Book Nerd Bites (#1)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Book Nerd Bites is an original monthly feature created by Becca, Cyra, Kristie, Natasha, and Valerie as part of the Book Blogger Creativity Project hosted by Nori. Each month we will be sharing exciting recipes inspired by some of our favorite books. Feel free to join in, but please make sure you link your post back to us so we can enjoy your favorite bookish delights as well!

Don't forgot to use if you want to share your food inspiration with us on twitter or instagram!

Today for my debut post for this project, I will be featuring...

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye!

There are so many magical foods featured in this wonderful book, but the one that I chose to attempt to recreate was the pastry swan swimming in a butterscotch lake! I am culinar-ily challenged, so this was definitely an adventure!

This recipe has three different parts that need to be made, the choux pastry for the swans, chantilly cream to hold the swan pieces together, and the butterscotch sauce for the swans to swim in!

For choux pastry:

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large or extra large eggs

For chantilly cream:

2 cups whipping cream
4 rounded tbsp powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

For butterscotch:

4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp large flake salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

So, nothing too complicated so far, right? I started making the pastry first! To do that, follow these instructions:

1. Add butter and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce to medium heat and add all the flour and salt at once.

3. Cook this mixture and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Allow mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until batter is smooth.

5. Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

***So, I have a bad habit of not reading my recipes close enough when I'm attempting to cook and that is probably why I will never be a chef, but I didn't do this step. Everything still turned out fine.***

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

7. Pipe swan pieces onto parchment lined baking sheet.

Tip: Put the pastry mix into a ziplock bag and cut off the corner. Pipe out filled in tear drop shapes and "2"s. The tear drop shapes make the wings and the "2"s make the necks and beaks.

8. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes until the puffs are golden brown.

Tip: Put the necks and teardrops on different pans because the necks will probably be done baking before the wings.

***I didn't do this, but my necks were kind of thick and they all got done about the same time.***

***I got some really random shapes on there because I got sick of piping out the correct shapes. I also did a whole tray of just blobs.***

While I did most of the pastry mix, my sister was making the chantilly cream! Honestly, I think this was the hardest part just because it takes FOREVER to beat the cream until it becomes whipped. We did it by hand because it was like 11 pm and other people were sleeping.

So basically all you do to make the cream is beat all of the ingredients together until it forms firm peaks or your arm falls off. Whichever comes first!

And finally to make the butterscotch sauce:

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add brown sugar, salt, and heavy cream and stir with a rubber spatula until well blended.

3. Bring mixture to a boil, scraping down the sides occasionally, and boil for 4-5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer sauce to a container to cool. 

***I also forgot to add the vanilla to the butterscotch. So basically I think I made caramel sauce instead.***

To make the swans, I just glopped some of the cream onto one of the tear drop shaped pastries and stuck another one on the other side and inserted a "2" in between them! That is not how the instructions said to do it, but once again, I didn't read the instructions on how to do it. I just went with what I felt.

And this is what I ended up with as a finished project!

They probably aren't as finely crafted as the magical pastry swans you would find in a magical glass pumpkin bakery, but I think it clearly looks like a swan. A melting swan, but a swan none the less!

If you want to create more finely crafted swans, you can look at the recipes I linked above that I used to make these!

If you want to check out what recipes the rest of the people in my group are going to feature, here is the schedule:

Monday - Cyra
Tuesday - Natasha
Wednesday - Becca
Thursday - Kristie
Friday - Valerie
Saturday - Nori

So what do you think of this feature we created? What are some of your favorite foods featured in books? Are you going to try this recipe someday? It's pretty tasty! Basically tastes like cream puffs!


  1. I am SUPER impressed by the end product here. Awesome.

    1. Thank you! They turned out better than I expected them to even though I forgot a whole bunch of steps because being in the kitchen makes me anxious sometimes! Haha! The whipped cream we made seriously impressed me so much!

  2. OMG this is so fantastic! For being self-proclaimed at not being a chef this is a really impressive creation. I often mean to try a recipe inspired by a book but still haven't ended up doing it. But this post is certainly inspiring!

    Liselle @ Lunch-Time Librarian

    1. If you ever make one, I'd love to see it! I was not certain while creating this that they would actually look like swans. So I'm pretty impressed with myself as well. Haha! I was also not sure they would be good because the batter for the pastries was kinda gross tasting. But it was a success!!

  3. These turned out great! Amazing job!

    1. Thank you! I was really just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best! But I'm pretty impressed with what I ended up with! :)

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks! We all did pretty great on our feature! I'm so glad we did this!


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