Another Alison Burt I’m afraid. I really must diversify my resources a little, but Alison does seem to offer a range of initially ace sounding recipes, which yes, usually turn out terribly, but there’s a point during the recipe choosing process where doing a Burt seems to make sense. I don’t know whether at some point I’ll start remembering how badly Alison Burt recipes turn out before I start cooking, but right now, that lesson is not yet learned, so here’s how things went with the brandy snaps recipe…
2 oz golden syrup
2oz castor sugar
2oz plain flour
1/4 level teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 pint whipping cream
Small piece preserved ginger (optional)Lightly grease 2 baking trays. Place the lard, syrup and sugar in a saucepan, and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the fat has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour and ginger until well mixed-in. Place 4-5 teaspoons of the mixture, well-spaced, on a baking tray. Bake in a moderately slow oven (325f/ 170c/ Mark 3) for 8 minutes or until the mixture has spread into flat lacy rounds and turned golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to stand until the mixture is just firm enough to be lifted off the tray with a palette knife. Quickly lift the brandy snaps off the baking tray and roll them round lightly greased wooden spoon handles. Cool on a wire rack and when hard they will easily slide off the wooden spoon. Continue cooking and rolling round the wooden spoon handles until all the mixture has been used. Make the filling: Whip the cream until just stiff. Finely chop the preserved ginger (if used) and fold it into the cream. Put the cream into a piping bag with a large plain pipe. Fill the brandy snaps with cream just before serving.
- Once more I am using Trex instead of the suggested fat. The photo credits on the recipe card does say ‘courtesy of Trex’, so figured this is ok. It made it all very greasy, though I can’t see that lard would have been less greasy.
- The recipe is meant to yield 20 snaps. I got about seven. Seven!
- This was because the first couple of batches burned, and the other batches hardened before I could roll them. Annoyingly the perimeter of the cooking snap would head towards very burnt with gay abandon, whilst the middle of the snap would doggedly remain partially uncooked.
- Rolling only started to work properly after a lot of failed rolls.
- I didn’t have any ground ginger, so used cinnamon.
- Piping the cream in was tough, as the snaps had holes in, out of which the cream escaped.
In conclusion – these looked pretty damn rustic (ie, shit) and were chewy, rather than snappy. The amount of grease generated by the Trex was excessive and if I were to re-attempt this recipe I would want to avoid that. Ginger would have been better than cinnamon, but flavour-wise they weren’t half bad – just need to get the snap working somehow.