Valentine's Eve Detention
by Susu, Hermi2, Dumbledwarf
Menu: Light Chocolate Mousse | Lemon Mousse | Banana Cream Pie | Upsidedown Fruit Tarte | Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Pops | Romantic Sorbet Hearts | Cocoa Brownies | Magical Cookie Bars | Chocolate Truffles: Black Truffles and White Truffles
You will remember that in his fourth year at Hogwart's, Harry Potter took a liking to a fifth year girl named Cho Chang, who was not only bright and cute, but Ravenclaw's seeker. Unfortunately, she had her eye on Cedric Diggory, procter of Hufflepuff, house Quidditch team captain, and two years older than Cho.
As a younger man, Harry didn't think he had a chance with her, but Ron pushed him to try, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained, after all! You're the youngest TriWizard Tournament participant ever, Harry! That's got to count for something!"
Emboldened, he asked Cho to meet him between her classes; he was excused from all classes so that he could prepare for the tournament events, so it was simply a matter of knowing when she had a free period during the day. But Harry was a bit shy, so agreed when she said she'd meet him by the potions closet.
Unfortunately, Professor Snape was in the closet at the time, and caught them there. He accused them of loitering and gave them both detentions; however, as Harry was a competitor in the Tournament, he had immunity from punishments resulting from demerits, as well as classes and exams.
Poor Cho! She was not excused, and was required to do the detention, the day before Valentine's Day, when everyone else would be preparing to attend the big dance. When Cedric Diggory found out, he offered to do the the time for her, since he, like Harry, was taking part in the Tournament and did not have classes. He reasoned he had the time to do them, and he was hoping to ask Cho to the upper form dance. Surely, this would endear him to her and guarantee her answer to his question!
Harry caught wind of Cedric's intentions; full of guilt himself for the situation, he realized that this would be the perfect redemption -- to do Cho's detention for her! He ran to Dumbledore's office to get approval for the substitution. He ran smack into Cedric, who was on his way out of the headmaster's office. "Don't bother, Potter, he already said no."
Harry yelled behind him, "But I was there, it's as much my detention as hers!" Cedric tried to jump on the ascending staircase, but Harry blocked the narrowing entrance, and the senior boy had to wait till the stone sculpture turned again. By the time Cedric was able to rush into Dumbledore's office, he was just in time to hear the headmaster say, "That's certainly true, Harry. Well, it does seem more just if you do them. But Cho will have her sentence commuted, she will need to do some other chores later, but I will grant you the lion's share of her detention."
"But, SIR!!" Cedric couldn't contain himself, "I insist! I don't care if you double Cho's punishment, I deserve to be able to perform her duties, too! And it was my idea!"
"But Mr. Potter here was one of the guilty parties," the boys didn't notice the mischevious sparkle in Dumbledore's eyes, "What relationship do you have to Miss Chang or to her offense?"
"None, sir," Diggory mumbled and looked down at the floor, "except for love, sir." He toed the floor.
There was silence as Dumbledore thought this over, "Interesting ... interesting. Mr. Potter, would you say your intentions are similarly inclined?"
Harry was beet red as he shyly nodded, looking down at his shoes.
The old man smiled, "Ah, so this is about love! Well, it IS Valentine's Day coming up, after all. And as embarassed as you gentlemen are, let me propose a contest ... Professor Snape will be apprised of the situation, that the two of you will perform Miss Chang's detention on her behalf. He will assign you tasks of equal duration and effort. The man who finishes best and first to Professor Snape's satisfaction will get the honor of asking Miss Chang to the Valentine's Day dance before the other. Is this satisfactory to you, gentlemen?"
Both Cedric and Harry stared up at Dumbledore in astonishment -- he was very wise, yet so surprising! Then they shook hands on the terms, and reported to Professor Snape immediately!
