What would you prepare for a black feast a three course meal where black food is served on white plates?

Tasty Mirror glaze cake

Squid ink pasta comes to mind.

Thatu2019s the starter.

With a really simple sauce.

Aglio e olio perhaps.

Twirled on a carving fork the way they do in fancy restaurants.

,Lacquered duck or chicken made with a soy, honey, ginger and garlic glaze.

Iu2019m thinking a whole duck, painted with the glaze as it roasts, so it comes out of the oven dark and shining.

Great presentation.

If it needs a white side dish, a cauliflower puree would work.

,Black dessert is difficult, if you want natural colors.

A flourless chocolate cake with a dark chocolate mirror glaze? I had a chocolate, walnut and prune bread once which was very tasty, but it was more bread than cake.

Perhaps it would be possible to capture those same flavors in a rich, fruity bread pudding? Some experimentation would be in order.

,Medieval cooks used to color jellies with burnt bread crumbs, but they werenu2019t intended to be eaten.

Might make a fun display, though, in once of those elaborate Victorian jelly molds.

Surrounded by white chocolate truffles rolled in black sesame seeds.

Just around the equator.

Mirror Glaze Cake Price

(worth reading again, Iu2019ve added a few things and made some corrections, based on comments)As someone who has bought a flat in Scotland, having sold a flat in England, I can tell you some of my experiences.

You havenu2019t told us why youu2019re asking, or where youu2019re wanting to compare Scotland with, oh surprise surprise itu2019s a random scripted insincere QPPM question, but Iu2019ve answered it anyway in the hope someone will benefit from the time itu2019s taken me to answer this,Iu2019ll just tell you what Iu2019ve found.

Iu2019m English born but now living in the Highlands.

A Sasannach.

I do have Scottish (and Australian) roots but I donu2019t do the American thing of calling myself English Scottish.

Iu2019m just English.

,An English friend of mine said he was coming up to Scotland, and asked how far I was from the ferry port to Ireland, that being the next part of his trip.

I sent him a map, 5 hours it was, he said wow youu2019re really in the far north.

Yep, Iu2019m on the Black Isle, north of Inverness.

He was quite shocked how far north I was, compared to my English hometown of Reading, Berkshire.

Did I miss Reading, he asked? Yeah like a hole in the head.

I miss the police helicopter over most nights, the lorries thundering past on the main road nearby, the emergency sirens - our side road was a rat run from the fire station.

The constant crime, everywhere, the traffic, eugh.

And, when the local psychiatric hospital 200 yards away had a breakout or a drill, we went into lockdown with the place swarming with police and their dogs, and the chopper again.

,And thatu2019s not even Broadmoor hospital which wasnu2019t far either.

If you havenu2019t heard of Broadmoor, itu2019s where the worst of the worst psychiatric patients were kept.

Brady was in there, as were plenty of other high profile cases.

I think Sutcliffe (the Yorkshire Ripper) was/is in there as well.

,As I write this, Iu2019ve been living in Scotland two years now.

,Houses are about 1/4 the price of houses in the south of England and flats are freehold, not leasehold.

Some places like Edinburgh or Aberdeen the houses can be as expensive as in London.

House prices are generally rising in Scotland, but in England theyu2019re generally falling.

I got a quick online quote the other day for my flat here in the same postcode area and the same number of bedrooms, and the value has doubled in only 9 months.

75k to 155k in a year, not bad eh?,Scottish law is different from England and Wales.

We have our own sheriffs and prosecutor fiscal, which is run by Holyrood in Edinburgh and devolved (ish) from Westminster.

Apart from the licensing, drink driving, and property laws though, thereu2019s no real gotchas.

Whatu2019s illegal in England is generally illegal in Scotland, other than weu2019re allowed to wild camp almost anywhere other than private property.

As far as I know (I could be wrong) there are no trespass laws here, but respect the countryside.

Leave nothing but footprints, close gates behind you, donu2019t let your dog loose when there are sheep or cattle roaming - a farmer would be within his rights to shoot your dog if it was worrying his livestock.

And if you do wild camp, leave no trace, backfill and cover-up anywhere youu2019ve made a fire, and take all of your litter away with you and dispose of it legally and sensibly.

