I love those occasional weekend days you get when there’s nothing to do. The boys are entertaining themselves watching football/watching motorsport/playing cars/doing boy stuff (delete as appropriate) and I’m free to just potter in the kitchen for an hour or two.
What I really fancied making was a cake, but I’d run out of eggs and couldn’t be bothered to trek to the shop, so I searched for something else instead. And what I settled on was Brandy Snap Baskets. Just because I’d always meant to try them but had never got around to it.
The mixture is easy to make, but the rest of it takes a little more patience and a bit of trial and error. The spoonfuls of mixture spread ENORMOUSLY when they cook (a tablespoon spreads to be approx 6 inches across) so you have to leave MUCH more room than I did in the picture below. Also, watch the oven like a hawk for the last 2 minutes of cooking, they go from underdone to burned very quickly. They’re well worth the effort though, they make a scoop of vanilla ice cream into something really special!
- 50g butter
- 50g brown sugar
- 50g golden syrup
- 50g plain flour, sifted
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- half a lemon, zest and 1 tsp juice
- 1 tsp brandy
- sunflower or vegetable oil, for greasing
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160 fan/ gas mark 4 and two baking trays with baking parchment.
- Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter and sugar have melted. Put the flour and ginger in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the lemon zest and juice and the brandy. Pour in the butter mixture and gradually beat it into the flour until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Use a teaspoon to dollop 3 – 4 heaps of mixture onto the prepared baking tray. A heaped tsp is enough for a cigar and two heaped teaspoons is enough for a basket. Space them well apart as they will spread. Cook in batches for 8 – 10 mins until set, golden brown and lacy in appearance. Do not allow to go too dark as they will taste bitter. Leave for a minute before shaping – the snaps should still be pliable but set enough to move without tearing.
- You can shape the brandy snaps into cigars or baskets. To make cigars, oil the handle of a wooden spoon and wrap the brandy snap around. If you have a long handle or more than one spoon, you can do a few at a time. The base of the biscuits should be the bit that touches the spoon so that the top ‘presentation’ side of the biscuit is seen. Transfer to a cooling rack. To make baskets, oil the base of small ramekins or narrow tumblers (I used glasses) and drape the biscuits over them. The top of the biscuit should touch the base this time as this is the bit you’ll see.