After a very busy week, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to try to recreate the Week 3 (Brandy Snaps) and Week 4 (Quiche) GABO technical challenges at the same time. All was actually going well until I started getting a migraine.
I had originally intended to keep making the brandy snaps until I had perfected them, just like the contestants in Week 3 who made multiple batches in their quest to create 12 perfect brandy snaps. Unfortunately with the onset of a migraine, I had to throw in the towel after just one batch and admit defeat – for now. I managed about 6 salvageable brandy snaps from my first batch (although they weren’t the best and looked nothing like the ones in the picture from the original recipe), only to then break one when I was filling it with the cream. However, given how I was feeling at the time, I think the fact that I made any of them is an achievement. I will have to try again when I have more time and am feeling 100%!
I also found that my wooden spoon handles were a bit too narrow to get the best cylinder shape. I’ll have to go hunting for a bigger one before I try these again. Also, although the recipe recommended cooking four at a time, until you have got the hang of making these I would recommend only cooking 2 – 3 at a time. It will take longer, but you will end up throwing away less, so you will save time in the long run.
The brandy snaps are very sweet on their own, although the addition of the cream helps to balance this, with nice caramel and ginger flavours. Next time I will also try making some as little cups like I’ve seen before.
Next up, a couple of savoury recipes after a few weeks of only sweet, including the Week 4 Quiche challenge.
GABO Brandy Snaps
Serves 16 – 20
- 50g unsalted butter – diced
- 60g brown sugar
- 60ml (1/4 cup) golden syrup
- 50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 vanilla pod (or you can use vanilla paste)
- 160ml (2/3 cup) thickened cream – whipped until firm
- 1 teaspoon of brandy (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 160C fan forced (180C) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a small saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly. In a separate bowl mix together the flour and ginger and then add to the cooled sugar mix. I sifted mine as I found the ground ginger had lumps in it.
- Mix until well combined.
- On the lined tray, drop 2 – 4 teaspoonfuls of the mix to make circles. Make sure you allow for quite a lot of space for them to spread. I suggest starting with just 2 – 3 until you get the hang of how much they will spread but also the rolling later.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 8 minutes. The snaps will be bubbling, lacy and a dark golden colour when they are ready and will have spread to 10 – 12 cm in diameter.
- Remove from the oven and slide the baking paper with the snaps onto a wire rack to cool. You need to let them cool until they are firm enough to move and work with them, but still can be shaped. Don’t leave them at this point. They can go from too soft to too hard quite quickly. However, it they do go to hard, you can return them to the oven briefly to soften.
- Roll the snaps around a lightly oiled wooden spoon handle to form a cylinder shape (a palette knife will help here to remove them from the paper). If they are holding their shape, slip them off the handle and place on the rack. I found for some of mine I needed to allow them to cool further around the spoon handle first, so make sure you have more than one that you can use.
- Repeat the process until you have used all the mixture.
- To make the filling, combine the whipped cream, beans scraped from the vanilla pod and brandy and mix. Place in a piping bag. Just before serving, and when the snaps are cold, fill them with the cream. You need to serve immediately once they are filled as they will begin to soften immediately.