Which leads me ontou2026,Bothies are very welcome freely provided extremely basic (literally 4 bare walls , a probably draughty front door, a roof, and a bare piece of wood or stone to put your camping bed on, if youu2019re lucky) community camping stopovers, handy if you get stuck wild camping or hiking in a sudden snowstorm or other bad weather.

They are free to use, you canu2019t book them, so itu2019s pot luck as to if there might be someone else there the same night as you - great chance to make new friends! Leave it as you found it, if not better, sweep the floors if you can, and itu2019s always polite to leave the next visitor some firewood and/or tins or packets of food.

There wonu2019t be a toilet, there may be a fireplace but get your own wood or fuel.

There may not be a stove but there may be a fireplace, take your own cooking equipment.

Nothing is supplied, they are literally a shell of an old building left there for the community to use, theyu2019re usually old abandoned/disused croftersu2019 houses.

There might be a donation box.

There wonu2019t be any electricity or running water.

,If youu2019re interested, just use El Goog for u201cbothyu201d.

There are bothies in England and Wales too.

Itu2019s literally the same as wild camping but with sturdy walls and a roof.

Theyu2019re quite popular! Theyu2019re not on the beaten track, theyu2019re pretty remote.

Handy for a wild camping expedition.

Make sure you have maps, and/or a working charged GPS, and know how to use them.

Thereu2019s a website to find bothies, itu2019s on El Goog.

,If the owner of a property you are buying dies (as happened in my case), there doesnu2019t appear to be such a long drawn out probate system as there is in England & Wales.

All thatu2019s needed as far as conveyancing is concerned is a death certificate from the court.

This took about 2 weeks in my case, as the son of the deceased was already dealing with, having accepted formally, my offer for the purchase.

When my Father in England died, the probate process for me to gain his part ownership took over 6 months.

,The drink driving laws in Scotland are stricter, about half the maximum breath alcohol limit as England & Wales - 18mg vs 35mg if I remember correctly.

Half a pint or a wee dram could well put you over the limit.

The cops generally have less to do, as crime rates are low, at least in the Highlands anyway, so thereu2019s a good chance youu2019ll get pulled over by a bored cop.

They use a lot of unmarked cars on the main trunk route, the A9, to catch speeders.

In England, the cops were up in their helicopter almost every night, and sirens were a daily disruption.

Here, Iu2019ve yet to see a police helicopter, and the only sirens are the occasional ambulance or fire engine - maybe once a month.

,If youu2019re in Raigmore hospital in Inverness, you might hear or see, the air ambulance helicopter once a day or so.

,Thereu2019s more water in Loch Ness than in all of the lakes in the whole of England and Wales put together (Edit: not the whole of the UK, thank you for the correction Jordan Salkeld).

If you do visit Loch Ness, drive up the east side from St.

Augustus, thereu2019s no tourists there or hardly even any traffic at all.

And itu2019s just as beautiful, if not more so - including the abandoned boat that everyone takes a photo of.

Donu2019t venture off into the side roads for the mountains to see the eagles unless you have a 4x4, as you can very quickly get stuck on a snowdrift and thereu2019s no mobile signal there to call for help.

Some mountains are snow-capped all year round.

The weather can turn in an instant, getting stuck is not an option.

I speak from experience.

Luckily I was eventually able to extract the car from its compromise, I kept the engine running to melt the snow beneath it.

If you do venture there, or even sticking to the main roads, youu2019ll be graced by golden eagles, possibly a white-tailed sea eagle (though theyu2019re seen more on the roads towards Skye), red kites, and other very large raptors I forget the names of, maybe ospreys.

,Your windows in Scotland will likely be triple glazed, not just double.

Just thought Iu2019d throw a random fact in.

Houses in the Highlands are often built using a very pleasant looking almost pinkish granite.

Croftersu2019 houses are brilliant white.

,Conveyancing in Scotland is vastly faster than in England & Wales.

You can buy a property in as little as two weeks and move in, unlike in England where it can take at least several months.

Even with a deceased owner - see point 4 above.

,Despite having much cheaper property prices, things like council tax and factors (site management for blocks of flats) cost about the same as southern England.

This makes it tough for those on low incomes, like me.

,Electricity prices are about the same as England, if not more expensive despite there being a lot of hydroelectric and wind farm plants in Scotland.

In the Highlands, there might not be a gas supply to your property.

