon the raspberry jam over the ladyfingers, covering them. Then, pour half of the custard over the jam layer.
- Place a layer of the fresh raspberries on top of the custard. Add a layer of ladyfingers next.
- Lastly, spoon the beef layer over the ladyfingers. Spread the remaining custard over the beef. Top off with a layer of bananas and whipped cream.
- Refrigerate the trifle for about 1½ hours.
The next time you watch or read your favorite story, don’t forget to make the associated food (if there is one) beforehand. Happy eating!