Sonntag, 14. Oktober 2012

The one with the only movie version I liked better than the book - MoFo Book Challenge #14 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

At first I did not want to take part in this week's Chopped Challenge, but when the secret ingredients were revealed I immediately had an idea for a dish that was perfect for a book I wanted to present anyway and as there is no Iron Cheffing this week I needed a substitute Sunday activity anyway. So here we go: I chose Charlie and the Chocolate factory. I guess everybody knows the story, so I won't make words about the content. It is special to me, because this is the one book of which I like the movie version better than the book itself (by now I had no opportunity to watch the older movie version, so I am talking about Burton's 'new' film). There might be a few reasons for that: First of all it is a Tim Burton movie and I absolutely adore Tim Burton's skills in movie making, it has a perfect cast (Johnny Depp is the best Willy Wonka ever) and last but not least: Tim Burton and Roald Dahl just match each other perfectly well. I personally think Burton's aesthetic emphasizes Dahl's writing. When I was a child I loved Roald Dahl (and even though he is a highly controversial person I still enjoy his books), I loved his way of telling stories that were so different from all the other books for children, and especially enjoyed BFG and, later on, Kiss Kiss. But even though I thought Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wasn't bad at all, it had too much of a teaching play to me. It was one of the books I enjoyed to read, but that did not leave me overwhelmed. The plot was fine, the idea of this strange chocolate factory perfect, but it had too mush of a modern version of Shockheaded Peter. I even gave my copy away and never had a need to read it again, until I watched the movie. Burton's imagery and Dahl's sense of humor match so perfectly well that I finally had to state that not all books are better than their movie versions, to me this one is the exception (and usually I am very skeptical , even crucial, when it comes to movie versions). I love how Burton used the fine black humor and disarmed the schoolmasterly undertone. I still think it is an enjoyable movie, maybe it isn't even one of Burton's best films but I am always in for watching it on a rainy Sunday afternoon, sipping a cup of hot chocolate and munching one or more cupcakes. 

Willy Wonka is known for his strange sweets and this one might seem to be an odd combination, but I really enjoyed it, if you are not disgusted by the idea to combine fruit, salty cream and indulging chocolate, this is just perfect (if you want to take it one step further you might even use salty popcorn); I loved the idea of creating chocolaty mushrooms that could grow in the factory park where Wonka tells his visitors:

"Everything in this room is eatable. In fact even I am eatable, but that is called cannibalism my dear children and is frowned upon in most civilizations.”

the filling has a beautiful color and even if you are not up to making the cupcake I highly recommend the jam, if you use my recipe there will be lots of jam left to enjoy, last year I had a butternut&boskoop jam that I really loved, so I decided to experiment on combining different fruits with butternut and this is one of my favourites so far

instead of popping the popcorn myself I bought caramelized popcorn at a cinema nearby, to get your popcorn chunks in the right shape (they should not be too large or too small) you might just do it my way: sit in front of your television and munch it until you realize this is a necessary cooking ingredient, the crumbles that were left had about the exact size I needed, but in other cases I would recommend to cut them into halves...

the amounts given might not match perfectly well, I had cream cheese frosting and lots of jam left:
as this depends on your baking pan and the amount of frosting/icing you prefer you may prefer to sweeten a part of the cream cheese at first (so you could use the rest as a spread)

Willy Wonka's Chocolate Mushrooms

jam:  (makes ~2 midi bottling jars)
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/2 can apricot preserves , (~150g)
canning sugar (3:1), water

chocolate&popcorn cupcake: (makes 9 midi cupcakes)
150g all-purpose flour, 100g sugar, 50g cocoa powder
80ml almond milk (maybe more), 20g apple sauce
40ml plant oil, 1 pinch of salt
1 handful popcorn, coarsey crumbled&caramelized
3/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp apple vinegar
rosemary cream cheese frosting:
150g white ground almonds
1/2 a lemon's juice, 1/2 cup water
3tbsp olive oil, 1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1 pinch of salt, 2tbsp fresh rosemary
3 tbsp icing sugar, 2tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

chocolate icing:
60g cocoa powder, 150g icing sugar
3tbsp oil, 3tbsp almond milk

cream cheese: put everything except for the icing sugar and the chopped rosemary in a blender and blend until creamy, put in a nut cloth (or coffee filter) and allow to drip off over night, next day add icing sugar and rosemary (depends on your personal sweet fondness)
jam: weigh out apricots and squash, then weigh out canning sugar at a ration 3:1; simmer squash and apricot pieces in a pot (carefully add water to cover the whole bottom), until butternut pieces become soft, then add canning sugar, continue to simmer and gently mash apricot and squash until you receive the texture you prefer.
cupcakes: mix the dry ingredients, then add milk, oil and apple sauce and stir well, quickly stir in baking soda and apple vinegar, then gently fold in popcorn crumbles and immediately fill into a muffin pan and bake at 170°C for ~ 20min;  allow to cool down

when cupcakes are completely cool use a very sharp knife to carefully cut their "stems" off (or cut lower, if you prefer), spread jam onto cut surface and put together again, then prepare icing: heat oil and milk in a pot then add cocoa powder and sugar and simmer for 3 minutes; immediately spread icing all over the mushrooms and leave to cool for ~1h, then use a forcing bag to add the frosting and decorate with popcorn and rosemary twigs


  1. Looks so decadent! I love Wonka and your theme works well with this Chopped!

    1. Yeah, I was very lucky with that one :)

  2. Wow these look special! I love the idea of the chocolate mushrooms :)
    I can't agree with you about the film though, I thought parts of Tim Burton's film were absolutely dreadful and unwatchable :)

    1. Thank you :)

      I know there are many people that did not like the movie and even though I understand the things they mentioned, I never really was affected by them. Even though this is not my favourite movie and not even my favourite Burton movie, I still find it very enjoyable. :)

  3. Brilliant! So incredible creative (and beautiful photo!) I hope you win! These are just astounding!

    1. thank YOU!
      I guess there will be lots of brilliant dishes so I don't think I have a real chance, but I enjoy this competition a lot and that is my main reason to take part. I think there are so many creative vegan chefs out there, who all deserve to win :)

  4. Hahaha! Isst du jetzt tagelang Cupcakes? :D

    1. das wünschst du dir, aber ich bin schon alle losgeworden ;)

  5. wow. you're so creative Cara! this looks wonderful. I especially love the butternut squash + apricot jam combo (must try!) and popcorn on top of the chocolate cupcakes.

    I actually like the older version of the movie better but the new version is still fun to watch. The cake is indeed a perfect match. well done!

    1. I guess that's why I could never have something like a movie theme for MoFo, I just 'like' or 'dislike' movies, but I am not a cineaste at all. So my movie recommendations might not be the most trustworthy.... ;)

      But I loved the cake, and that's all that counts for now, isn't it? ;)


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