Brandy Snaps

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This dessert is what I requested for Birthday dinners when growing up. My mother made these perfect caramel, crunchy tubes without the brandy, and stuffed them with whipped cream. At fancy dinner parties, she’d sometimes serve them as a kind of second dessert with coffee. I remember sitting around the coffee table with the adults and while they sipped on tiny little cups of dark black coffee and liquors, I’d sneak a large brandy snap off the tray and share it with the dog behind the couch.

There’s a very specific technique to master while eating a brandy snap, or it turns into an almighty mess.

  1. You have to lick out as much cream as you can from either end.
  2. Go for it. You can’t be tentative about biting in or the whole thing will collapse. If you’re lucky, your first bit with be a perfect sweet, buttery crunch followed by the silky, whipped cream.

This is obviously not a dessert for the faint-of-heart calorie-wise, and I’m not sure it would be very nice if you tried it with vegan margarine – but it sure is a unforgettable treat.

Set aside a good hour to make them as you need to put them in the oven in batches – you can only fit 2 or 3 on a large baking sheet. Also, make sure you don’t have too many distractions because once out of the oven, you need to work really fast. There is a minute time window where you have to roll them up. If you leave them to cool too long, you are done because you can’t roll them up.

Anyway, do have a go. They’re seriously impressive, if not quite unusual to serve. Also as fresh, organic berries are so plentiful right now, I think the perfect accompaniment is fresh raspberries.

¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup white super-fine sugar
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup plain flour
1 level tsp ground ginger
2 tsp lemon juice

Pre-heat oven to 325 F

Melt the butter, sugar and rice syrup in a small saucepan (just until butter melt)n – mix well.

Remove the pan from heat and whip in the remaining ingredients.

Find the largest baking sheet you own and grease it really well. Add tsp dollops onto the baking sheet. You have to space them really well apart as they’ll expant to the size of your outstretched palm. Place in the oven for 9 minutes, at which point they should be a sort of caramely brown color.

Allow them to cool for JUST ONE MINUTE and stand by with a stainless spatula in your hand. If you flick up the edge, you’ll know when they are ready. As soon as you can get a spatula underneath, do so and very quickly roll the snap around the handle of a wooden spoon, forming a tube. Remove tube carefully from handle and lay on a dish to cool.Repeat until you have about 10 large brandy snaps.

Whip the cream until stiff and just before serving, carefully, using a small tea- spoon, stuff the cream into the tubes.

You can make them a few hours ahead and keep them in the fridge. Alternatively you can make the brandy snaps a day or two prior and keep them in an airtight container. Stuff them with cream an hour or so before serving.

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