Literature x Cooking

From Book Riot: I COOKED MY WAY THROUGH A JANE AUSTEN COOKBOOK. HERE’S HOW IT WENT.

What a great idea! How DID it go?

Here’s the cookbook that was used. I’ve never heard of this one, though I have one about food in Shakespeare’s time.

Book cover for Jane Austen's Table

Here’s a good one:

GENERAL TILNEY’S HOT CHOCOLATE

This hot chocolate was delicious! The recipe inspired from Northanger Abbey’s General Tilney, who refuses to share his hot chocolate with the rest of the guests on the table. It’s hands down one of the best recipes for hot chocolate I have tried. It asked to cream the sugar until foamy peaks emerged, and that was what truly made the difference. Instead of traditional hot chocolate powder, the recipe called for melting chunks of chocolate in the cup itself, and that made it for a more authentic flavor.

Does anybody remember General Tilney refusing to share his hot chocolate? Wow, there’s a detail that immediately tells you a whole lot about the character. I have to say, traditional hot chocolate powder? Hot chocolate powder is traditional? Oh, how dismal this world has become.

My goodness gracious, the author of this post doesn’t include the recipe! Wow. Listen, if you include a couple of recipes as an invitation for people to go pick up a copy of this excellent cookbook, the author of the cookbook will almost certainly thank you. But if you’re worried, you’re technically allowed to copy the ingredients, so do that. Then write your own description of how to proceed. This is very, very easy to do. Especially for those of us who don’t follow the given directions in the first place, granted, which I just never seem to, even when I didn’t plan to get creative.

Anyway, I personally have been known to make hot chocolate using …. chocolate. And cream. And nothing else. As much cream as it takes to make the hot chocolate more like a drink and less like a ganache. When I have hot chocolate, I don’t mean hot water with powder dissolved in it.

Anyway, neat idea for a post, but flawed in its execution. I’ll try to remember to get my Shakespeare cookbook off the kitchen island and do a post about it.

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9 thoughts on “Literature x Cooking”

  1. Now that’s an interesting take on Fanfic!
    I have a copy of Rex Stout’s The Nero Wolfe cookbook, but the recipes look too intimidating to try. 40 minutes to scramble eggs? I’d rather hire Fritz.

  2. WE make hot chocolate using chocolate and sometimes cream, always milk, at least. Our favorite version: 3 cups milk,
    1/3 cup water
    1/3 cup sugar
    6 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped or melted.

    Bring milk, water and sugar just to boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and which is chocolate. Whip chocolate in pan one minute with hand-held blender or transfer to traditional blender and whip on high speed one minute. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate.

    It’s almost like eating a melted candy

  3. Personally, one of my favorite cookbooks is the Redwall Cookbook, which is divided by seasons. As there is always at least one feast in a Redwall book, Brian Jacques thought it obligatory to make the recipes actually work in real life, with truly wonderful results. He includes the recipes for hotroot soup, deeper-n’-ever turnip-n’-tater-n’-beetroot pie, and several other of his most frequently referenced dishes. That is where I discovered the recipe for Golden Hill pears, which calls for poaching pears in caramelized sugar water with a pinch of allspice. Every time I make it, the pears disappear so fast they don’t have time to cool. It’s a lovely harvest-time treat.

    One of my other favorites (though I haven’t made it – yet) is Patricia C. Wrede’s recipe for After-battle Triple Chocolate Cake, created to complement a short story from her collection Book of Enchantments, which features a story about a cooking contest put on by Cimorene and Mendanbar of the Enchanted Forest.

  4. What Pete said!

    Cream the sugar with what?? I happily make quick and easy hot cocoa with just cocoa, sugar and milk, but if I really want a treat I just melt some Callebeau or Valrohna in milk and cream.

    Thanks for that link, Mary Beth!

  5. Kim, pretty sure it just means beat the butter all by itself until fluffy.

    I definitely agree with Pete: I would LOVE to have Sunshine’s recipes!

    And that story does have a lot of charm, Mary Beth, thanks for pointing it out!

  6. Redwall is delightful, and a pretty quick read; the cookbook also has a sort of framing story, one for each season of the year, interspersed with the recipes. Of course the cookbook’s story makes more sense and is easier to follow if you know the principle characters, but it’s easy enough to pick up who’s who.
    Brian Jacques’s other stories are also great fun – my favorite was Castaways of the Flying Dutchmen, which also featured mouthwatering descriptions of food.

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