Peppermint Brownies

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I found this recipe for Peppermint Brownies and I was just SO intrigued.
I will post the brownie recipe I found here but will make some notes as I am not 100% happy with how they turned out. I might even take an entirely different brownie recipe next time and just add the peppermint extract to it.

In any case, here we go:

Ingredients

250g unsalted butter, chopped, plus extra for greasing
225g dark chocolate chopped
400g caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (Note: I added almost double the amount and the peppermint flavour is still barely there. This might change with what kind of extract you use, so you might want to taste the dough before.)
185g all-purpose flour, sifted

Icing (powdered) sugar for sprinkling

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What to do

Preheat oven to 160ºC (315ºF/Gas 2–3). Grease a deep 23 cm (9 inch) square cake tin with butter and line with baking paper.
Melt the butter and 200 g (7 oz) chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat, add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and peppermint extracts and stir until combined. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and mix in. Pour into the tin and bake for 40–45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Cool completely in tin, then invert onto a chopping board and remove baking paper.
Using a sharp knife, slice into 3 cm (1/4 inch) squares or small triangles, wiping after each slice to ensure smooth slices.

(Source)

Notes:
Why it says 225g chocolate in the ingredients but then you only need 200g, I have no idea. I used 50g less sugar than the recipe says and it was still very, very sugary sweet. Also, I never melt chocolate over simmering water, I just don’t have the patience for it. The recipe doesn’t mention baking powder, you might want to add that as well and bake for a little longer than the recipe says. I baked it for about 40 minutes, the skewer came out clean and the dough is still super, super soft, almost not quite done yet.

Like mentioned before, if you have a trusty recipe for brownies and you want to give them an extra touch you can do this with the peppermint extract. It’s a subtle but great note and goes really well with chocolate. I will definitely try this again, though I’m not sure it’s going to be with this particular brownie recipe ;-)

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Plundergebäck (Danish Pastry)

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The other day I still had some apples from our tree and I was slowly running out of ideas what to make with them. There are only so many apple pies you can bake, you know? So I thought I’d try something new and then I found ready-made dough for Danish pastry. I had no recipe so I just grabbed random ingredients which I thought could taste nice and oh my God, they did.

This is of course, no professional recipe, but if you’re willing to experiment, maybe it can be some sort of inspiration for you :)

Ingredients
1 package of curd cheese
1 cup of vanilla yoghurt
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
sugar or vanilla extract (depending on how sweet you want the filling to be)
some honey
Apples and/or peaches
Ready made dough for Danish pastry

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What to do
Okay, so since I didn’t have a recipe for this and did most by taste this is what you’ll have to do as well.

Pre-heat the oven to the temperature needed for the dough.

Peel and cut one apple in small slices. I added lemon juice, honey and cinnamon for taste and cooked it for a few minutes. Take care that the fruit doesn’t get too soft.
Then I did pretty much the same with the peaches, but left out the cinnamon.

Mix together the curd cheese and some of the vanilla yoghurt (again, just as much as you think tastes nice). Add vanilla extract (syrup or whatever else you have). Add sugar if you want to (I didn’t. Mostly because I’m trying to reduce my intake of sugar when it’s not absolutely necessary, like in coffee or tea :)).

Cut and fold the dough. I found this tutorial and it worked really well! Put the curd cheese – yoghurt mixture on it and top it off with the apples or peaches. Then put it in the oven and bake it for the required time.

If you want to you can coat the pastry with an egg/milk mix before you bake it as well.

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Kaiserschmarrn

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Vienna is the world capital of desserts. Warm and cold, pastries, chocolate, dumplings, pancakes – we have it all and eat it as a full meal as well.
A few days ago I made Kaiserschmarrn, it’s basically the same dough as Palatschinken (mix between pancaces and crêpes) but with a slight difference :)

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/4l milk
200g flour
4tbsp sugar
1tsbp fine sugar
a bit of salt
butter for the pan
If you want you can also add raisins soaked in rum.

as a side: apple sauce or stewed plums.

Combine flour, salt, egg yolks and sugar, then add as much milk as you need to get a smooth batter. Combine egg whites and 1 tbsp of fine sugar. Carefully mix the whipped egg whites into the batter.
Heat up a pan, add some butter and pour in the batter. If you want to add raisins, sprinkle them on the batter now. Bake the dough until it’s golden brown on both sides, then carefully tear it apart. You can add some powdered sugar to caramelize.
That’s pretty much it. Serve with powdered sugar and apple sauce and/or stewed plums (in our case we had apple sauce and stewed sour cherries ;-))

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