The Magician’s Nephew

Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

In The Magician’s Nephew, Polly and Digory plant a piece of toffee into the magical Narnian ground, and the next morning they find a toffee tree has grown in its place.

“Just beside them was a little, very dark-wooded tree, about the size of an apple tree. The leaves were whitish and rather papery, like the herb called honesty, and it was loaded with little brown fruits that looked rather like dates…

Polly and Digory got to work on the toffee-tree. The fruit was delicious; not exactly like toffee — softer for one thing, and juicy — but like fruit which reminded one of toffee.”

-The Magician’s Nephew-

I figured it would be pretty impossible to recreate the fruit of the toffee tree in real life. It’s got to look like a date, taste like toffee, and be juicy. While I was puzzling over how to pay homage to the toffee fruit, I discovered this sticky toffee pudding recipe from Nigella. It was the perfect compromise. It has dates and toffee in it, so I like to think this is what toffee fruit would taste like if it were baked into a pudding. Plus, sticky toffee pudding is a traditional English dish, and many English dishes are also traditional Narnian dishes. Fancy that!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups dates, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter a large pudding dish or souffle dish.
  2. Combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar with the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter, and stir until incorporated.
  4. Fold the dates into the batter, and pour the batter into the pudding dish.
  5. Sprinkle the 1 cup of brown sugar evenly on top of the batter.
  6. Dot the top of the brown sugar with the 2 Tbsp. of butter.
  7. Pour the boiling water over the whole mixture.
  8. Bake the pudding for 45 minutes, or until set.

After this pudding cooks, it will have a springy, almost cake-like upper layer, with a bottom layer of sticky toffee sauce. The dates added to this sticky toffee pudding recipe gave it a nice texture, and the toffee sauce was absolutely divine. It tasted almost as magical as I’m sure fresh toffee fruit tastes. Yum!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money!

Good food is meant to be shared!

Soft Caramel Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

In The Magician’s Nephew, Polly and Digory are on a quest in Narnia and are desperate for something to eat for dinner. The only thing they have available is a bag of toffees in Polly’s coat pocket. They eat all of them but one, and they plant the final toffee in the ground to grow a toffee tree. More on that later 🙂

“The little paper bag was very squashy and sticky…it was more a question of tearing the bag off the toffees than of getting the toffees out of the bag. Some grown-ups (you know how fussy they can be about that sort of thing) would rather have gone without supper altogether than eaten those toffees.”

-The Magician’s Nephew-

One of my favorite things about C.S. Lewis’ writing in The Chronicles of Narnia is how he talks about grown ups. It cracks me up and makes me realize that I am still a kid at heart. Toffee is delicious, even if it is “squashy and sticky.”

The way this toffee is described, it sounds more like caramel than toffee to me. Most toffee recipes produce a hard, crunchy candy. I love hard and crunchy toffee, but it is more difficult to make, as it requires a candy thermometer and can be easily burned. Plus, a soft caramel recipe would be more authentic in this situation, I think. So, that’s what I did.

I adapted this soft caramel recipe from Creme de la Crumb, and it did not disappoint!

soft caramel recipe

Soft Caramel Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

Ingredients

  • 10 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Combine the butter and the sugar in a saucepan, and stir it until the combination is melted and incorporated together.
  2. Add the corn syrup and the sweetened condensed milk. Whisk the ingredients together until the mixture boils.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low, and whisk the mixture constantly for about 10 minutes. The mixture should be bubbling softly the whole time. You’ll know when to take it off the heat when it turns a golden brown color and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Allow the caramels to cool completely.
  6. When the caramels set, cut them into squares and wrap them in pieces of wax paper.

This soft caramel recipe produces candies that are buttery and sweet and definitely squashy and sticky. Perfect for growing a toffee tree!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money!

Good food is meant to be shared!

The Magician’s Nephew Feast – Chronicles of Narnia

The Magician’s Nephew is the prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It tells the story of how Narnia was created, and also how it was discovered by a young boy and girl, named Digory and Polly, from our world. It is a magical tale, and made even more lovely by the featured food.

Magician's Nephew Feast
Tuck in to this glorious Magician’s Nephew Feast

There aren’t many specific foods mentioned in this book, but the ones that are mentioned usually have a sort of magical quality to them. So, what this Magician’s Nephew feast lacks in quantity, it makes up for it in pure magic.

The Magician’s Nephew Feast Menu – The Chronicles of Narnia

Grapes

Digory’s mother is ill, and it is implied that she is dying. This is of course very distressing for Digory. When a neighbor brings over some fresh grapes for Digory’s mother, Digory hears his aunt remark that only fruit from the land of youth would do his mother any good.

Apples

Digory remembers this comment his aunt made about fruit from the land of youth when he is in the newly formed Narnia. He asks Aslan if there is any magical fruit in Narnia that could make his mother well. Aslan directs him to a tree with beautiful shining apples.

Toffee or Caramel

This was a bit difficult, because the book mentions toffee that Polly has brought to Narnia in her jacket pocket. Toffee, by modern definition, is hard and crunchy. However, the toffee in Polly’s jacket pocket is described as being “squashy and sticky,” which to me describes caramel rather than toffee. I decided to remain true to this description and make some “squashy and sticky” caramel wrapped in wax paper.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Now this bit of the story is my absolutely favorite because it is so very magical. Because Narnia is so new, the ground is still infused with Aslan’s magic, so that anything planted in it will grow. Digory and Polly see a bar from a lamp post grow into a lamp tree after it is flung into the dirt. (By the way, this is the very same lamp tree that Lucy encounters many years later in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)

Later, when Digory and Polly are hungry, they decide to plant one of the toffee pieces they brought so that it will grow into a toffee tree. The toffee tree grows overnight, and the fruit it bears is described as looking like dates.

Rather than try to recreate this toffee fruit in and of itself, I decided to use those two elements (toffee and dates) to make a delicious sticky toffee pudding. What makes it even better is the fact that this is an English recipe, which meshes well since Narnia has many English influences.

This Magician’s Nephew feast is so delightfully indulgent. I just know you’ll love it. I feel like it perfectly harnesses the magic that is The Magician’s Nephew.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money!

Good food is meant to be shared!