Entry 22: Brandy Snaps – Ow, ow, ouch.

Hello Koala fans!

Christmas is over and with it comes the usual post-Christmas hangover of having eaten a lot, drunk even more and the annual solemn vow never to touch another piece of chocolate again. It was nice seeing the family though. ^_^

As promised, here’s a bonus for you this week. I made these at the same time as I made the mince pies for work. The recipe I used was one from a TV guide magazine, so as there’s no online version, I’ll  copy it up here for you folks to enjoy. As far as I know, it’s a pretty standard recipe:

  • 50g butter
  • 50g Demerara sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp brandy (or lemon juice if you prefer)
  • Pre-heat your oven to 180*C, 350*F or G#gas mark 4
  • Have a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper
It's really hard to come up with a good pun about brandy snaps.

It’s really hard to come up with a good pun about brandy snaps.

* The first step in the recipe is to remove any small furry creatures from your kitchen scales, as they make it difficult to weigh things accurately. Once your scales are marsupial-free, weigh out the butter and dice it up into small chunks.

* Next, melt the butter in a small saucepan and then add the sugar and syrup:

Brandy snaps - keeping dentists employed since 1825!

Brandy snaps – keeping dentists employed since 1825!

* In the recipe, it says to melt all this together on a low heat until the sugar dissolves. I found with this that even after a long period of time, the sugar won’t completely dissolve. You do need to avoid letting it boil though, so if it starts to bubble and the sugar still hasn’t completely melted, don’t fret too much. It should take around 10-15 mins, with occasional stirring.

When the mixture has turned a smooth, brown colour like this, you're golden.

When the mixture has turned a smooth, brown colour like this, you’re golden.

* This is the point where you weigh out the flour and add the ground ginger to it:

"Be careful - the pan is still hot!"

“Be careful – the pan is still hot!”

* Before you add the dry ingredients, add the brandy or lemon juice to the pan mixture:

Assuming, of course, your bottle hasn't been commandeered by a bear with a drink problem.

Assuming, of course, your brandy hasn’t been commandeered by a bear with a drink problem.

* Slowly pour the flour and ginger into the pan, stirring and adding a little bit at a time:

Raw brandy snaps!

Raw brandy snaps!

* Find a wooden spoon and lightly brush the handle with a little sunflower oil.

* Now you may be wondering about the title of this entry. This is where things get a teensy bit hot and I advise you to have a small bowl of icy cold water within arms reach. Add about half a teaspoon of brandy snap to the baking tray *and do no more than two at a time*.  Bake for about 10-15 mins until you have a thin, lacy biscuit.

* “But Koala, I can easily fit more than that on the tray!”

* This is true but the next bit is going to require quick fingers and you will not have a lot of time. After removing the snaps from the oven, give them about 30 seconds to cool down. They need to be just firm enough to lift with a palette knife but still soft.

* Take the pre-oiled wooden spoon and wrap the soft brandy snap around it. *THEY WILL BE HOT*, hence the bowl of icy water. Your fingers will thank you for this.

* What you’ll find is that by the time you’ve finished the second one, the brandy snaps will almost have solidified. Pop the rolled brandy snaps on a wire tray to finish cooling.

* There’s enough mixture for about 14 brandy snaps:

"What happened with these ones in front of me?"

“What happened with these ones in front of me?”

* That’s what happens when you try to do too many at once – they solidify before you get a chance to roll them.

* They still taste good when dipped in chocolate and chopped nuts:

"I greatly appreciate the sacrifice your singed fingers made."

“I greatly appreciate the sacrifice your singed fingers made.”

They seemed to go down well with folks at work – I found they taste really nice if you let them slowly melt in your mouth. You could also use a little whipped double cream and brandy and pipe it through the centre of each one. There’s a lot of room for experimentation with these.

But seriously – keep the bowl of icy water there when you’re rolling them!

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