The lunch trolley came rattling along the corridor, and Harry bought a large stack of Cauldron Cakes for them to share.
–Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling
I needed to know, what really is a cauldron cake? We’ve seen the cute ones at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but is that really what a cauldron cake is?
To get to the bottom of this, here’s what we know about them.
- cauldron cakes can be bought in ‘a stack’
- They were given as ‘a batch’
- They were made by Qizibash Quality Confectionary in Pakistan from 1854 onwards.
The Unofficial Harry Potter cookbook decides they must be pancakes, which kind of makes sense… but it’s in the wizarding world, so it must be a bit more exciting then that, yeah?
And if they’re made in Pakistan, are they Middle Eastern cakes or English cakes that are made in Pakistan?
For this batch I took the Middle Eastern inspiration route. The cakes are shaped like they were baked in the bottom of a cauldron, and are filled with a date filling.
I’d love to know what you think cauldron cakes are! Maybe we can pull enough ideas together to create a cauldron cake recipe that we think is the closest to what it really would be. Leave your thoughts in the comments!
- ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1¼ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground anise (you can buy star anise and grind down yourself)
- ¼ tsp ground fennel seed (if you can only find whole, grind down yourself)
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- canola oil spray
- 150-160g of pitted dates
- 1½ tsp of the spice mix
- ½ tsp almond essence
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 cups plain flour
- ½ cup (115g) butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup water
- icing sugar for dusting
- a round bottom tray. You can find them on Amazon under 'mince pie pan' http://amzn.to/2jWIfQD or in Australia you'll find them in most grocery stores/ kitchen stores as 'patty pans'
- Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.
- Mix together the spice mix and place in a air tight container. You'll only be using a bit of this mix for this recipe.
- Spray the food processor with the canola oil so the dates don't stick.
- In batches, heat up the dates (in a small microwavable bowl) in the microwave for 10-15 secs to soften.
- Place in the food processor and blend, then repeat with the rest.
- By hand, mix the 1½ tsp of spice mix and ½ tsp of almond essence into the date mixture.
- Set aside.
- In a mixer, beat the butter, then add in the sugar.
- Beat for a few minutes until creamy.
- Add in the flour, then the water.
- Turn out onto a board dusted with plain flour.
- Roll out relatively thinly, and cut out circles.
- Spray your cookie tray with canola oil spray.
- Place one circle into a cookie hole.
- Take a small ball of the date mixture, and press with your fingers into a flattened circle.
- Place into the cookie tray on top of the dough.
- Place another cookie dough circle on top.
- Press the middle down, then press the edges together.
- Repeat, then place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, use the back of a large spoon to gently press the centres (to keep the indentation), then set aside to cool.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve.