[fruity summer greetings] Windbeutel with mascarpone filling and berries

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No idea what to bake this afternoon? Here ist the perfect last minute recipe for hot and lazy summer days: Windbeutel! There are made in a very short time and you can actually fill them with anything you like! My family goes crazy when I am baking these sweeties because everyone can add their favourite ingredient, such as nutella (for my brother), chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, brittle, cookie crumbles, fruit (banana, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries…).

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The correct translation would be ‘cream puff’. This comes because in detail it is a very fluffy dough (choux pastry) which is baked at high temperature! The basic filling is heavy cream combined with any kind of fruit. Because I am addicted to mascarpone (especially in combination with strawberries) my filling had to include it! But of course you can as well add curd cheese, yoghurt or even ricotta (but you have to keep an eye on the consistence, better use a package of stabilizer for whipping cream!). When you don’t have anything of these ingredients at home you can just use ice cream instead!!

I think there are no more words needed to describe this fantastic treat for hot and sunny afternoons! Time to grab it and go outside to enjoy the sun! 🙂

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Windbeutel with mascarpone filling

Ingredients:
375 g water
0,5 tablespoon salt
100 g butter
200 g flour (sifted)
5 eggs

filling:
250 g mascapone
250 g heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. In a heavy and wide saucepan, stir together the water, butter and salt and let it boil while stiring it the whole time. Remove from heat and add the sifted flour with wooden spoon until no flour can be seen anymore and it turns into a white clump. Transfer into another bowl.
  2. Now add the eggs one after another (!!) and stir very well with an electric mixture until the eggs are incorporated and mixture is clump again.
  3. Preheat oven to 220°C and prepare baking sheets. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag. Now pipe dough in small piles (or any size you prefer.
  4. Bake for 20-28 minutes (depends on your oven and the size of the Windbeutel!). Then remove from oven and tranfer them to a wire rack. Let them cool completely.
  5. Prepare filling: Beat mascapone together with the vanilla extract and vanilla sugar until creamy. In another bowl beat heavy cream until its smooth. Now combine both creams. Cut the fruit into smaller chunks as you prefer.Slice the Windbeutel and fill with the filling and fruit. Decorate with confectioner’s sugar.

 

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Have fun baking!

xxx

Caprice

[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

[my best treasured secret…] Dark chocolate chip vanilla ice cream sandwiches

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I know it’s been a while since I uploaded the last post! But time is flying I was traveling again (visited amazing Canada) and now I am on my last steps of my final degree. To keep my motivation high, especially after a long day at uni, I brought my favourite treats from Canada with me! Besides from tons of new stuff I brought abroad, including clothes and books, I brought as well a lot of baking ingredients like marshmallows, rice crispies (stay tuned for an amazing recipe very soon!), graham crackers, peanut butter and my favourite chocolate (Ghirardelli)! Unfortunately the airport has its luggage assignations so I had to limit my shopping 😉

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Today I finally reveal my secret recipe for my favourite dark chocolate chip cookies! These cookies are crispy on the outside and super chewy inside! And I never ever had a cookie with such a rich chocolate taste before! Everytime I baked these, they turn out perfectly! Best birthday present, dessert, sweet snack or small present ever, I promise! But today I show you more than just my favourite cookie recipe! Finally the summer has arrived in germany! Time for mild summer nights, barbecues and refreshing snacks like sorbets, semifreddos and of course ice cream!!

Imagine these chocolate cookies are filled with ice cream! And of course not ordinary plain ice cream… I am talking about homemade mascarpone vanilla ice cream! Very creamy texture with a rich vanilla taste! Chocolate and vanilla is just an all-time favourite combo! The crispy chocolate cookie with the taste of dark chocolate is the perfect complement to the sweet and creamy ice cream –> great combination of two intensive flavors! And by the way, these cookies turn out even better when you take your favourite chocolate for baking (I used my Ghirardelli storage!).

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Of course you can substitute the dark chocolate cookies also with normal chocolate chip cookies (my favroite recipe here).

By the way now my Ghirardelli storage is used up again:(

Dark chocolate chip vanilla ice cream sandwiches

ingredients:
for the cookies:
30 g butter
225 g good quality dark chocolate
2 eggs
175 g white sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
30 g flour
0,5 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
160 g any chocolate chips

for the ice cream:
400g heavy cream
250 g mascarpone
3 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
90 g white sugar
3 tbsp. vanilla sugar
optional: 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. For the cookies: In a bowl whisk together flour, salt, nutmeg and baking powder.
  2. Melt butter and dark chocolate and let it cool. In another bowl mix sugar, vanilla extract and add the eggs one after another.
  3. Now add the melted ingredients to the butter-sugar mix and mix well together. With a wooden spoon add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Now add chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days).
  4. Preheat oven to 175°C and prepare baking sheets. Form small balls of dough and put them on prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes. After baking let them cool on the cookie sheets for 10 minutes (!) before moving them to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
  5. For the ice vanilla ice cream: Mix together the egg yolks with the heavy cream, then add pulp of vanilla bean and vanilla sugar (if you want a really vanilla taste, add vanilla extract as well). Add sugar and in the end the mascarpone. Put mixture into a ice cream maker and blend for 20-30 minutes, then freeze in completely in a large plastic box, try to just cover the bottom of the box (about 2 cm thick!). If you don’t have an ice cream maker just pour mixture into a large plastic box and freeze in for at leat 5 hours.
  6. Take the ice cream and with a round shaped cookie cutter or a sharpe knife cut out round shapes. Place the piece ice cream on one cookie and top with another one (for a cookie tower just take less ice cream and bigger cookies! Enjoy with fresh fruit!

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Have fun baking and enjoy the summer!

xxx

Caprice