Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Masterpiece Eat-a-Ter: The Troll Cookbook

The word "Troll" has developed a rather unsavory reputation as of late.  In the days when Brandy was young, a troll was a mystical, magical being that lived in small hovels in the woods or under remote country bridges.  Occasionally grumpy, but for the most part, rather charming beings that populated local legends and time honored fairytales.  In fact, Brandy quite identified with trolls, for some reason.
From The Troll Cookbook
Karima Cammell & Clint Marsh

From The Troll Cookbook
Karima Cammell & Clint Marsh
But these days, trolls are a whole different sort.  "I suppose I can understand how the unfortunate internet connotation has grown up around the word, but I have to say that it also makes me rather sad to see such lovely creatures associated with the worst kind of riff raff," Brandy lamented, "The fairy folk are supposed to remind us of the simplicity and magic of nature.  Trolls in my mind will always be that, no matter what the internet thinks!"

It's no wonder then that when Brandy became aware of a little publication known as The Troll Cookbook by Karmina Cammell and Clint Marsh, she was simply fascinated.  The book not only contains a host of different troll approved recipes grouped by season, but also features charming little legends and lore about the troll community and how they spend their days.  The Troll Cookbook is beautifully illustrated, more in the style of a storybook rather than a traditional cookbook, meaning readers are forced to imagine what the dishes should look like rather than simply copying a photograph.  There's all sorts of snippets detailing how one can live like the trolls by foraging for ingredients in the wild, making the simplest of things from scratch (like buttermilk, jams, and sourdough), and really having fun with cooking in the sloppiest, yummiest ways possible.

From The Troll Cookbook
Karima Cammell & Clint Marsh
Quickly, Brandy zeroed in on some recipes she thought would make for an excellent troll brunch.  She had great fun whipping up a batch of her very own ricotta cheese and then using the product for a Ricotta Tart, which had a custardy interior, a flaky butter spiked crust, and bright pops of fruit from some fresh apricots.  She also made up a batch of Sweet Potato Gnocci with a Pea and Mushroom cream sauce, and though she didn't forage the ingredients herself, she still thought the hearty plate brought up visions of eating from atop a wooden, moss covered stump with the sounds of twittering birds all around and the smell of earth in her nostrils.  Best of all were the Griddlecakes; crispy, oat infused pancake-like confections with a sophisticated sweetness that lent themselves to toppings like fresh fruit, syrup, or spoonfuls of fresh cottage cheese, and could even become vessels for savory foods, like ham and cheese (though, sadly, Brandy did not have the bravery to do as the book suggested and toss the Griddlecakes in the pan like the trolls would do).

Luckily, Brandy was granted permission from the troll powers that be to bring forth this magical troll brunch recipe!  To find out more about The Troll Cookbook, make sure to visit their website, or pick up your own copy from Amazon.

The writers of this blog were provided with a copy of this book by the authors in exchange for an honest review.  All recipes and illustrations belong to the authors.  


Greasy griddlecakes made from oats (or any rolled grain) are a favorite troll meal for breakfast or lunch.  The trolls show off by flipping the griddlecakes without a spatula.

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats (or any flattened grains)
2 cups of buttermilk or whole milk
2 eggs
1 spoon of vanilla extract
6 spoons of maple syrup
1/4 cup of melted butter or cooking oil (plus more for the pan)
1/2 spoon of salt
An open handful of flour
1/4 spoon of grated nutmeg
1/4 spoon of cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients in the order listed.  Add more flour until the batter thickens to your liking but is still runny enough to pour easily.  A thin batter will give you crispy griddlecakes, and a batter that's too thick will make your griddlecakes doughy.  Add berries if you'd like.

Melt some butter in a griddle over medium-low heat and splash on scoops of batter.  Flip the griddlecakes just once and only after they are riddled with bubbles.  The second side of the griddlecakes cooks faster, but if it offer any resistant let it cook a little longer before lifting it off with a spatula.  Serve your griddlecakes as you cook.  If any of your fellow trolls like greasy griddlecakes, serve them the first few from the batch, as these will have soaked up more butter.

Cover griddlecakes with syrup, honey, chocolate, fruit, jam, yogurt, whipped cream, or anything you think tastes good.  If you'd prefer a savory meal instead of a sweet one, make larger griddlecakes and roll the up with slices of meat and cheese.

Cook like a troll by tossing your griddlecakes instead of flipping them with a spatula.  Once the griddlecake is loose and ready for turning (test it with a little shake of the pan), lift the griddle and flip the cake using a swift jabbing motion, strong enough to toss the griddlecake into the air but not so wild that it flies away.  This technique takes some practice, but trolls don't mind eating the dropped griddlecakes that end up on the stovetop or the floor.

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