So, I have to confess that I ordinarily don’t much care for cauliflower. Or, well, most vegetables, if I’m perfectly honest. Don’t judge – It’s a genetic thing. But I am VERY pro cheese, so a recipe that masks veggies with a creamy cheese sauce, it turns out, was sorely needed in our household lineup. I even went back in for seconds. It’s so good, in fact, that it’s taken me three tries to get a photo of it before it’s been gobbled down.
In Stardew Valley, this recipe is a pretty early one received in the mail from Pam. It’s almost universally liked by everyone in town, excepting Krobus and Willy. I won’t hold that against them, though. Try it yourself and see what you think!
Recipe for Cheese Cauli
Prep: 5 minutes Cooking: 20 minutes Makes: ~4 side servings
- 1 cauliflower, divided into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- paprika and chives to garnish
Start by preheating the oven to 400F. Toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Cook in the heated oven for around 20 minutes, flipping about halfway through, until soft.
While the cauliflower bakes, make up the cheese sauce: Combine the cream cheese and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s a smooth consistency. Stir in the shredded cheddar until it has melted, then remove from heat.
When the cauliflower is done roasting, move it to a medium bowl and toss with the cheese sauce. Top with some paprika and chives, and enjoy!
So, these actually started out as an attempt to make the licorice wands from Honeydukes. I tried a few batches, all failures, either too hard or too soft or just too darn finicky. Then I remembered something that would prove crucial to the development of this recipe…
I don’t actually like licorice.
So the next time I set about trying to make it, I thought, what if I do chocolate flavored instead? And two dozen wands later, I’m noshing on what turns out to essentially be homemade tootsie rolls, and I couldn’t be more delighted. I ate one for research, another one to make sure I had a handle on the description, and one more because it went well with afternoon tea.
While the finished wands might not be up to Ollivander’s level of quality, they do share some similar features: They are of varying lengths, and range from fairly bendy to reasonably supple. They’re a nice dark color, say of black walnut or redwood.
All in all, I’d say this one was a delicious success, and pretty easy to make: Just swish, flick, and gobble!
Chocolate Candy Wands Recipe
Prep: 10 minutes Cooking: 20-30 minutes Cooling: 1 hour, or more Shaping: 15 minutes
Makes: 1-2 dozen wands
- 5 Tbs. butter, plus more for pan
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3 Tbs. cocoa powder
- pinch of cinnamon, or Chinese 5-spice for extra flavor
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan, then place a piece of lightly buttered parchment paper over the bottom with the sides sticking out to help you lift the candy out once it’s cooled.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then add in the sugar, molasses, condensed milk, cocoa powder, and spices, if using. Bring up to a boil, and cook, stirring pretty frequently to keep the bottom from burning, until it reaches about 240F. Take off the heat and working quickly, stir in the flour, making sure you have no lumps, then pour into the prepared pan. Let cool for around an hour or so.
Once the mixture is cool to the touch, lift out of the pan and set on a cutting board. Using a large sharp knife, chop the candy into long skinny triangles. Starting on the wider end, begin twisting each triangle up towards the point. Don’t worry too much about twisting evenly because every wand is different! Set aside and continue until you’ve used up all the candy.
These are best enjoyed the same day, but can be stored in between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for a few days or more.
Here’s a fun recipe that’s both fictional AND historical. You know I love when that happens. ;) This is from Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy, just out as a television series (as A Discovery of Witches), and from what I’ve watched so far, it’s fantastic. Seriously, can we get more history professors writing awesome fiction, please?
This recipe comes from the second book in the trilogy, and is deceptively simple. Although the main Diana Bishop doesn’t quite nail the beverage in the books, it’s well worth a try in your own kitchen. Caudles were often served to the sick or infirm (and are thus related to the term “molly-coddling”), but I think they’re a nice little robust drink that deserves a little love of its own. Consider it a cousin of eggnog, and you’ll already be on the way to thinking well of it.
The resulting drink, made correctly, comes out somewhat thick and rich. The egg yolks give it a nice velvety smooth texture, and the sweetening softens the alcohol. I can’t vouch that it’ll cure what ails (ales!) you, but it can’t do much harm, and that’s saying something as far as historical recipes go. ;) So give it a try, and see what you think!
A Caudle for pains in the Head
For my proportions, I’m pulling from the historical collection very succinctly named “Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books”, which you can peruse here, if so inclined (protip: try reading it aloud, if you’re struggling to understand the non-standardized spellings!). Neither these intrepid cooks nor Diana give measurements for the liquid amounts, so I’ve had to adapt it for our somewhat more specific cooking needs.