Edit I spoke with an energy supplier today, and he told me weu2019re, the customers, paying for all those new wind farms, hydropower, and infrastructure additions.

/edit.

,Water is unmetered (we have enough of it!) and included in your council tax.

Itu2019s very soft water, so we have our own special Scottish blend of teabags.

Even Yorkshire Tea have a Scottish blend! There is a God!,The Highlands are very remote in places, and amazingly beautiful.

There is a very good train and bus service even in the most remote places.

The train or bus might only be once an hour or less, but it will be there more or less on time.

Youu2019ll get a mobile signal in the cities, though it might be patchy.

My town at least has free public service WiFi, but not in the more rural areas.

Inverness has no free public WiFi that Iu2019ve found, but some shops do - including Nerou2019s coffee.

,Mountain rescue is the 4th emergency service, alongside the coastguard and the RNLI - Royal national lifeboat institution charity, both free to use.

If youu2019re mountaineering, itu2019s best to carry a satellite communication GPS device such as a Garmin Explorer Garmin 010-01735-11 in Reach Explorer+ Satellite Tracker (subscription required), for if you have no mobile service and get into trouble.

But always carry a paper map (in a waterproof ziplock bag) and a compass and a torch with fresh batteries and spares, and know how to use it all and be able to read the map.

If youu2019re out at sea, carry emergency flares.

Wear or carry sufficient clothing to protect you even if it was warm and sunny when you set out.

Bagging a Munro is a popular Scottish pastime.

Finding and rescuing injured or lost or hypothermic climbers is another popular pastime.

Addendum: Thank you Loz Squire: The mountains on Skye and Mull are magnetic.

This can throw your compass out.

If the mist comes down and visibility is bad.

Then they are some [of the] worst places in the world to try to navigate.

View topic - Cuillin magnetic deviation.

Thereu2019s no such thing as bad weather, only bad choice of clothing, preparation, and/or equipment.

/addendum.

,If youu2019re out at sea, or even just kayaking or sailing off-shore, carry flares and a PLB - personal locator beacon.

Press it and the RNLI will know exactly where you are, and come and rescue you.

For free.

In any weather, day or night.

If you see a donation box for the RNLI theyu2019ll appreciate whatever you give, no matter how small or large.

Theyu2019re a charity run by unpaid volunteers.

,Roads can be narrow single track, but with frequent passing places.

And we drive on the left, a lot of foreign visitors need reminding of that! There are not enough public toilets, so be prepared to have to stop discretely at the side of the road or pull into a pub and politely ask to use their amenities.

The councils are trying to change this, but itu2019s a slow process.

,Highland cattle are not Anguses.

An Angus cow is a different breed.

u201cHeeland coosu201d are sooo cute and furry and very photogenic.

,Minimum alcohol pricing means that you pay as much for a cheap drink as a premium quality brand of a similar ABV%.

Someone didnu2019t think that law out very well.

A 500ml bottle of 7.

5% McEwans Champion (very nice) costs about the same as a 440ml can of Fosters.

I know which Iu2019d rather have!,Licensing laws in shops are strictly 10am-10pm, except for in pubs which are often open later in Scotland, especially at weekends when they might be open until 3am.

Even in large supermarkets.

In England, you can buy drinks any time in a 24hr Tesco or elsewhere.

Not in Scotland.

We have 24hr Tescos here but the licensing laws are still limited to 10AM-10PM.

,Deep-fried Mars bars are delicious, not sickly sweet as you might imagine.

Try them if you get the chance.

Despite Scotland having a reputation for deep frying everything except salad, there are far fewer obese people in my area than in England.

,The further north you go in Scotland, the easier it is to understand the accent, unlike England.

I had a client on the Shetland Isles and thought he was a Londoner.

The Aberdeen accent can be almost impossible to understand,Fish and chips frequently comprise haddock in Scotland, in England, itu2019s usually cod with maybe an option to have haddock, cod is a bottom-feeding fish which is why the Scots prefer haddock.

The best chippy in Scotland is on the Isle of Skye.

The road bridge to Skye is no longer a toll bridge, it used to cost u00a310 to cross it but doesnu2019t now.

Theyu2019ve recuperated their building costs from the previous tolls.

,Haggis is lovely, especially if itu2019s from Cou2019burns - who are a 15 minute walk from me.

