Margaret Fulton’s Brandy Snaps
From Margaret Fulton Favourites ($39.95, Hardie Grant)
Crunchy, crisp brandy snaps have been made for centuries in Britain, where they were often given as gifts by vendors at medieval fairs, along with gingerbreads and hokey pokey. Later they became an afternoon tea treat, filled with whipped cream.
Shape them into tubes with the help of a wooden spoon, into curls with a rolling pin, or flick them onto an upturned glass to shape them into baskets for filling with cream and fruits, or a mousse mixture. There’s a little skill involved in timing the baking, so that the biscuits don’t stick to the trays, and rolling gently and quickly to shape them. They must be kept in an airtight container once cooled.
80 g butter
4 tablespoons caster or brown sugar
4 tablespoons golden syrup
1 /2 cup plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 grated rind of /2 lemon
whipped cream for filling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease 2 baking trays and the round handles of 2 wooden spoons (the larger the better). Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a pan and heat gently until butter has melted. Remove from the heat and cool until lukewarm. Stir in the sifted flour with the ginger and lemon rind.
Make 3 snaps at a time. Place a teaspoon of mixture on a tray for each, allowing room for spreading. Using a metal spatula spread to 8 cm in diameter and bake for 5–8 minutes. When golden brown, remove from the oven, stand for a minute or so until set a little, then ease from the tray with a broad-bladed knife or metal spatula. Working quickly, wrap each one lightly around the greased wooden-spoon handle, keeping
the smooth side of the biscuit to the handle of the spoon. Before completely set, slip off onto a rack to cool. Continue with remaining mixture, alternating trays. One tray should be in the oven while you are curling the snaps from the tray already cooked. Keep in an airtight container until ready to fill and serve.
An hour or two before serving, pipe whipped cream (if using) into each end of the snaps.