Light Chocolate Mousse
Professor Severus Snape rolled his eyes when Dumbledore told him the terms of the detention for Cho, which Harry and Cedric would perform on her behalf. Snape had planned to have Cho simply clean up the potions classroom, but now he would be forced to be creative about the tasks. What's more, though he didn't seem to have any feelings one way or the other toward Cho, he publically and actively disliked both Harry and Cedric. So it was with a restrained touch of sadistic delight that he chose a less traditional -- and perhaps more arduous and humiliating -- task for the two boys. He ordered the house elves out of the cold-kitchen (traditionally used for dessert and cheese making), and like the heroine in Cinderella, he had the two boys prepare the complicated chocolate desserts and other fare for the upcoming Valentine's Day dance! First, to Cedric, he assigned chocolate mousse, which in the 18th century style kitchens common throughout the wizarding world, required a lot of whipping and careful use of fine techniques they didn't necessarily know. It was very much like potions making, and Snape enjoyed letting them know that fact. Of course, the two boys messed up many times, but eventually, they got it right!
This is a much lighter version of chocolate mousse, and simple to remember: for six people, use six units of each ingredient (except the extract), and collect six complements on serving!
Beat the egg whites till it hold stiff peaks, but not so long that it goes grainy, grayish and weepy. Fold the egg whites into the cooled chocolate mixture; do not overstir. Pour the mousse into a large serving bowl or into individual cups or goblets. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, covered with plastic wrap. Serve with freshly whipped cream, unsweetened. Serves 6.
Recognizing that some unfortunate souls were unable or unwilling to eat chocolate, Snape assigned Harry a lemon-flavored mousse. Though the techniques to make it are similar to it's chocolate brethren, making the custard was actually a different technique. Snape knew that people suspected he hated Cedric more than he detested Harry, so to spite them, he gave Harry what he knew would be the more delicate cooking task. True, chocolate could be hard to work with, but once the melting was done (assuming it did not "seize" or clump up when the fatty chocolate hit the water), it was relatively simple. Not so with fruit mousses! He had to make a custard and do a lot of chilling, and this recipe used both cream and eggs, so there was twice as much whipping to do. This recipe can be used for any number of fruits, too. But lemon is the classic best! (And Snape likes it!)
Heat the gelatin in a double boiler (or in a bowl simply over a pot of boiling water) with stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. Allow the gelatin to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl (to be placed over the boiling water, like for the gelatin), beat together the lemon juice and cornstarch. Add lemon zest and gelatin to the mixture and stir well. Then add the egg and sugar mixture. Constantly stir over the hot water, never allowing it to boil, until it thickens (or else the egg yolks might scramble! Yuck!) Stir in the Grand Marnier and cook for another minute. Chill in the refrigerator till the mixture sets up.
Chill a bowl and beaters, then whip the cream till it hold stiff peaks. Don't overbeat, you don't want butter! Keep this refrigerated while you beat the egg whites till very stiff (don't refrigerate the bowl or beaters, though) but not dry and gross. Fold first the egg white into the chilled lemon mixture, then the whipped cream -- don't deflate the air you whipped in. Spoon into a large serving bowl, or into individual bowls or cups, cover and chill for a few hours. Serves about 9.
Banana Cream Pie
Snape was quite fond of bananas, and relished the opportunity to make sure they were on the menu for the upcoming dance. He had heard from an American witch about a cream pie recipe full of tasty bananas, so he assigned Cedric the task. More cream whipping! Snape also knew that Cedric didn't much care for bananas, thus making this a real punishment indeed! Unfortunately, Cedric's dislike for the fruit was due to an allergy, and he was so bloated by his reaction to them that he and Harry had to trade recipes after the first five minutes! (The contest was briefly postponed while Madame Pomfrey administered the antidotes, muttering to herself about Snape's irresponsible idea of detention!)
Line the bottom of the pie shell with about a third of the sliced fruit. Spoon half the filling on top, smooth with a spatula. Lay down another layer of banana slices, followed by the rest of the filling. Chill overnight, or for at least three hours.
