[Scotland vibes] Peanut Butter Fudge topped with caramelized salted peanuts

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A few weeks ago I was talking to my very best friend Anna about the upcoming weekends, so that we could plan ahead our next meetings. Along the way we realized that our last trip (remember my recipe for Sacher Torte?) was already 2 years ago! It was time for our next adventure. Inspired by an article about ‘the best city weekends‘ I read a couple of days before, we decided spontanously to visit one of the top 30 cities: Edinburgh! It was our first time in Scotland! All I heard about Scotland was bagpipes and kilts, red haired people, a heavy Scottish accent and food like ‘haggy’.(= pudding made of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, onions, oatmeal, suet and spices). Time to check these assumptions!

When we arrived at the airport, we were positively surprised how clearly arranged and well-organized eyerything was. Within 30 minutes we passed the beautiful landscape (like a sneek peek of the beautiful Highlands!) and reached the Old Town city center. Now we were ready to discover the city. The big advantage is that you can reach everything within walking distance, which is for me the best way to get to know the city! The disadvantage is the weather, very rainy and VERY windy (I do not understate!).

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Our hotel was located in the Old Town surrounded by so many great restaurants and cafés. In general the whole city offers many possibilities to take a rest from sightseeing. I would like to share with you our highlights of the trip.

Calton Hill: Definitely worth the very windy and rainy walk up! In the 19th century it was planned to build a Scottish Acropolis on top of the hill to manifest the reputation as “The Athens of the North! But after 3 years of construction they had to stop because of lack of money. Nowadays, you can admire disconnected but magnificent pieces all over the Hill . From here you have a brilliant panoramic view. When you spin around you can see the harbor, the beautiful Old and New Town and in the background you can adumbrate already some planted hills. Located directly on the opposite point you can see the Edinburgh Castle.

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Victoria Street and Grassmarket: This district combines a great shopping experience with stunning architecture. Bascially you can find any store in this area like wine and other spirits (for whiskey visit the ‘Bow Bar’), jewelry, antiques, secondhand shops and many galleries (do not miss the Red door Gallery!). Most of the buildings are built in a british style but individualized by many different colors which embellished the cityscape so much! Below you can see the beautiful Victoria Street. 

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Royal Mile: This “royal street” is located in the Old Town and subdivided into Lawnmarket, Castlehill, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand. Here you can admire many charming houses and the first skyscraper of the world (at that time 15 floors!). In this area you can find many restaurants, souvenir shops and small ‘closes’ with backyards (= alley).

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New Town: Whereas in the past the Old Town was home for over 80 000 people at the same time, it was small, narrow and dirty. Nowadays the Old Town is very charming, but the completely opposite to the New Town. Everything is bigger and more elegant in this area. Many glorious Gregorian streets, boulevards are framing townhouses and private gardens. The shopping street is called Princes Street, where you will find every famous shop. At one end is the 5-star Balmoral Hotel situated and at the other end the St. John’s church.

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National Galleries of Scotland: Absolutely worth a visit! The National Galleries are divided into the National Gallery, Portrait Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art. There are shuttles between the different galleries and best about it: The entry is free! My favourite room was defintely the one with paintings from renaissance and post impressionism such as Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot and Sir William Quiller Orchardson.

Time to talk about the food. Like I said before haggy is indeed a sort of delicacy and something you can eat nearly everywhere. To get to the point we haven’t tried it, we stuck to fish and chips and more important the sweet things! To be honest I never thought about Scottish pastry! All I had in mind was something like shortbread or scones (i know its british!). We were enthusiastic when we discovered that Scotland is not only the home of whiskey, but also of FUDGE, which is by far one of the best culinary discoveries ever! In addition you can have cupcakes, blondies and brownies and slices everywhere. I haven’t heard about slices before, but basically they are made of chocolate, cookies, dried fruits and any great ingredients such as Oreos, Malteser or Nutella. To die for really! Therefore, when I thought about this week’s recipes the choice wasn’t that hard: FUDGE.

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As many of you know I am a huge peanut butter fan (you can find PB always in my fridge!). For this reason it was overdue to create a peanut butter explosion for you. And finally here it is: Tenderly melting peanut butter fudge with a creamy layer of dark and milk chocolate and peanut butter and topped with salted caramelized peanuts. No more words needed. ENJOY.

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Peanut Butter Fudge topped with caramelized salted peanuts

Ingredients:
For the fudge:
120 g butter
120 ml milk
450 g brown sugar
220 g peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
300 g confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Peanut butter chocolate layer:
60 g creamy peanut butter
150 g milk chocolate
70 g dark chocolate

Topping:
100 g roasted salted peanuts
100 g white sugar

Directions:

  1. Prepare a baking pan (20cm x 20cm) by layering with plastic wrap.
  2. For the Fudge: At medium heat melt butter in a saucepan, then add brown sugar and milk and mix until combined. Then bring the mixture to boil without stirring it anymore, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and add the peanut butter. Add the hot mixture and mix until fully incorporated. In another bowl combine confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract until a smooth caramel comes out.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking pan and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then put in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  5. For the peanut butter chocolate layer: Over a waterbath melt both of the chocolates together with the peanut butter. When completely melted pour over the peanut butter fudge.
  6. For the topping: Prepare a tray by layering it with baking paper. Cut peanuts into smaller chunks. In a saucepan caramelize white sugar until completely dissolved, when it turns light brown deglaze with some water (about 40ml). Add the peanuts and stir until all peanuts are covered with caramel. Spread on the prepared baking paper. Let it cool.
  7. When topping is cooled completely break/cut into smaller chunks. Spread over the chocolate layer and cut fudge into smaller pieces.

