I wish to inspire readers, teachers, and book clubs to bake along with their reading and promote discussion about the books we've enjoyed.
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Weasleys and Harry have been given tickets to the top box at the Quidditch World Cup, the largest sporting event in the wizarding world. But after the match, darkly cloaked Death Eaters send up the Dark Mark in the sky, signaling their leader’s returning strength and power, and somehow they used Harry’s wand to do it.
The Ministry of Magic is using all their resources to find answers, and an obnoxious reporter with no boundaries named Rita Skeeter is meanwhile hounding the students of Hogwarts about the Triwizard Tournament they will be hosting. Neighboring schools will each send a champion to compete in dangerous, clever challenges.
The new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, “Mad-Eye” Moody, Dumbledore, and Hermione seem to be the only ones who believe that Harry Potter didn’t trick the magic goblet to enter his name. Even Ron has succumbed to jealousy and false accusations. Harry will have to use every bit of wit and wisdom his friends have to survive the tournament in this thrilling, wise tale of triumphing over impossible odds through the aid of friendship and hard work.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Discussion Questions
- What is a portkey, and how did the ones in this story have huge effects?
- Mrs. Weasley had a magical grandfather clock that helped her keep track of everyone in the family. How did it work, and what would be the benefit of such an object?
- What were some of the Weasley twins’ prank inventions, and how did they use them for hilarity at different tense times?
- Part of the house elf’s enslavement was to keep the family’s secrets in silence and to never speak ill of them. Why did Winky have such a hard time adjusting after she was fired, unlike Dobby?
- Why did Hermione want so desperately to help the house elves, even those in the Hogwarts kitchen, who may have arguably had it better than those anywhere else? And why did they refuse her efforts?
- Hagrid is fiercely defensive of and loyal to Dumbledore. What facts about Hagrid’s past were revealed that explain this, as well as something about Dumbledore that actually disgusted Voldemort and other Slytherins?
- The core of Cedric’s wand was a male unicorn tail hair Fleur’s was a Veela hair from her grandmother, and Krum’s was hornbeam and dragon heartstring. How were each of these appropriate for their individual characters? What magical object might be in the center of Dumbledore’s wand, or Hagrid’s, when he had one?
- Why did Sirius tell Ron that Hermione understood the character of Crouch better than he did because she was looking at how he treated “his inferiors, not his equals”? Based on that quote, what was the true nature of Barty Crouch? Or of Ludo Bagman?
- “Dumbledore invoked an ancient magic, to ensure the boy’s protection as long as he is in his relations’ care.” How did that explain why Dumbledore put Harry at the Dursley’s house in the first place and had him return there every year, even though they treated him so poorly?
- Why did Dumbledore have Harry learn who put him through the last large ordeal after he’d suffered so much already at the last part of the Triwizard Tournament? What does understanding have to do with acceptance, and ultimately, recovery?
- How was Rita Skeeter able to obtain so much secret information without being allowed in the castle? How did Hermione exact vengeance on the malicious reporter?
Butterbeer Cupcakes Recipe
Butterbeer was something Harry drank on every trip to the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. He also was given a mug of it in the Gryffindor common room after his name was revealed to have been successfully placed in the Goblet of Fire.
- 4 sticks (2 cups) salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed down
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 5/8 cup plus 4 tbsp cream soda, divided
- 1 packet Butterscotch pudding mix
- 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp butter rum extract (flavoring oil), divided
- 2 tbsp milk
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, combine 2 sticks (1 cup) of salted butter with the white and brown sugars (not the powdered) on medium speed for about 1–2 minutes, or until fully combined. You may need to scrape down the insides of the bowl (or the paddle attachment) with a rubber spatula, but make sure it is turned off first.
- Turn the mixer to low and add 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of butter rum extract. When those are combined, add the eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, gently whisk together the flour, butterscotch pudding mix, baking soda and baking powder. Add half the bowl of dry ingredients very slowly to the bowl of wet ingredients on low speed. Then add the 5/8 cup of cream soda, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients, once the soda has fizzled down, and mix until just combined. Stop the mixer to scrape down the insides of the bowl if ingredients aren’t combining.
- Fill two paper-lined (or oil-sprayed) cupcake trays about two-thirds of the way full each with the batter. Bake for 20–24 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out free of any raw batter.
- For the frosting, whip together 2 sticks (1 cup) of room temperature salted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on medium speed for two minutes. Slowly add 2 cups of the powdered sugar on low speed, followed by 2 tablespoons milk and 1/8 teaspoon of butter rum extract.
- When those are combined, add one more cup of powdered sugar and allow to combine, followed by 4 tablespoons flat cream soda, then the last cup of powdered sugar. Frost onto cupcakes that have cooled a minimum of ten minutes on a baking rack or non-metal serving tray.
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Similar Recommended Readings
- The next book in the series is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which continues the denial of the Ministry of Magic that Voldemort has returned, and has major ramifications for the students at Hogwarts.
- The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis also includes giants and other magical creatures, as well as a quest that a young boy and girl must go on to save a prince.
- There are numerous tasks, trials, and riddles in The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.
- Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones is a magical tale about a girl who meets the Goblin-king and the sacrifices she will make for love and family.
© 2017 Amanda Leitch