,Black pudding is also really good, and the stuff from Stornoway or Speyside is the absolute best.

Iu2019d tried black pudding in England, and thought what the hell is this shit, whatu2019s all the fuss about? So I tried it again when I moved here.

Lightbulb moment! Many thanks to a Scottish friend who persuaded me to try it again.

,The post, especially in the Highlands, takes a lot longer even if itu2019s coming first class.

,Gaelic is spoken in some parts of the Highlands, particularly so on the western isles, not so generally in the Lowlands, but everyone speaks English.

Even in Glasgow, but you might be pushed to believe that.

Scots u2018Gaelicu2019 is pronounced u2018Gah-leegu2019, and the Irish language is pronounced u2018Gay-lig-uhu2019.

Welsh is completely different.

,Aberdeen is not the Highlands, youu2019ve got a wee way to go yet.

Inverness marks the start of the Highlands, and is also the capital of the Highlands.

Edit: it starts lower than Inverness, but the A9 when you hit Inverness has a sign u201cWelcome to the Highlands:u201d.

Theyu2019re widening the A9 in places so expect some traffic delays and roadworks.

Its a much-needed upgrade The A9 is the main trunk road from Perth to John Ou2019Goats - ish.

Itu2019s single lane some of the way and used by a lot of lorries, so can be slow.

Dont speed, the cops have a lot of unmarked cars.

,Whisky is not spelt with an E in it, itu2019s the law, and you need to know if you prefer it peaty or non-peaty.

You DO NOT put a mixer with whisky, or ice.

Take note Americans! Punishment of having to drink neat Bells, or even worse, Jonny Walker, for the rest of the night.

Half a teaspoon of water is quite sufficient.

You can thank me later.

If youu2019re not sure about the difference between a peaty whisky or a non-peaty one, take advice or a taster from your bartender.

Peaty IMHO tastes more like cleaning fluid, but thatu2019s just my opinion.

A lot of people like the peaty ones.

Lagavulin is an example of a peaty one, Glenfiddich is not.

Talisker has two types, one peaty, the other not.

The Skye branded one (itu2019s all made in Skye) is peaty, and the regular one is not.

They actually make about 6 different ones in Talisker, so this is just a generalisation.

If you want a distillery tour, book it well in advance.

,The popular travel tour company Rabbies do several guided tours of the numerous castles, lochs, islands, distilleries, and more.

Theyu2019re well priced, and reviews Iu2019ve seen are good.

They can help you book accommodation for their multi-day tours, though this is at your own risk and expense.

,Scotland is also home to 70% of all of the UKu2019s gin production.

In fact, alongside small-batch craft gins, three of the worlds best-selling gins: Hendricks, Gordons and Tanqueray, are all made here, though I havenu2019t tried any of it yet.

,The Scots generally like and welcome American tourists.

But keep your volume down please, weu2019re not deaf but we might be soon from very loud people, and remember to say please and thank you.

u201cIu2019ll takeu201d or u201cgimmeu201d is NOT an acceptable way to ask for something.

Neither is using a two-finger insult (palms facing inwards) to say two of something.

You ask for things properly, u201ccan I have u2026 pleaseu201d and say thank you when you receive it.

Glasgow is pronounced as itu2019s written, glars-go, NOT glass-cow.

Edinburgh is pronounced edin-borough (burra), NOT berg.

,Shops are generally local and smaller than in England, but far more friendly, especially compared with the south of England.

Please support rural economies by buying local instead of from supermarkets.

Even the smallest shops will have most things youu2019ll ever need, including sandwiches, cakes, and other delicious snacks, and most supplies youu2019ll need if youu2019re camping.

See point 2 above, respect the countryside.

,Petrol stations can be few and far between in the remote areas, and rarely open late (after 5pm).

Always make sure youu2019ve got enough fuel for your journey and any delays or detours.

If you have an LPG campervan, it can be hard to find a refuel outside of the main cities.

Apparently, we have a reasonably good network of charging points if you have an EV.

Thereu2019s an app you can get which will navigate you to the nearest one.

Some EV cars even have it built into their satnags (sic).

But as with petrol or diesel, or LPG, never assume.

Always make sure youu2019ve got enough and lots left over.

It could be miles until you get a chance to top up.

,Americans, please call it PETROL not gas.