“Take faire tryed yolkes of eyren, and cast in a potte; and take good ale, or elles good wyn, a quantite, and sette it ouer ye fire. And whan hit is at boyling, take it fro the fire, and caste yere-to saffron, salt, Sugur; and ceson hit vppe, and serue hit forth hote.” -Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups ale, white wine, or hard cider
- pinch of saffron (optional)
- pinch of salt
- sugar or honey to taste
- pinch of fresh nutmeg
Beat together two egg yolks in a small pot along with the ale, saffron, salt, and sweetener over medium-low heat, whisking gently all the while. After about 5 minutes, the mixture should have thickened noticeably(go slowly, or the mixture may split!). Remove from heat, strain into a clean heatproof glass, and top with a pinch of nutmeg.
Guys, I know it’s been a while since I polled you all online about what fictional worlds you’d most like to see new recipes from. Like, a really, really long time. I’ve been mobbed with work projects, and the blog took the hit.
BUT! Witcher was the winner of those polls, and I’m so excited to present you with this spice cake recipe today! The basic outline for the recipe comes from a recipe that you can find in-game, but the proportions of that are… interesting. I’d love to give it a try, as written, one of these days, because I suspect it might be pretty cool. For the meantime, I balanced the ingredients out a little to make a more recognizable cake and added a really tasty honey cream cheese drizzle over top, just because. It’s a really moist, somewhat dense cake with rich spice and honey flavors. Definitely a welcome addition to the breakfast or teatime lineups during this frigid winter week!
Recipe for Ra’mses Gor-Thon’s Honey Spice Cake
Note: The original recipe calls for buckwheat honey, which is super dark and heavily flavored, and not liked by everyone. To be on the safe side, a more common wildflower honey will do just fine.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp. five spice
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 whole eggs beaten lightly
- 2 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly butter an 8″ round cake pan.
Combine the milk and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat, and warm up until just combined. Remove from heat and stir in the spices and butter. Using a hand mixer, blend in the eggs, then the remaining ingredients, beating until you have a nice smooth mixture. Transfer this into the prepared cake pan, then bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes in the pan to let the sides pull away, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way. While the cake is cooling, make up the icing below.
- 2 Tbs. runny honey
- 4 Tbs. cream cheese
- ~1/2 cup powdered sugar
Using a hand mixer or an immersion blender, blend together the honey and cream cheese until completely smooth, then stir in just enough powdered sugar to get a thick consistency that can still be drizzled. Decorate the cooled cake with whatever pattern you like.
Dish: Interstellar Garden Salad
First appeared in: Star Wars Galaxies, video game, 2003
Planet: Coruscant – Region: Core Worlds
Maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult while traveling through space. Fortunately, scientists and bio-engineers have devised numerous nutritional supplements and mealstuffs to help interstellar travelers keep in fighting form. In fact, such a demand for healthier options has even been reflected in the offerings at classic diners and dives known for their rib-sticking grub.
This particular salad is a popular side at Dex’s Diner on Coruscant, where it features an array of ingredients from across the system, including Mandalorian oranges, Sriluurian raisins, and Wol Cabasshews, topped off with luptoomian dressing. Now, for the first time, Dex’s secret preparation for this refreshing salad has been revealed. It’s a versatile recipe that can be tweaked to reflect your deepest salad desires.
Interstellar Garden Salad
Makes 6 small servings
Prep: 15 minutes – Chilling: 2 hours
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber with skin
- 1/2 cup mixed salad greens
- ~1/2 cup assorted salad toppings
- 2 Tbs. agar agar
- freshly ground pepper
Simmer the cucumber in the water for around 10 minutes, then strain out the pieces, reserving the hot liquid and discarding the cucumber. Add the agar agar to the hot liquid, stirring until dissolved. Pour this mixture into muﬃn tins or other molds, ﬁlling each spot nearly full. Wait for 5 minutes, then scatter the various salad toppings in each serving, then place the whole tray in the fridge to chill for about 2 hours. If the salads need a little help coming out of the mold, dip the bottom of the muffin pan into some warm water to loosen them. Plate and sprinkle with a little freshly ground black pepper to serve.
While many dishes found in the world of the Elder Scrolls are unequivocably delicious sounding, some are a little quirkier. But, not one to shy from strange foods, I like to take a crack at them from time to time, and the latest project is this recipe for cabbage biscuits.
Although Balmora has since been destroyed, many Dunmer remember the good eating that could be enjoyed when visiting House Hlaalu’s stronghold. These humble biscuits make the best of limited Morrowind ingredients. Heavily textured, but lightly flavored, they are a great bottom for a variety of toppings (butter spread onto them while still warm from the oven trickles down into those cracks) or as an accompaniment to a hearty soup.
