Caramel Shortbread | Let’s travel to Glasgow together!

Hello my lovelies!

 

Today I’m going to take you on a short trip to Scotland, the homeland of Mr. Zebra. We will explore not only the sights but also a few culinary highlights – are you in?

Let’s jump back to the year 2015: I am on a flight, headed to Glasgow, looking to celebrate Hogmanay and hoping to relax a little bit. Conveniently, I had my own personal guide there who could show me the most exciting parts of the city – not just the ones you can find in the guide books. Finally, we stood in front of a small delicatessen shop in Glasgow’s West End and Mr. Zebra had purchased for us an unassuming looking little triangle of biscuit, caramel and chocolate. “Better than Haggis,” I thought and I quickly bit a piece off. And I was far from disappointed! This treat is simple but also very, very tasty! And as you already may know, I have a weak spot for caramel… 😉

CaramelShortbread3CaramelShortbread6CaramelShortbread5

It was my aunt’s birthday soon after I arrived back in Germany and I of course wanted as always to bring her a sweet little thing. With Glasgow in mind, I opted for Caramel Shortbread, or “cat biscuits” as they will be known in my family from now on. Why? That will be revealed by the end of the post.

 

Caramel Shortbread

makes about 24

  • 115g soft butter
  • 55g sugar
  • 175g flour
  • 85g brown sugar
  • 135g butter
  • 3 Tbsp agave syrup or if it’s available: Golden Syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (400g)
  • 140g chocolate

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C (or Gas Mark 6). Prepare a rectangular baking pan or a baking frame (about 20x25cm).

For the base, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the flour and knead until the mixture forms a dough. Press the mixture evenly into the pan and prick it with a fork. Pop it in oven for 10-15 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

For the caramel, add brown sugar, butter, syrup and condensed milk in a large shallow pan and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Once it’s hot allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes while you stir constantly until the mixture thickens and turns dark golden. Pour over the cooled shortbread base before smoothing it and leaving it to set.

Melt the chocolate (white, milk, dark, whichever you prefer) in a double boiler and spread in a thin layer evenly over the caramel. Store it briefly in the refrigerator so that it can set, then loosen the frame or the baking pan and cut into pieces.

CaramelShortbread4CaramelShortbread2CaramelShortbread1

And now we can all enjoy a piece of caramel shortbread and some impressions of Scotland…

Now back to the cat biscuits …

When I baked the shortbread for the first time it was colder outside than in the refrigerator so I put the leftover caramel shortbread on the terrace in our “natural fridge” for a few minutes because it had started to melt a bit. Unfortunately I forgot about it and an asshole cat crept up unnoticed, scratched with its claws and then licked up the caramel. When we finally realised something was up there was a large crater in the shortbread and the cat no doubt had a sore tummy… hence the name cat biscuits!

Have you ever been to Scotland? What did you think about their delicious treats?

 

See you, stay sweet & HAPPY BAKING!

xx Kristin

Advertisements

[Guestpost] Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sweet Strawberries

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sweet Strawberries

(Recipe and photos by Krysta Voskowsky)

Nothing says “home” like pancakes fresh off the griddle. That’s why, when Kristin and I were living together in Indonesia, our sure-fire cure for homesickness was to fry up a stack of traditional flapjacks.

Kristin was missing her village in Germany and host family in New Zealand. I was missing my home city of Boston in the US. But passing the maple syrup over Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes got us sharing stories of our childhoods, laughing, and even singing. So, it was no surprise when the lovely Fräulein Zebra asked me to write a guest post for #PancakeApril, and I was totally onboard. 

These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are delightfully moist and fluffy, with just a hint of lemon flavor for Springtime brightness. Topped with fresh strawberries in an easy simple syrup, this is the perfect breakfast to serve for brunch on Mother’s Day, for hungry kids on a busy Saturday morning, or dinner on a Wednesday night. In my book, pancakes are the universal feel-good food. Enjoy!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • Zest of two lemons
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil or lemon extract
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Macerated Strawberries

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 10 medium sized strawberries

IMG_8887

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. Whisk to blend it all together. In a separate small bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Set aside. In another large bowl, combine milk, ricotta cheese, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. You can crack the egg right into this mixture, but I found it worked best to beat the egg in a separate bowl, then add it to the rest of the wet ingredients.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes 3

Now, add the wet ingredients (except for the lemon mixture) to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir gently until most of the lumps are gone, but don’t over-mix. You want to keep the pancakes fluffy! Add in the lemon juice mixture last. The pancake batter may appear to curdle a little, but that’s fine.

IMG_8897

Drop a pat of butter into a hot skillet and fry these guys up until they’re golden brown on both sides.

Frying Pancake

While the pancakes are cooking, make simple syrup by heating 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the liquid bubbles. Slice approximately 10 ripe strawberries and place them in a bowl. Pour the hot simple syrup over the strawberries, stir, and let sit for 15-20 minutes at room temperature. The end result is a sweet, tart topping of macerated berries to pile onto your flapjacks.

IMG_8903

When the batter’s gone and the pancakes are piled high, serve them to your favorite people with a few decadent spoonfuls of macerated strawberries on top.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sweet Strawberries 2

 

Krysta Voskowsky is a twenty-something writer living, working, and cooking in Boston, Massachusetts. Despite a tiny apartment and poor lighting, she loves photography, blogging, dancing, exploring, singing and smiling at other people’s dogs. Krysta’s a recipe curator for NoshOn.it, a social media enthusiast, and a shameless fan of the hashtag. Check out more of Krysta’s recipe features here, check out her blog, or say hello on Facebook and Twitter.

Pikelets [memories of new zealand]

IMG_0186

Some of you already know. New Zealand is my second home since I spent my year abroad over there. I immediately fell for this country and its people. Head over heels. But it’s kinda impossible not to. Everybody is so kind, relaxed and the scenery is breathtaking!

I’ve been there for 10 month traveling all across the north and south island. Right at the beginning I found a job at an oyster factory. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds! At least I got to meet the “real” kiwis there. No tour guide, travel advisor whatsoever. Half of the staff consisted of Maori people and at tea breaks or smoke outs everybody talked about last night’s rugby game, horse betting and all kinds of food. And one of my co-workers regularly made pikelets for the whole crew. Pike-what you may ask… Pikelets are not so different from regular pancakes. They’re just a bit smaller, more dense and usually eaten cold. But believe me: They taste amazing! You can drizzle them with lemon juice and sprinkle a bit sugar on top or serve them with jam and cream or butter.

IMG_0173

IMG_0189

I prefer the lemon version but it’s really up to you – they’re both amazing!

Pikelets

makes about 30

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • butter

 

Mix flour and sugar. Whisk together egg and milk and add the dry ingredients.

Heat up a pan on medium heat. Pour little spoons of batter onto the hot surface and cook them for about 1 minute from each side or until golden.

Let them cool and serve.

IMG_0166

Here are some of my favorite pictures from my journey to get your travel bug really excited:

 

 

Today is a big national holiday in New Zealand and Australia with military parades and services to honor the soliders that fought in WW1, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – short: ANZAC. That’s why today’s called ANZAC Day. I’m sure some families enjoyed fresh pikelets for tea today!

IMG_0151

So: Lest we forget!  And have a wonderful weekend!

If you want to hear more about my travels, let me know in the comments!

HAPPY #PANCAKEAPRIL!

 

xo Kristin