Monash Cook-Off #11: Butterbeer

Written by: Xenia Cordelia Lee

Featuring: Teng Sin Hui

As we are half-way through another semester, fellow students and harry potter fans alike, remember to take care of yourselves, mentally and physically. “Working hard is important. But there is something that matters even more: Believing in Yourself” – Harry Potter.

This time, we bring back the nostalgia of the wizarding world. And what better way to do so than with a mug of butterbeer! Here’s a ticket to Hogsmeade, there is no need to be sneaking around with an invisibility cape. Let’s get some butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks; served hot in foaming tankards or cold in a bottle -whichever you’d prefer. 


This vintage beverage is kept in a barrel in the back room of the Inn. As fans may recall Luna Lovegood’s necklace of Butterbeer corks or Winky getting drunk off Butterbeer (as it is much stronger for house-elves). We would be as “batty about Butterbeer” as Barny the Fruitbat would be; we may not have any background tracks of “the Weird Sisters” but do continue reading more on this Hufflepuff’s recreation inspired by the classic Butterbeer.

Congrats on getting chosen the 2nd time, your macarons looked so good, it made me crave some the more I look at it. In your previous interview, you mentioned you had a culinary diploma. Does this mean you often have experiments in the kitchen, trying out random recipes and what not?

“Thank you! Yes, I did my culinary diploma at Berjaya University of Hospitality, it’s in Bukit Bintang. Currently I’m in my 3rd year right now, actually studying something related to culinary. I’m majoring in Food Science and Technology, it is under the School of Science. We actually had a recent project where we created a cereal drink from scratch, a very healthy alternative, much like a cereal bar. Yeah, I guess I do enjoy cooking up a storm in my kitchen.”

That’s so cool! What’s the inspiration behind this dish? Dare I assume you are a Harry Potter fan as well?

“Yes I am a Harry Potter fan, followed the series for 12 years so I thought why not try recreating it. Did some research before-hand because there are plenty of recipes available from fandom sites but my food science knowledge really helped a lot in this recreation attempt.

Well, could you tell us more about how you made the butterbeer, would you mind sharing the recipe with us?

“I’m sorry I can’t really share the recipe as I don’t remember the exact measurements -I just estimated it by hand. Generally, for the clear soda part, I mixed caramel, butter extract, baking soda and citric acid. Caramel is made by heating up sugar until it’s brown. Then, the baking soda and citric acid gives it the gassy carbonation (it releases carbon dioxide gas) effect to the drink by reacting together through a neutralisation process. As for the foam part it’s made by creating an emulsified mixture from brown butter, a bit of sugar and milk. The mixture is then beaten until it aerates (introduce air into a material) into a foamy thick liquid, similar to the Dalgona coffee trend. By the way, the brown butter is made by heating and browning regular butter.

I see! So that’s how it gets the infamous Butterbeer colour. I’m curious, did it taste more like butter or more like beer?

“It’s more like drinking champagne. It tasted more than just butter, I would say, a bubbly butterscotch drink. In fact, since I made it to be non-alcoholic, I think it should be renamed as butter soda like how a non-alcoholic cocktail is called a mocktail. Though, there are alcoholic butterbeer recipes online, it is just a search away on Google.”

Would you opt for additional toppings?

“I may not be much of a drinker, but if I had to pick my poison, I believe that dark rum would go well with it, maybe serve it with some rum brownies. Yum~”

I agree, that sounds delish! Would you ever make this drink again though? Like as a replacement for your usual drink maybe?

“Hmm… I consider myself quite a healthy person so, no I wouldn’t. I would not recommend it for anyone else either. Even the creator behind Universal’s Butterbeer recipe took health concerns and calorie counts very seriously. He claims it has fewer calories than a regular soda but that still doesn’t make it any healthier. Drink more water instead, it’s cheaper too!”

That’s right, we got to stay hydrated (laugh). So, did anyone encourage you to join the cook-off?

“Yeah, a friend of mine just came up to me one day and said ‘why don’t you join the Monash Cook-off’ so I did but I generally did it for the voucher prize.”

That’s reasonable. Alright, thanks so much for your time, but last but not least, we have to ask again; what are you going to do with the prize money (besides buy food with it)?

“Well, I guess I would be using the money for a date with my boyfriend.”

And to that we say, ta ta, take care, and have a good one ol’ chap.

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