Balmora Cabbage Biscuit Recipe
Prep: 30 minutes Rising: 1 1/2 hours Baking: 20 minutes
Makes: about 16 biscuits
Pairs well with: sour cream; Combwort Confit (recipe forthcoming)
- 1/2 small green cabbage (~1 pound)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- Pinch black pepper
- 4 Tbs. salted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. instant dry yeast
- 1 Tbs. heavy cream, for wash
Finely shred the cabbage using a food processor or a grater. Sprinkle liberally with salt and allow to sit in a strainer over a mixing bowl for 30 minutes to an hour. Squeeze out and discard the excess liquid.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan, then gently cook the shredded cabbage with the black pepper until slightly brown. Add to a medium mixing bowl, stir in the butter until it’s melted, then pour the milk over. Add the sugar, then the yeast, followed by the egg. Gradually mix in enough flour until you have a nice dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for several minutes, until it bounces back when poked, then cover and place in a warm spot to rise for about an hour.
Roll the dough out to roughly 3/4” thickness, then score the tops in a checkered pattern with a sharp knife. Cut into rounds and place on the baking sheet. Allow to rise again, this time for about 20 minutes. Brush the tops with heavy cream, then bake for roughly 20 minutes, until the tops are a golden brown.
“After a hand of days or so, Temur took up his new bow to bring food back to those fires–marmots, mostly , and the odd zeren gazelle, because he could not range widely enough or draw the bow strongly enough to bring down larger game. But whatever he brought was accepted gratefully, and in return the others shared with him what they had– dumplings, clarified mutton fat, salted butter, airag — fermented mare’s milk– from the bags that hung over the flanks of the cattle when the herds were on the move.” -Range of Ghosts
Recipe for Bansh Dumplings
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- about 1 cup water
- oil for frying
- 1 lb. ground lamb or beef
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt, red pepper, curry powder, to taste
Mix up the dough by combining the flour and salt in a small bowl, then adding in just enough water to make a smooth dough. Knead for several minutes until it’s soft and pliable. Set aside to rest for about 15 minutes while you make up the filling.
Combine the lamb or beef, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and curry powder in a bowl. Add just enough water to make it into a smooth paste.
Start heating your oil in a pan over medium heat, and begin making the dumplings. Divide the dough into 12 small pieces, and roll each into a bowl. Roll each ball flat and thin, no more than 1/8″ thick. Add a dollop of the filling, then fold over and crimp.
Full disclaimer: it turns out I’m just awful at crimping dumplings. I tried a few different styles, but settled on the basic potsticker approach as the easiest to do. There are numerous video tutorials on the subject, and I heartily recommend them.
Once the oil is hot and the dumplings are wrapped, set a few at a time in the hot oil. Mine started to hiss and spit a fair amount, so I covered the pan while they cooked some, which I’m guessing also helped steam them a bit. Flip occasionally so the dumplings are evenly brown, then remove to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
They can also be boiled, but I love the crispy outside of a fried dumpling, so that’s what I went with. Extra tasty with some soy sauce for dipping.
“So Kal Skirata– mercenary, assassin, and failed father– spent a stormy evening on Kamino sharing uj cake with six dangerously clever small boys who could already handle firearms and talk like adults, teaching them that they came from a warrior tradition, and that they had a language and a culture, and much to be proud of.” – Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss, 2004
Uj cake, or Uj’alayi, was first mentioned in the novel Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss, published in 2004. There’s not a lot of description of it, apart from sliceable, sweet, and flavorful. Combining that with the wiki description: “A flat, dense, and sticky cake, uj’alayi was made of crushed nuts, dried fruits, and a sweet spiced syrup known as uj’ayl“, I had something in mind, but to be sure I was on the right track, I asked the author and originator of the dish. She confirmed that she’d been thinking of Panforte de Sienna, which was pretty close to what I had in mind, so that’s the route I’ve taken. Isn’t social media amazing? :)
In the novel, we see Kal Skirata teaching several very young clone troopers about the Mandalorian heritage they have, and that includes the food. While some of it might be a hard sell to boys trained to be soldiers and nothing else, the uj cake smooths the way.
And no wonder. This dense disc of assorted fruits and nuts is held together with tangy molasses and honey, laced with rich spices. It’s the kind of treat that feels heavy with history and culture, as well, so I think it’s a great match for that delicious sounding Mandalorian treat.
Consider serving with either Cassius Tea or a steaming cup of Spiced Caf.
I’ve added this recipe to the lineup for Fictional Foodies’ May Star Wars lineup. Check out the other cool recipes folks have submitted here.
Uj’alayi Cake Recipe
Cook’s notes: This is the assortment that I put into my recipe, but if you are constrained by budget or availability of ingredients, just aim for 2 1/2 cups of nuts, and 2 1/2-3 cups of dried fruit.
