Recipes for Aleister Crowley’s Greater Feast

From Chapter 17 of The Thelemic Cookbook: Cooking with Correspondences by Lita-Luise Chappell

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Creme Anglaise:

Here is an old Brit favorite, made of course, with hot English tea. If one has never had this dessert before, the cake should be a little dense; after all, it is made with heavy, sweet and moist Madjool dates. With the chilled Creme Anglaise underneath the rich cake, and the warm buttery toffee sauce over all, there will be more smiles than one can count.

Creme Anglaise Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks, beaten
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Cake Ingredients:
1 pound Madjool dates, pitted and pulp chopped
2½ cups white whole-wheat flour
2¼ cups English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea, hot
8 eggs, beaten
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon powdered clove

Toffee Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup corn syrup
2½ cups heavy cream

First prepare the Creme Anglaise sauce so it has at least 2 hours to chill before serving. In a large saucepan heat the cream, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to a simmer and then remove from the heat to cool for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl whisk until frothy the egg yolks with the sugar. When the cream has sufficiently cooled, slowly whisk the warm cream into the egg and sugar mixture, and return it to slowly warm, continually whisking until it thickens. Remove and pour into a wide bowl to cool quicker. Within 20 minutes it will be cool enough to cover the surface with film and chill for 2 hours. Makes 2½ cups.

Prepare the cake by first making the tea. In a medium saucepan heat the 2¼ cups of water, then turn the heat off and soak the tea bags for 5 minutes. When ready squeeze out and discard the tea bags. Add the chopped dates, breaking them up and simmering them for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and butter and set aside to cool. Prepare a 9” x 13” pan, brushed with melted butter and lined with parchment. Heat the oven to 350ºF. (180º C.).

In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs with the vanilla, baking powder and soda, the cinnamon, allspice and clove. Slowly pour in the cooled date and sugar mixture, whisking until blended. Slowly add the flour until the flour is mixed in. Pour into the baking pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Test doneness with a toothpick. When done, let the pan sit to partially cool, before turning out to remove the parchment, and cool more before slicing.

Prepare the toffee sauce by heating to simmer in a large saucepan the melted butter and the brown sugar. Add the corn syrup and slowly add the heavy cream, whisking the entire time until it expands and thickens. Remove for a minute if it bubbles up too quickly. When a nice thickness has been achieved, remove to partially cool. To serve place 2 ounces of chilled Creme Anglaise on a plate, place a slice of the cake on the cream, and serve with 2 ounces of the warmed toffee sauce on top.

Baking powder, baking soda and wheat flour are air of earth. Allspice, cinnamon, and clove are of fire, the corn syrup and black teas are water of fire, and Madjool dates are air of fire. Butter, eggs, and heavy cream are of water, granulated and brown sugars are of air, while vanilla is water of air.