[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 personal “slow food”] fantastic burger + homemade burger buns

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Slowly the weather is changing, it’s colder outside and it gets darker earlier, its almost autuum again! As much as I love the seasons changing, it’s always sad to say goodbye to warm summer nights. To do this the right way, we made a kind of last bbq of the season last weekend. As many of you may notice, I am a big fan of the USA of the country  and especially the food. So why not celebrating the new season with an all time favorite: homemade burgers!

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I have to admit that I am not a huge representative of fast food in general, but actually you can’t really say that this burger is fast food. Better say it’s a fluffy baked burger bun with sesame, served with fresh and homemade ingredients such as homemade mayonaise and ketchup and nicely spiced meat balls, maybe we should call it my personal “slow food”..?

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I just realized that this is my third not sweet recipe (maybe you remeber my onion foccacia or Oktoberfest pretzels). Of course my favorites are still sweet things, but this burger was just SO delicious that I do not wanted to hold it back from you!

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Homemade burgers

ingredients:
for the burger buns:
400 g flour
8 g fresh yeast
250 ml warm water
8 g salt
0,5 tbsp. sugar
1 egg yolk
2 -3 tbsp. sesame seeds

for the meat:
800-900 g ground beef/pork/turkey
salt, pepper, bell pepper spice and oregano
1 onion
1 tbsp. medium spice mustard
1 tbsp. ketchup

for the ketchup:
500 g very ripe tomatoes
1 onion
salt and pepper
100 ml vinegar
100 g white sugar

for the mayonnaise:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. mustard
200 ml vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. vinegar

for the rest of the burger:
150 g iceberg lettuce
3 tomatoes
1-2 red onions
salt and pepper
3-4 pickled cucumbers
3-4 tbsp. homemade ketchup
3-4 tbsp. mayonnaise
6 slices cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. for the burger buns: In a small bowl crumble the fresh yeast and mix with sugar and 4 tbsp. of the warm water, mix until yeast has dissolved completely. In another bowl whisk together flour and salt. Now add the rest of the water and the yeast mixture. Knead until a nice dough comes out. Let it rise for 45 minutes, until it’s doubled it’s size. Preheat oven to 210°C, prepare a baking tray by putting baking paper on it. Divide dough into 6 same size dough-balls. Brush with the egg yolk and sprinkle sesame seeds all over. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Secret tip: put a small bowl with water on the tray with the burgers, this will prevent them from drying-out!
  2. for the meat balls: Mix meat with spices. Add cutted onion, mustard and ketschup. Shape your meat balls and put them onto your grill until their done.
  3. for the ketchup: Wash and remove seed from tomatoes, cut into small pieces. Put in a pan and add all other ingredients. On small heat let it cook vor 1,5-2 hours. Stir sometimes. Last spread through a sieve.
  4. for the mayonnaise: In a bowl mix together the egg yolk and mustard. While mixing and stiring the whole time with a wire whisk add the oil. Add salt and pepper gustatory. Last mix in the vinegar.
  5. Prepare the whole burger: Wash and cut the iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onion and pickled cucumbers. Cut burger buns. Take the bottom and spread with mayonnaise and place the lettuce on top now add the meat ball with cheddar. Place tomatoes and onions on top. Take the top of the bun spread with ketchup. Put all together and enjoy!

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Enjoy!!

xxx

Caprice

[cold days and cozy evenings] Marshmallow hot chocolate

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Just me + a good book (currently I am reading David Nicholls beautiful “One day”) + a big cup marshmallow hot chocolate + a cozy place on a sofa = perfect combination for a gloomy and rainy day.

Sometimes it’s important to take a break from everything, especially when you are stressed, then it’s time to calm down and do something for yourself. Today is kind of this day, time to relax and forget about everything (like university deadlines and unanswered mails). Time to enjoy the simple things in life whenever it is a good book or movie, a walk outside or a phone call with a lovely friend, until everyday life catches you up again!

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Because chocolate is always a good idea, main ingredient is a good quality chocolate, which is melted in hot milk refined with unsweetened cacao powder. Highlight are the mini marshmallows which top the rich hot chocolate. The recipe was enough for my biggest cup which seizes about half a liter. If you thinks it’s so too much, I am sure you’ll find someone to share your hot chocolate and cozy hours with!

Marshmallow hot chocolate

ingredients (for one big cup)
100 ml + 500 ml milk
2 tbsp. unsweetened cacao powder
2 tbsp. sugar
50 g good quality chocolate
50 g heavy cream
5-10 mini marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Mix together 100 ml milk, sugar and cacao powder. In a saucepan heat milk until boiling then add the cacao mix.
  2. Cut chocolate into smaller chunks and add to the hot chocolate. Beat heavy cream until stiff.
  3. Pour hot chocolate into a big cup, add heavy cream and as many marshmallows as you like.

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Time to do something wonderful for yourself!

xxx

Caprice