If you say you need gas youu2019ll be directed to camping gas canisters or LPG.

,People smile at you in the street in Scotland, and itu2019s not weird.

If you know someone you nod upwards in recognition, if you donu2019t know them, you nod downwards.

With a smile.

,How you doing, is a question to briefly answer, among shop keepers or friends, not just a vague greeting.

If you donu2019t know the person, just repeat it back, how ye doin.

,It actually rains less in most parts of Scotland than it does in England, and much much less than it does in Wales.

Where I live, Ben Nevis shields us from the worst of the weather - especially the beast from the east.

So, donu2019t expect snow, or at least donu2019t come here looking for it.

Youu2019ll get it on the mountain tops, but you might not see any on the lower lands.

,It can be sunnier and warmer in Scotland than it can be in England at the same time of year.

Hey, it happened once! Lol.

,If you want to see whales, dolphins, and seals, the best place is Cromarty point - which you might know from the BBC shipping forecasts.

Or, the Whale and Dolphin Centre just over the Kessock Bridge from Inverness.

The seals are found along the coast from Dingwall towards the A9 for John Ou2019Groats.

,Midges are a total nuisance.

You can buy a spray called Smidge as a deterrent.

Avoid dusk and wooded areas near water if you want to avoid the worst of the flying teeth, and cover up as much skin as you can.

Only female midges bite, but I challenge you to be able to tell the difference in a swarm of thousands of the wee blighters.

,Scotland has a wide range of locally produced quality food, itu2019s not just all about haggis.

We have some of the best seafood in the world, especially our salmon, scallops, and lobsters.

And donu2019t forget the venison, when itu2019s in season!,It can be almost as cheap to stay in a haunted castle as a Travelodge, and the castle will include breakfast in the price.

You might even get a four-poster bed as well, especially if you ask nicely.

,Ghosts and spirits are described as green, not grey.

I have no idea why.

Edit: answer in the comments, thank you.

Generally speaking, they canu2019t harm you, so donu2019t worry if you get things going bump in the night, itu2019s just their idea of fun.

Trust me, Iu2019m a seasoned senior paranormal investigator.

,A full Scottish breakfast is a thing to behold, and you wonu2019t need to eat for the rest of the day, except perhaps dinner.

Porridge, toast, cereal, juice, coffee/tea, and then into the full Monty - flat (Lorne) sausage, regular sausage(s), bacon, mushrooms, fried or grilled tomato, egg, beans, more toast, black pudding, haggis, tatie scone (flat potato cake), and more tea/coffee.

If (like me) you have a smaller appetite your host will give you the option to choose which bits you want, though beware some hotels if you pay for breakfast will charge you as if you chose everything, even if you only had a couple of bits of bacon and some mushrooms - youu2019re deemed as having had the full breakfast of everything.

A business hotel in Aberdeen did this to me, and my employer was not very happy at having to foot my expenses!,Scotland has been voted one of the most beautiful places in the world by Lonely Planet, and for good reason.

One day I will get to experience the NC500 - North Coast 500 mile driving route, which is a circular route from Inverness right up to John Ou2019Groats.

Thereu2019s a new one now, the midcoast 200 I think itu2019s called, starting in Glasgow.

Check the guidelines as some roads are not suitable for caravans or campervans - RVs as the Americans call them.

If you are towing a caravan, for Gods sake use your mirrors and let people pass by pulling into the frequent passing places.

,Glasgow (see pronunciation above, NOT Glass Cow) is not the crime-ridden city it used to have a reputation for.

In fact, it has a world-class leading hospital, as does Aberdeen and a lot of other cities including Edinburgh which has a class-leading cancer centre, in fact, if my memory serves me Glasgow was European city of culture fairly recently.

Raigmore hospital in Inverness is the leading centre of Lyme disease detection, research, and excellence.

,No, weu2019re not going to tell you what we do or donu2019t wear under our kilts.

Men, and women - yes you read that right.

Thatu2019s for you to find out if you get lucky.

;),The mountain variety of haggis are easier to catch because their legs are shorter on one side and they canu2019t run as fast on the flat.

,My photos, from the oldest pub in Inverness.

Which sadly isnu2019t haunted.

,Iu2019ve added a few extra bits if youu2019ve read this before.

,Fu00e0ilte gu Alba

Black and red mirror glaze cake

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