Prep: 20 minutes Baking: 45 minutes Cooling: 45 minutes
Makes: 10-20 servings, depending on size
Location: Mandalore, Outer Rim Territories
- 2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup candied mixed peel
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup diced dried figs
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 2 heaping Tbs. diced candied ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground mace
- pinch each fresh pepper, curry powder
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup pomegranate or date molasses
- 2 Tbs. butter
- confectioners’ sugar, for topping
Preheat your oven to 300°F and line an 8″ round cake pan with parchment and butter the parchment and the sides of the pan. If you have a springform pan, I think those work best.
Combine the nuts, candied peel, dried fruits, spices, salt, and flour in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine, making sure to break up any clumps of stuck-together fruit or overly large nut pieces.
Combine the sugar, molasses, and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it up to a boil, and then keep cooking down until it reaches soft ball stage, about 245°F. Remove from heat and immediately pour into the bowl of nuts and fruits. Stir thoroughly and quickly to make sure the flour is all absorbed and the mixture is evenly covered, then scrape it all into the prepared pan. Press it down firmly with moistened fingers, then bake for ~40 minutes.
It won’t seem firm enough when it comes out of the oven, but let it sit for another 45 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it. Flip out onto a cutting surface lined with more parchment paper.
Uj cake can be wrapped tightly and kept for several months at room temperature. Slice into thin wedges to serve.
“The beverage was the color of hydraulic fluid and had spongy, bobbing, floating bits in it. It tasted of sour spit with an aftertaste similar to motor oil.” –Aftermath, by Chuck Wendig
I admit, based on that charming description, you might think I was mad to take on this particular drink. But I fell in love with the name, and couldn’t let it go. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about descriptions of food during my time doing fictional cooking, it’s that sometimes, an unfavorable description just reflects the strangeness of the food to the person encountering it.
So, although described by some in less than glowing terms, this one-of-a-kind beverage is actually rather tasty, once you get accustomed to it. Strong in every sense of the word, it’ll take your mind off the unsavory types surrounding you in Ergel’s Bar.
Knockback Nectar first appeared in the novel Aftermath, which was written by Chuck Wendig and released in 2015.
Update: I’ve added this recipe to the lineup for Fictional Foodies’ May Star Wars lineup. Check out the other cool recipes folks have submitted here.
Knockback Nectar Recipe
Prep: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 serving
- 1 oz. peaty whiskey
- 1/2 oz. molasses
- 2 oz. hot black coffee
- a few drops of sesame oil
- small pinch white pepper
Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker, and shake together vigorously for several seconds. Pour into a serving glass, and once the oil has risen back to the top, sprinkle on a dash of pepper.
- “Yes, I did sit down and talk surrender terms with Loathsom, over a cup of tarine tea. He became most ungentlemanly when he realized it was his surrender we were talking about. Have these people no manners? He didn’t even offer me a sweet-sand cookie.” ―Star Wars: The Clone Wars novel, by Karen Traviss, 2008
Not much is known about these cookies, but they’ve been mentioned in a few places, beginning with the novelization of the Clone Wars film. From that, we know that Kenobi was somewhat put out that Whorm Loathsom didn’t offer him any cookies during their surrender negotiations.
Since they’re from Christophsis, I suppose I should have added some blue to the sand topping, as the planet is covered with blue crystaline formations. Or, you know, used blue bantha butter, so the whole thing would have a blue tint. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about fictional cooking, it’s that there’s almost always room for improvement. And there’s always next time! ;)
Update: I’ve added this recipe to the lineup for Fictional Foodies’ May Star Wars lineup. Check out the other cool recipes folks have submitted here.
Sweet-Sand Cookie Recipe
Prep: 10 minutes Chilling: 30 minutes Baking: 10 minutes
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Location: Christophsis, Outer Rim Territories
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1/2 cup finely ground raw sugar
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 egg
- pinch ground vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- sliced almonds, for garnish
For Sweet-Sand Topping:
- 1/4 cup raw sugar
- 1 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. almond meal
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 Tbs. heavy cream
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar, followed by the almond meal, egg, and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour until the dough is no longer sticky, and pulls together. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8″-1/4″ thickness, then cut into discs. If you like, press some almond slices into the top of some. Move the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Just before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for around 10 minutes, until the bottoms and sides of the cookies are just starting to brown.
While the cookies bake, prepare your sweet-sand mixture by combining the sugar, brown sugar, almond meal, and cinnamon. When the cookies are done, allow to cool for around a minute, then brush the cream onto the hot cookie. Immediately dip each brushed cookie into the sweet-sand mix, tap off any excess, and set aside. Consider serving with some Tarine Tea.