The Cake in the Great Hall: A Research Adventure!

Picture this: it’s been a long, tiring day of lessons, and you’re ready to sit down in the great hall and unceremoniously stuff mashed potatoes in your face. Dinner passes by in a blur, and soon enough it’s time for the highlight of the hour… dessert! But there are so many options to choose from! Your brain is overtaken by marvelous fantasies of different desserts, from the sweetness of treacle tart on your tongue to every last beautiful sprinkle on a strawberry-frosted doughnut. Suddenly, you are enlightened. You know exactly what to have for dessert… CAKE!

Few things can rival the glory that is cake, and there is absolutely nothing that can match it. Its taste, its texture, everything about it makes cake wonderful. You look down the table to see if you can find some lovely, decadent chocolate cake. As you spot some, you realize, it’s in a box! Now, this normally wouldn’t be such a crime… but since when does cake, freshly baked from the kitchen, come from a box?

Fourth year Hufflepuff student Skip Tecal has faced this crisis a few days ago as he craved a bit of cake to ease the burden of all the homework he had after dinner. About to bite into a moist, fluffy, chocolate piece of it, Tecal realized something very important. So used was he to seeing everything served on platters, he had always completely ignored the fact that Hogwarts’ cake was served in a box! Instantly suspicious, Tecal decided to investigate. Making sure no one was about to take a slice- after all, it would be rude to just steal the entire box to himself without asking first!- Tecal reportedly picked up the box and examined it inside out (meanwhile dumping the rest of the cake on his plate, much to the amusement of his fellow diners). On it, he found the brand name ‘The Candy King’.

Tecal told us he was suddenly filled with a burning desire to figure out where exactly this cake came from. “It was, like, my duty,” he said. “I’m really passionate about cake, you know, and I want to own a famous bakery when I’m older, but enough about me! More importantly, the mystery of this beautiful chocolate cake’s origin needs to be solved.”

According to Tecal’s friends, he suddenly dumped all his cake in the box, sprang up from the table and ran out of the Great Hall, box clutched to his chest. “He looked kind of like a madman,” one of them noted. “I know he loves cake, but that was a little… extreme.”

Tecal told us the rest of the story. “I sprinted down to the kitchens and got through the painting by tickling the pear. That’s a little trick my older brother taught me, but anyway, I got into the kitchens and immediately asked to see whoever was in charge of the cake. The house-elf I was talking to seemed to go a little pale if that’s possible for a house-elf, and slowly walked me over to another house-elf who had a pretty cool makeshift chef hat he must have made from rags. The first house-elf was like, ‘Mister Grover, this student wishes to speak to you,’ and the second one, who was probably Mister Grover, was like, ‘Thank you, Miss Poppy,’ and she scampered away as Grover turned to face me. ‘So, would Sir like to know about where we get our cake?’ he asked, looking at the box in my arms, and I was like, ‘Yeah, please, I noticed the cake was in a box labeled The Candy King, and that’s definitely not the Hogwarts kitchens, so I want to know what’s happening! ‘Cause I mean, yeah, the cake’s good, but this is a SCANDAL!‘ and Grover sighed and hung his head and motioned me to sit down on a stool.”

Tecal’s explanation is about to get really juicy. You might want to grab some popcorn- or even cake- to munch on while you read! Let’s pick up where Tecal left off:

“Then he was all like, ‘Call it a scandal if you must, sir, but the truth is, Hogwarts has cut funds to the kitchens. For nearly half of a year now, sir, we have had only half the amount of galleons we previously had to spend on ingredients and such. This means we cannot buy the highest quality flour, or the creamiest butter, or the cane sugar or fine 92% cacao chocolate that we used to be able to purchase, sir, and please understand, sir, that we house-elves take pride in our cooking. We could not stand to bake cakes lacking the finest flour, the richest butter, the sweetest chocolate, so we figured we should find the next best- and cheapest, mind you, sir- thing. We house-elves found a lovely sweets shop in Diagon Alley called The Candy King, and after looking at its reputation, sir, we figured it would be just as good for you students.’ And of course, I didn’t want to press the poor guy, he looked really nervous, but I wasn’t really satisfied and I did want to know whether my cake source was reputable or not, so I decided to do some research on this so-called Candy King.”

As you may know, The Candy King is a wonderful shop located just to the left of Gringotts in Diagon Alley, which serves the finest of sweets and drinks. It has recently signed a contract with Taz’s Tavern so that they will both supply excellent food and drink to satisfy the public, and having been there a few times myself, I can definitely say it’s a wonderful shop! I thoroughly enjoyed the cupcake I bought there, as well as the coffee. The service there was excellent, and the only complaints I have are that the door is incredibly heavy and takes the extremely handsome and well-muscled owner, Mister Foxy Jones, to open it, as well as the fact that I was not invited to sit in the VIP section. But that doesn’t lessen my views of the shop at all! It’s still quite lovable, and, I may add, only a short walk from our Quibbler headquarters, making it the perfect afternoon snack after a long afternoon writing!

That concludes our (and Tecal’s) cakey research adventure! Next time you eat some cake from the Great Hall, think about where it comes from… and go buy some more!

 

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