RECIPES FROM THE LIBRARY

By Raya Tihinova
All photos personal archive

'Trouble Bakers' are the tasty history of world literature. When you're with Dessie and Prolet you cannot discuss diets because they focus on the sweets and the 'salties'. Find out more about one of the most delicious adventures you can embark on!

Dessie:

Prolet and I love reading books and inventing new recipes. Trouble Bakers combined these two passions in the most interesting way and created an invisible delicious bridge between them.

Prolet:

The idea is to show that food and literature do mix. While reading, why not try out the sweet or the salty specialty of the protagonist! Like the plum cake from "Alice in Wonderland", the nachos from "Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming" by Roger Zelazny and Robert Sheckley, a peanut shake from "Magical times: Suddenly enchanted"  by Katia Henkel or a cake from Roald Dahl's "Matilda"?

Dessie:

The Elven bread from J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"  was our first culinary-literary experiment. Thanks to it, we found ourselves in the Midlands of Confectionery. Eating while reading is the combination every hobbit dreams of!

Prolet:

Readers are not used to pay attention to the food in a book - adventures excite them more. However, food is very important, as it gives characters incredible powers!

Dessie:

Usually, literature does not offer ready-made recipes. We invent them and imagine what the end product would taste like. We are lead by the feeling the character gets while eating them. The truth is that no one has seen those "sweets or salties" and that gives us great freedom and leaves a lot to our imagination. But there are books with detailed descriptions. In "Chocolat", Joanne Harris describes tastes so intensively readers can instantly feel them.

Prolet:

It is important to stay within the good taste. People are very demanding when it comes to sweets because they are offered at the end of a meal, and they should bring pleasure.

Dessie:

Our Elven bread was put to the test among our friends. We received interesting feedback: for some it was short of apple; for others - of cinnamon or nutmeg. Then we realized there is no 'unanimous' recipe, and we have great room for experimentation. Once we find the good taste, the hardest part is keeping it.

Prolet:

Sometimes we create a new recipe and later on find it in a book. We have to read different genres - from horror to fantasy to classic literature.

Dessie:

A few years ago I read "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. I did not like it particularly then; but this year I came across a quote from it mentioning an apple pie. This gave me a second chance to read it and then I 'made friends' with the author. In the book I found a lot of information about Southern American food: ice cream, pies and lots of other stuff.

Prolet:

Interestingly, food can provoke us to read a book or give a book a second reading chance.

Dessie:

Literature abounds with fabulous things. Fictional world becomes so real that you want to pick a fight with a dragon or simply try his favorite drink. With Trouble Bakers, the second option is perfectly possible.

Prolet:

Our dream is working with children and helping them get to love literature in a delicious way.

Dessie:

This is our next idea, and we'll keep you informed about the developments.

TRY IT OUT

Recipe for muffins from the book "Muffins Club: World's sweetest bunch" by Katja Alves

For the paste:

60 g butter, 2 teacups flour, 1 teacup sugar, 3 eggs, 1 teacup milk, 2/3 baking powder pack vanilla

For the icing:

125 g butter, 1/2 teacup powdered sugar, colorful sticks (optional)

Preparation:

Melt the butter.

Stir the eggs in a large bowl, adding the butter and the milk.

In another bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, add vanilla and sugar.

Add the dry mixture to the liquid and stir into a smooth paste with a wooden spatula.

Fill cupcake molds, 2/3 of the mold, and bake 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees (do not open the oven during baking).

Mix the soft butter (it should be just soft, not liquid) with the powdered sugar.

Decorate the cupcakes making sure they are well cooled down - otherwise they will absorb the icing in.

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