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Have a great day,

xxx

Caprice

[irresistible chocolately breakfast…] Mini chocolate croissants

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I couldn’t resist making another breakfast idea for you.. As much as I love to make and eat homemade cornflakes, oatmeal or porridge, hot scrambled eggs with bacon and toast, crunchy granola, fresh fruit, creamy yoghurt, slighty moist and rich banana bread, sweet buns with marmelade or honey, fresh whole-grain bread with a lot of cheese, fluffy pancakes with maple syrup, fruity smoothies, crispy waffles with fruit and delicious french toast… (I could continue like this forever..) But today was time for an extraordinary breakfast.

And if I say extraordinary I mean one of the most elaborate and ambitious recipes: Chocolate croissant ! To make croissants you need not only a lot of patience and sensitiveness, you also need to stick strict to the recipe and cooling times. Therefore I only make chocolate crossaints for very special occasions and people I really love (when you read the recipe you will understand what I mean)!

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But the effort is absolutely worth it! Homemade chocolate croissants (with your favorite chocolate inside) are light and flaky but also rich and buttery in taste.

Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Enjoy!

… By the way, also amazing with white or dark chocolate!

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Mini chocolate croissants

ingredients:
for the butter plate:
150 g butter
25 g flour

for the yeast dough:
25 g active yeast
30 g butter
250 g flour
150 ml milk
50 g sugar
salt

for the chocolate filling:
80-100 g of your favorite chocolate (milk, white or dark chocolate)
50 g chocolate for decoration

1 egg yolk
3-4 tbsp. heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Prepare the butter plate. Mix 150 g butter and 25g flour. Then take a plastic wrap and put the mixed butter and flour between one layer of plastic wrap. With a rolling pin roll the dough into a 20 x 12 cm plate. Leave in the wrapping and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. For the yeast dough warm up the milk and solve the active yeast inside the milk. In another bowl mix flour, sugar, melted butter and the salt. Slowly add the yeast-milk mix and knead together until dough is smooth. Wrap in and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Now comes the tricky part! Take the yeast dough out of the fridge and roll it into a 40 x 25 cm rectangle. Take the butter plate and place it right in the middle of the yeast dough (this should be easy because of the plastic wrap). Remove wrapping. Then fold the yeast dough around the butter plate until it’s completely covered with it (just fold it lengthwise first and crosswise afterwards). Take your rolling pin again and carefully roll out the dough again until it’s the same size gain (40 x 25 cm). Fold it again like before. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes repeat the rolling and folding part again. Then put the dough into the fridge for 1 hour. Roll out again into a long rectangular (approximately about 80 cm long and 15 cm wide). Cut into equilateral triangles.
  4. For the chocolate filling. Take your favorite chocolate and cut into smaller chunks. Take a triangle and roll it out to enlarge slightly. Now place the chocolate at the shortest end and roll towards the tip. The dough should overlap about 2-3 times with the tip sticking out from underneath. If you want you can shape the ends of the croissant inward, forming a the typical crescent shape.
  5. Preheat oven to 210°C. Prepare baking sheets with baking paper. Place the croissants on the sheets. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream, and lightly brush over the tops of your croissants.
  6. Depending on your oven and the size bake them for about 15-20 minutes. After baking remove from oven and let them cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking sheet before remove completely to a wire rack. For decoration melt 50 g of chocolate and sprinkle over croissants.

 

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Have fun baking!

xxx

[cheesecake the other way around] Chocolate crumble cheesecake with caramel bottom

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Finally exam period is over!!

After hours of studying now it’s time for some free time! Time for baking, meeting friends and travelling (can’t wait to get on a plane again next week)! To start this season with an appropriate cake I thought about my favorite recipes that I already posted…

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Maybe you remember my version of New York cheesecake I posted a few weeks ago? Cheesecake is by far one of my all time favorite cakes. So how can you beat your favorite cake? My idea was to add dark chocolate, streusel and a caramel layer. To create a very smooth, creamy and rich consistence I used ricotta cheese and mascapone. I have to admit that I love eating but this cheesecake is that rich and heavy that I nearly couldn’t finish my piece of cake. Crumbly and buttery streusel on top of the creamy and chocolatery filling meet a caramel layer between two bottoms of crispy shortcrust…

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Chocolate crumble cheesecake with caramel bottom

ingredients:
for the shortcrust:
250 g flour
1 egg
150 g butter (room temperature)
pinch of salt
100 g sugar
3 tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder

3-4 tbsp. caramel sauce

for the filling:
100 g dark chocolate
100 g nut nougat
250 g ricotta cheese
250 g mascapone
300 g cottage cheese
300 g plain yoghurt
150 g sugar
3 eggs
1 package of chocolate custard powder
1 tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder

for the streusel:
125 g flour
75 g butter
1 tbsp. cacao powder
pinch of salt
3-4 tbsp. cold water

Directions:

  1. Prepare the shortcrust: Mix together flour, salt, cacao powder and sugar. Then cut the butter into smaller chunks and add together with the egg to the dough. Knead until smooth, wrap into plastic and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Meantime prepare the filling by separating the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl mix together sugar, ricotta, mascapone, cottage cheese and the yoghurt. One after another add the egg yorks. Over an waterbath melt the dark chocolate and nut nougat and slowy add to the mixture. Now add cacao powder and the chocolate custard powder. At last add the stiff egg whites.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare a pan by oling it. Take the shortcrust dough out of the fridge and half it. Roll out and put into the pan, cover with caramel sauce. Then take the other half and roll in out the same way. Put it onto the caramel sauce and try to form a edge to prevent filling from leaking.
  4. For the streusel: Whisk together flour, sugar, salt and cacao powder. Melt butter and add it with the cold water. Crumble dough until streusel are appearing. Cover the cake with the streusel and bake for one hour. Let it cool completely then remove from pan.

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Have fun baking!

xxx

Caprice