Recipe & Review: Teatime with Diana Bishop, All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness

Recipe & Review: Teatime with Diana Bishop, All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness

All Souls Trilogy: A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, The Book of Life

All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness

Fantasy Series: All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness

Hopefully in the books you read, you will find characters that you can relate to as well as others you love.  Diana Bishop, from the The All Souls Trilogy is high on my all time favorite character list.

Diana is a book lover, an academic historian, and a reluctant witch. Her scholarly pursuits chase her into the chaotic and dangerous world of vampires, daemons, and witches. The overall story arc of the three books covers Diana’s growth as she accepts her magic, learns how to control her abilities, and fully embraces the power of being a witch. Along the journey of her self-discovery as a witch, Diana finds romance with Matthew Clairmont, a vampire scientist (tall, dark, and handsome a definite plus) in the first book, then time travels with him back to Elizabethan Europe in the second book, and returns to the present in the third book to uncover the answer to a several centuries old mystery that will bring stability to the world of creatures.

Fans of this international best selling series were delighted earlier this year, when the screen adaptation of Discovery of Witches was released. The first season of Discovery of Witches is a visual feast that is very faithful to the first book. To help with the transitions between book, screen time is spent on the Congregation a counsel of vampires, witches, and daemons that enforce the Covenant, a decree that forbids relationships between creatures. The Congregation and its Covenant is a direct challenge to Diana’s worldview as an academic, her ethics as a humanitarian, and her status as a woman in love with a vampire.

Discovery of Witches DVD

Whether you read the trilogy or indulge in the television adaptation, the world of All Souls shares the story of  Diana Bishop, a strong, intelligent, compassionate woman who is a magnificent character in any fantasy world.

Link to The All Souls Real-Time Reading Companion

All Souls Trilogy: A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, The Book of Life

A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness  Shadow Of the Night, Deborah Harkness   The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness

Tea Tasting Selections

In the All Souls Trilogy the vampire choice of drink is wine, so of course Mathew has several wine tasting scenes with Diana. However, Diana’s favorite drink is tea. In The World of All Souls , there is a section on tea which lists Diana’s favorite tea as THÉ DES IMPRESSIONNISTES® Green tea with a flowery vanilla taste. It also shares that ALEXANDRA DAVID-NÉEL Adventurers black tea with its spicy and fruity notes smells like Matthew. In addition, The World of All Souls shares that on a regular basis, Diana favors strong black teas such as English or Scottish breakfast teas. With intensity of flavor in mind, Diana might enjoy a cup of Twinings’ Lapsang Souchong, a smokey black tea or Tazo’s organic pan-fired green tea. Do follow the brewing directions for the Lapsang Souchong because of the intensity of  flavors. The additional smokey flavors can stand up to Diana’s method of adding 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 a cup of milk.

Even though, biscuits (or cookies for American readers) are typically shared with an afternoon tea, Diana deserves something a little more decadent considering all the creature diplomacy she engages in through out the books.

The World of All Souls  All Souls Real Time Reading Companion

Mimi’s Cream Puffs

There’s just a touch of baking powder in this recipe to help with the initial bubble formation of the puff’s interior, so even baking during humid weather should not cause the puff to deflate before the crust has set.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour (packed and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (add to the flour)
  • 1 cup eggs ( 4 or 5 large eggs) lightly beaten in a measuring cup with spout
  • ½  teaspoon vanilla extract (add to eggs)

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Boil water, butter, salt and sugar in a medium sized or 2 quart pot.  Meanwhile, add the baking powder to the flour and lightly stir.
  • Once the liquid mixture hits a hard boil, add the flour & baking powder mixture all at once to the pot and remove from heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until all flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball.
  • Transfer mixture into bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes in order to keep the eggs from scrambling. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs with vanilla extract in a Pyrex measuring cup there should be about 1 cup of eggs.
  • With mixer on stir or lowest speed add the eggs slowly, about ¼ cup at a time, making sure each pour is completely incorporated before adding the next batch of eggs.
  • Once all the eggs have been added and the mixture is smooth put dough into gallon size zip-top bag with a ¼ – ½ inch cut off one bottom corner. Pipe immediately into walnut-size shapes, 2 inches apart onto parchment lined sheet pans (12 – 15 will fit on a sheet pan for a total of 4 sheet pans or 4 dozen plus puffs).
  • Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Note you can bake 2 sheets at once, but before you do the next batch make sure that your oven reheats to 425.
  • Very important – Once they are removed from the oven pierce with a paring knife immediately to release steam or they will get soggy and collapse.
  • Let cool and fill with your choice of pudding or chunky fruit preserves (David likes canned blueberry pie filling)). For the potluck, I used (1) fudge chocolate pudding with a teaspoon of espresso powder and 1 ½ cups milk; (2) vanilla pudding with ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 ½ cups milk (optional a small grating of nutmeg).  While the puffs were baking, I mixed the puddings directly in a gallon sized zip-top bag and chilled it in the fridge before snipping off a bottom corner to fill the cooled puffs.
  • Garnish with powder sugar or chocolate glaze (1 cup of melted chocolate chips with 4 or 5 tablespoons of butter.  Add butter a tablespoon at a time stirring and microwaving between each addition until you reach a consistency you like.)

 

All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness  All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness

Recipe & Review: Teatime with Diana Bishop, All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness

 

 

 

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