Monday, May 31, 2010

Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)

It's summertime, it's scorching, and my seasonal summery sweet tooth is in full swing. Heavy desserts are out of the question in this heat, so I'm turning to berries, passion fruit puree, mint and fresh whipped cream atop a crunchy retro Brandy Snap instead. Though a tad labor intensive, they sure taste mighty fine!

Brandy Snaps
Makes about 36

4 oz butter
3 oz caster sugar
6 oz golden syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 oz flour
1 tsp ground ginger
½ pint cream

Preheat oven to 350° F/180° C and have three ungreased baking trays ready. Place two racks near the center of the oven.

Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a heavy-based saucepan and melt over a gentle heat, stirring constantly. Don't let the mixture get too hot or it will cook the flour and stop the snaps from spreading. Add lemon juice, sift in the flour and ginger, and mix together.

Drop the mixture in teaspoonfuls on the trays leaving plenty of room for them to spread. Putting two spoonfuls per tray is safest and ensures you can enjoy the shaping process rather than feeling flustered and rushed; four per tray is maximum.

Put two trays in the oven and cook the snaps for about 8 minutes. They will spread out, bubble, and turn golden. Remove the trays to a cooling rack and let cool just slightly [under 1 minute]. Put the third tray in the oven and get the timer before shaping the first batch.

To shape, lift the snaps one at a time with spatula, flip onto a wooden board. Traditionally they are rolled resembling cigars, which you can do by shaping with ungreased cream horn molds or greased wooden spoon handles. I left mine flat then used a round mold to cut even disks. Continue until all the mixture is used, alternating between one and two trays in the oven.

To make a passion fruit puree, juice passion fruits to make 1½ cups juice and combine with 1 cup sugar and ⅓ cup water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, lower heat and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes, until slightly reduced. Puree, strain and chill.

Before serving fill rolled snaps with fresh whipped cream or top disks as I did with whatever you fancy.

Note: If they sit longer than one hour with cream they will begin to soften and become a mess. Also, the sticky shaping process may or may not go awry, reducing final snap count from 36 to 6—and causing you to curse like a sailor. But keep at it because practice is key with this recipe.


Michelle said...

Dear Lord in Heaven do those look AMAZING.

J said...

I can attest, these are tasty little devils and didn't last very long :)

Meg said...

The first time I met Tim's grandmother in NZ she made home made brandy snaps for dessert! They always remind me of NZ and her, I had never heard of them or had them before! They look so fancy and good! :) I dont' htink I'm brave enough to make them on my own!

Courtney said...

Meg!!! My Kiwi friend, Rachael, whipped up the rolled versions and that was my first introduction. Is this a New Zealand thing, I wonder? (She also made the entire process look effortless. My kitchen however looked disastrous after making just 12...but they tasted great!)

Frau said...

Looks deliciously good!

Courtney said...

Those look so delicious and perfect for summer!! And Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) is a song I always love to crank up and sing along with (even though it is rather cheesy sounding "soft rock"!)

stylewannabee said...

ok, what is golden syrup?

Courtney said...

You can find it in the aisle with maple syrups and such. It's literally a golden color --- and here it's called "golden syrup" --- and is used in baking. Have a look next to the other syrups and hopefully you are able to find it easily. xx