Beat the cream in a chilled bowl until it begins to get thick. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the cream hold soft, droopy peaks -- think snow drifts. What makes this a chantilly creme is the marshmallow -- tear up the marshmallow and heat in a microwave for about 10 seconds. It will be softened, puffy and really hot! Whip it straight into the cream while still warm. (This will flavor and stabilize the cream so it doesn't go "scuddy.") Spread the cream over the banana pie, dolloping and lifting to make peaks. Cover the whole surface of the pie. Use the rest of the banana to decorate the pie -- use them like up-ended coins so they stick up out of the surface of the cream topping. Serve immediately (you can prpare the pie and chantilly cream separately and top it just before serving). Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Upsidedown Fruit Tarte
Harry was initially assigned this relatively simple fruit tarte, but Snape ordered him to make the puff pastry required. It wasn't too difficult, but time-consuming, and Harry didn't understand why they simply didn't use the pastry one could buy in a Muggle supermarket. But after Cedric's face bloated up like a mutated cantaloup, Snape allowed both boys to use pre-made pie crusts to save time. Cedric, due to his allergy to bananas, ended up making this rustic French upside down tarte, using a variety of fruits. The Beauxbatons students were impressed with it, and showered Cedric with attention during the dance -- so all's well that ends well!
Rip or cut the fruit into half or large chunks, and put in a bowl with the remaining ½ cup sugar. Toss together and let rest for about 15 minutes -- you want the fruit to ooze juice.
Put ½ cup sugar with water into a saucepan and simmer it till it boils, then becomes a light amber colored caramel. Do not stir, and don't poke your fingers into it! It's very, very hot. Take it off the heat immediately! Pour the caramel into the tarte or quiche pan. Spread the fruit onto the caramel, the sprinkle over with herb leaves and the nuts. Dot the surface with butter.
Roll out the pastry until it is a bit bigger than the pie pan you're using. Cover the fruit with the pastry, pushing it right into the sides of the tin as if you were tucking in a blanket into the sides of a bed, only not so firmly. Put the tart into the oven for about half an hour, or until the pastry is puffy and golden brown.
White the pie is still warm, you will need to invert it onto a serving plate. The plate needs to be bigger than the diameter of the pie pan, of course. Put a wire cooking rack or teatowel down on your counter, then put the plate upside down over the top of the baking pan, then flip the whole thing over quickly. It should fall right out, especially if you've lined it with foil. If you did, peel it off and serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 8 to 12.
Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas Pops
Snape's obsession with bananas continued. As a child, he had had a frozen one once, covered in chocolate, toasted coconut, and sweet biscuit crumbs. In light of Cedric's allergy, Harry got the task of melting and tempering the chocolate, and preparing all the coating ingredients for the party. It wasn't as hard as it sounded, but again, it was time consuming, and everything had to be kept warm in the cold dungeon kitchen. Harry spent a lot of time running back and forth, keeping the chocolate just the right oozy texture!
Heat chocolate with the butter in a double boiler or in a bowl places over a pot of boiling water. The water can just simmer after the chocolate is all melted. Stir to blend the butter and chocolate together. Dip the chilled bananas into the chocolate (you can dip half of it, the top part, or the whole banana). Do this quickly, to keep the chocolate warm and so as not to lose your banana off it's stick. Roll the still liquid chocolate into the coating of your choice(s). Place back on the wax paper and serve immediately, or place back in the freezer. Serves 12.
Note: This is also a nice "make your own" party idea. Lay out flat bowls or plates of each coating and give guests a frozen banana to dip and coat as they please.
Romantic Sorbet Hearts
A sorbet is not difficult to make, but it takes time and you have to layer the ice and salt right and crank the ice cream maker so the mixture freezes properly. On top of that, Snape decided that in keeping with the Valentine's theme, the sorbet should be presented in heart shapes. Since there were not 20th-century molds to use, Cedric had to force the frozen dessert onto a shallow pan, then cut the hearts out of that! It took him a long, long time, stopping often to refreeze the mixture as it melted. But the results were beautiful and completely charming. Even Snape smiled when the whole school stood up and applauded when these treats were brought out!
If you don't have an ice cream maker, place the sorbet into a shallow pan and place in the freezer till just frozen. With a heavy fork, scrape up the sorbet and beat it till it's lighter in color and a rather fluffy. Pack level, then put back in the freezer to freeze solid.
Use a heart shaped metal cookiee-cutter for this next bit, and a bowl of hot water. Put the cutter to heat in the bowl, then sink it into the flattened sorbet layer. Place the hearts in a wax paper- or foil-lined platter or cookie sheet and return to the freezer till ready to serve. You can also thaw the leftover sorbet, put it into a smaller dish, freeze that, and cut out more hearts.
According to legends, brownies are apparently the result of a failed cake recipe, or an accident of chocolate sauce mixed with cookie dough. But the concoction is a great favorite with chocolate lovers everwhere, who would probably prefer the cocoa version over the melted chocolate bar version, since it's more "chocolatey." It's relatively easy to make, much to Harry's relief, but if you don't prepare the pan properly, it's hellish to turn out. Harry also learned that one should cut the brownies while they are not quite cold, or they could shatter and crack; if you cut them while too hot, the cake crumbles all over the place. He had to make a lot of these before he figured that out.
Beat the eggs until they become pale yellow and fluffy. Add the white and brown sugars, the vanilla extract and the butter, then mix some more. In a separate bowl, blend or sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder, then add to the other mixture, stirring to combine well.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, till a cake tester comes out clean. Remove to a rack and pull out of the pan with the foil or paper, then peel that off the cake carefully (like a bandaid?). Cut into squares when it's mostly cool. Makes about a dozen, depending on how you cut them.
Magical Cookie Bars
Cedric was assigned this layered bar cookie, meaning it was cooked in a cake pan, like a cake, but was cut when warm and when it cools, it was a crispy, chewy cookie. He had to cut up everything from the chocolate block into chips, grate the coconut, make the butterscotch ... it was only fair, since Harry had to do the same for the chocolate dipped banana pops. (You can buy the ingredients ready made and already cut up, of course!)
Black and White Truffles
A truffle is a wondrously fragrant, earthy tasting fungus. But in the chocolate world, these are lumps of ganache -- a mixture of chocolate and cream and/or butter -- formed into fungus-like blobs and traditionally covered with cocoa powder. In the Muggle world, truffles have advanced to hollow balls filled with ganache and coated with chocolate and a wide range of sweet and bitter coverings, from sprinkles, to powdered sugar, to more chocolate ... These two recipes evolved from an accident -- the boys were assigned to make marbled cakes with both white and dark chocolate, but the chocolate had become contaminated with a flavor enhancing potion! It was Professor Snape's fault, he was developing some new potions and it got knocked into the chocolate pots. Knowing the potion wouldn't take well to the long heating a cake would require, but also knowing how much these chocolates cost, he ordered the boys to find a way to salvage the mess. Cedric, the soul of equanimy, told Harry about truffles, and how they came in white and black forms. They each chose one chocolate type and found that making truffles was easy! Not to let Snape know they were having a rather simple time of it, they groaned and gasped a lot, pretending to be burned or complaining of how difficult the slippery truffles were to coat properly. They were able to stretch out this task for nearly the duration of the detention! To fill the rest of the time, they arranged the truffles to alternate in a checkerboard pattern, so it looked like a lumpy chessboard. It rather reminded Harry of his first year at Hogwart's.
In the end, though Professor Snape had his own opinion, Harry told Dumbledore that he deferred to Cedric, so no official decision was ever delivered. Harry had come to realize that Cedric didn't have to help Cho or him, and besides, this was the older boy's final year. The Captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team thus got to take Cho to the dance. (Though if you remember, Harry still asked her, on the off chance she had said no to the handsome Cedric!) Unfortunately, this mutual respect for one another would have dire consequences by year's end ...
Melt the remaining chocolate, then cool it till nearly solid, then heat it till till it's a coating consistency. Put the cocoa powder into a bowl. When ready, dip the truffle cream into the chocolate to coat, then drop into the cocoa powder to cover. Place on another lined pan to set. When the chocolate is cooled, you can knock the excess cocoa powder off. Makes abotu 50, depending on size.
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