Book Week: Foods from Iconic Books

As we head into book week, we can’t help but think about all the delicious meals and treats we read about in books growing up. We’ve put together a list of recipes to allow you to finally get a taste of the goodies you’ve always wanted to try.

Baudelaire’s Pasta Puttanesca

Book: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Featuring firstly in The Bad Beginning as part Lemony Snickets book series, this meal was prepared by orphans; Violet, Klaus, and Sunny by order of Count Olaf to feed his theatre group.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 5 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 120g pitted black olives
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 300g dried spaghetti
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion along with a generous pinch of salt and fry for 10 mins, or until soft. Add the garlic and chilli, if using, and cook for a further minute.
  2. Stir the tomatoes, anchovies, olives, and capers into the onion, bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 mins. Season to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the spaghetti following pack instructions, then drain and toss with the sauce and parsley.

Bruce Bogtrotters Chocolate Cake

Book: Matilda

Technically baked for Miss Trunchbull, Bruce is forced to eat every slice of this cake after being accused of stealing a piece. The punishment backfires as Matilda and the children revolt against her and cheer on Bruce who eventually succeeds. We’ve put together a deliciously decadent recipe leaving out Cooks blood, sweat and spit of course. A classic children’s books from Roald Dahl.



  • 450g plain chocolate
  • 350g butter
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 8 tbsp flour
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 250g plain chocolate
  • 250g double cream
  • Sea salt
  • 2 x 20cm cake tins


  1. Preheat oven to 180. Melt chocolate, then butter, then add sugar, flour, vanilla, salt and egg yolks.
  2. Beat egg whites and stir in carefully. Cook both cakes for approximately 35 minutes. Leave to cool.
  3. For the icing, melt chocolate and combine with cream. Stack and ice cakes. Top with a light dusting of salt.

Honeydukes Pumpkin Pasties

Book: Harry Potter Series

Fans of the Wizarding World will be familiar with this sweet treat consumed by Harry, Ron, Hermione and friends, found at the famous Honeydukes on Diagon Alley. JK Rowling’s book creations are brought to life here.


  • 175g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 140g chilled unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chilled water


  • 100g pumpkin puree
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch all spice
  • Pinch cardamom
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsps milk


  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor/stand mixer.
  2. Add butter cubes and process shortly, about 10 pulses, but it depends on the machine you are using. The dough should resemble breadcrumbs.
  3. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of icy water and pulse a few times again until the dough comes together. Add the third tablespoon of water if necessary; sometimes I do add it, sometimes not; it depends on how exactly you weigh the flour and sometimes on the brand of the flour itself. The dough should hold together when you press a little bit of it between your fingers.
  4. Refrigerate: Form a ball, divide it into two portions, press each piece into a disc and wrap the discs tightly in plastic foil. You will only need one portion to make about 15 pasties. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.


  1. When ready to roll the dough, preheat the oven to 200c/400f.
  2. Sprinkle the working surface with a bit of flour and roll one of the refrigerated dough discs, about 3 mm thick.
  3. Cut dough circles using a pastry cutter or the edge of a glass. My circles had a diameter of 8 cm, and the resulting pasties were small. After rolling the remaining scraps a couple of times as well, I had 15 pasties.
  4. Spoon about ½ teaspoon of the filling on one side of the pastry circles, dab the pastry edges with a wet finger and fold the other side over. You will now have the half-moons.
  5. Press the edges with a fork to crimp and close them.
  6. Using a small sharp knife, cut some tiny slits on top to create vents. I cut the vents in the form of Harry’s scar, but you don’t have to do that; an ordinary X will suffice.
  7. Place the pasties on a baking tray lined with baking paper.


  1. Mix the egg yolk with the milk. Brush the pasties with the mix.
  2. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until nicely golden.
  3. Let cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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