As you may recall from memorizing every post on my blog, I thought The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater was not only a wonderful book, but one of my top ten reads for 2011. And of course, it wasn’t just me who thought this:
Awards and Accolades
Michael L. Printz Award Honor, 2012
The Odyssey Honor Award 2012 for Best Audio Production
Los Angeles Times Book Times Award Finalist, 2012
ALA Notable Books for Children, 2012
The New York Times Notable Childrens’ Books of 2011
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2011
Amazon’s Best Books for Teens 2011
And as you may also know, this author not only writes books, but composes music for them, plays the music, makes the book trailers (including the cut-paper art) and no doubt she also dances backwards in high heels. Recently, she invented a recipe to go with The Scorpio Races, and posted it on her blog, here.
In The Scorpio Races, the characters are very fond of the special “November Cakes” baked during race time, which are gooey and drippy buns, in spite of there being no Purell or Wet-Wipes on this mythical Irish island. (See, and you thought I couldn’t criticize her!)
But since, in my house, we do have Purell bottles every five feet or so, I thought it would be safe to try to bake these, and so I did.
Maggie’s instructions were great, but I still had to make adjustments. (For some reason, I can’t copy and paste the recipe, so if you open the window with the recipe, here, you could follow along with my changes.) For example, I didn’t have regular milk, but I had buttermilk, since I had just made scones for breakfast (see my recipe, here). And I never have been disappointed when I substitute buttermilk for milk.
I also didn’t want to buy whipping cream for just two tablespoons, so I just used melted Breyer’s vanilla ice cream. (In our house, Breyer’s vanilla is a staple, like salt. We always have it.) As far as I know without a comparison, it worked fine. Lastly, after applying glaze to half the buns, I tossed a bit of rum into the glaze for the second half. Just a dash, you know, to show that the products of Maggie Stiefvater’s intellect aren’t just for young adults….
As for other changes, my oven is fast, and the buns were quite done after only ten minutes. And they were huge! In fact, when I took the dough out of the oven after the first rising, the dough was STILL MOVING – PULSATING even!, and I feared A SMALL BABY ALIEN was going to pop out of it any minute! But after I waited in fascination for a while, no alien emerged, so I transferred the dough to greased muffin tins, and left them for a second rising.
When I dumped out the buns to put on glaze and icing, instead of turning them over, I left them upside down, because that would maximize the area of glaze/icing absorption. And no one cares that they are upside down when they’re busy swooning over the taste!
And yes, they are swoony, just like the romance between Sean and Puck in the book. If you haven’t read The Scorpio Races, you are so missing out! You can hear the author read Chapter One and also listen to the music for it that she composed and also plays on the same web page, here. Or, check out Maggie’s interview with the narrators of the audio version, here. (Steve West, who reads for Sean, is um, okay looking….)
And make some November Cakes! It’s worth the effort! (have Purell around for after….) For future reference, by the way, I plan to try adding 1/4 cup of orange juice to the filling, to make it a bit more orangey.
And while you’re eating, or thinking about eating, or even regretting all the cakes you already ate, here’s some additional music composed and played by the author to accompany you: