I have a little bit of an OCD problem. As long as it's obtainable, I don't seem to let down on something until I've mastered it. i.e. Masters in Teaching (haha), I go the job I wanted, I didn't have a kid til our meticulous plan was laid out (got lucky and she was born exactly when I wanted ;) ), knitting, pottery, etc., etc. I set out to be a good runner, but my ITBS has kept my hopes of that down in the dirt. I do persevere through it though in hopes that someday I'll be able to run for more than 20 minutes without severely upsetting my leggins.
So anyway, back to OCD. The butterbeer we had in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was phenomenal. It was sweet, it was salty, it was everything Harry Potter. We tried it cold, and we tried it frozen. I liked the frozen more, but I can't replicate those tiny little ice pellets throughout like they did, so I have been on a quest to at least make the cold kind (the frozen is exactly the same, just more like a Slurpee).
I scoured the internet for some ideas, and today I may have hit upon what may be the closest to it.
Now in doing this, I almost feel like the true flavor is vanishing quickly out of memory, and so I'm afraid the longer I take to figure this out, I'm just going to lose it completely and have no idea what flavor I'm trying to get anymore....I have 2 other options to try, but I really do think this is the closest it's going to get.
OK- what I did was I combined recipes, and added my own little twist at the end.
The first recipe, I got from Chica and Jo. They are amazing. They created their very own butterbeer mugs! Incredible!!! They also stressed the importance of having Vanilla Butter and Nut flavoring to get the core flavoring correct.
So I tried their recipe out, and while it was good- I know for a fact that something is missing. The butterbeer at the WWHP was thicker, there was more consistency to it than just cream soda with some butternut flavoring. The whipped topping also had flavor to it more so than just sugar. There was also a slight saltiness to the drink that was missing completely.
The second recipe I found was strangely from Fox News. I felt they were way wack because they suggested adding in apple cider vinegar to the mixture. Crazy, right? Well, not really I found out. It gave the drink a certain "kick" that definitely added to the drink...it seems vital now. The problem with their mixture was that they used rum extract. I guess maybe I'm not a rum person to begin with cause opening up the container made me ill a little. I wanted to be exact in what I did though because that vinegar really did help, so maybe this rum extract was the magic key.
It wasn't. The consistency, and everything else seemed to be right on, but that extract was messing it up. I tried making a trial with just the base without the rum extract, and it too, was missing.
So that leads me to trial number 3, and 3.1. I decided that the consistency of fox news, and the flavoring of chica and jo needed to fuse.
I made the Fox recipe, but with the Vanilla Butter and Nut flavoring. Drew has been a wonderful sport and taste tester. He told me today, "I like when you get in these funky cooking/baking moods, cause then I get to taste everything." So cute. :) So anyway, he was saying that it was still missing something, like it needed more butter flavoring to it.
Not a problem! Me being that crazy person that wants to be good at everything HAD butter extract! (I did have to go up into the attic to get out my cake decorating stuff to grab the bottle.... :) ) - so I drop in a few drops into a new cup, swirl it around with the other stuff and presto! I think it did the trick!
So here is the new and improved (thanks to contributors mentioned above!) Butterbeer Recipe!
(I split everything in half cause there was no way I needed this much, but this is the typical recipe that serves 4)
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp water
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 heavy cream (1/4c for the mixture, 1/2c for whipped cream)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Butter and Nut extract
1/2tsp butter extract
4 - 12oz bottles of cream soda
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring continuously. Keep stirring until a candy thermometer reads 240F.
Once done, stir in butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4c cream. Set it aside to cool at room temperature. (and if you're me, this means put it in the freezer for 5 minutes :) ) - but don't forget about it, cause you know what butter does when it's cold!
Once it's cooled, stir in the extract.
While that is cooling, beat your cream til it's almost whipped, but not completely. Take 2Tbsp of the brown sugar mixture and mix it in...this took me about 2 minutes.
To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses - about 1/4c each glass. Add 1/4 cup of the cream soda to each glass and stir to combine. (this makes a funky frothy stuff, but if I just push it down with the spoon, it'll calm down a bit---it reminds me of the freaky froth you get when you make root beer floats). Fill each glass nearly to the top with the rest of the cream soda, then spoon the whipped cream over each of them.
*As I was finishing this up and making myself ill tasting it all, I feel as though *maybe* they don't use straight cream soda. OR maybe I'm just not liking cream soda as much as I thought I did...it's almost like I need to have rootbeer infused with vanilla ice cream as my base, but I can't do that, cause it needs the bubbles.
So I was playing with the idea that maybe it would do better as half cream soda, half seltzer water? I'm just not sure. Drew thinks it's perfect and seems to finish off his drink every time (2 times. lol)- but I can't get more than maybe 1/4 cup down before it's just too much.
My next step(s)? - I think I would like to try the absurd idea of just putting butterscotch syrup in cream soda. I don't think it'll work, but it's easy and worth a try. Other's have suggested using melted butterscotch chips with a few other things...I'll try that too, though I don't think it'll work..there's no way those people could have a vat of butterscotch chips in their liquid without having a huge hunk of fat at the bottom. But it's worth a try. I may also try to lessen the amount of cream soda and replace with just carbonated water to see if that helps the sweetness factor.