Brandy snaps are a curious little beast. Crispy, but soft if left for too long. Easy to bake but yet incredibly easy to screw up and, strangest of all, they don’t contain any Brandy!
A quick Wikipedia search informs me that the origin of the name Brandy Snap comes from the term ‘Branded’ as in burned. As these little treats are made from a sugar, golden syrup, butter and flour mix which is cooked to melting point you can see how this would be the case.
First written about in 1825 with an origin from West Yorkshire, these are about as British a bake as you can get and any UK resident will have memories of Fun Fairs, village fetes and Christmas parties where these are traditionally served.
As tonight is Halloween and next Thursday is Bonfire night, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a go at these myself. What started out as a quick bake in fact turned into one several hours long due to only being able to bake them 4 at a time. Still, the final result made me pretty happy and I am already thinking about who can be gifted a bag of these for Christmas!
As it’s the spookiest time of year I have decided to decorate a few of these too. The discovery of Candy Melts and coloured Chocolates has proved to be revolutionary for my decorating skills due to their quick melting, ease of use and the fact they taste so much better then nasty fondant icing.
If you fancy having a crack at these, take your time over them, don’t leave your oven alone AT ALL when baking and work quickly to roll them up. As long as you follow these simple rules, you should have no problem at all.
50g Unsalted Butter
50g Demerara Sugar
50g Golden Syrup
50g Plain Flour
Small squeeze of Lemon
1/2tsp Ground Ginger
Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper and oil the handle of a wooden spoon.
Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a pan over a low heat. Gently stir the sugar mix for ten mins until all the sugar has dissolved and you are left with a smooth mix. Remove from the heat.
Leave the mixture to cool for 2 mins before adding the flour, ginger and lemon. Stir thoroughly to combine.
Place 4 teaspoons of the mix spaced 10cm apart on the baking tray. Place into the oven for 5 to 10 mins. Keep a VERY close eye during this time. Remove from the oven when they still require 30 seconds of baking as they will continue to cook outside the oven.
Wait 90 seconds for them to harden slightly then, using a pallet knife to help, mould the discs round your wooden spoon handle. If they become too hard, place the baking tray back into the oven for 30 seconds to soften the discs again.
Place the shaped snaps on a rack until completely cool.
Once cooled you can eat them straight away, fill them full of cream or decorate as you see fit.
For my Franken-Snaps I melted a little green chocolate* then dipped each snap to about 1”. I placed them onto some baking paper then into the fridge to set. Once hardened I dipped the very tops in some dark chocolate and teased the edges with a cocktail stick to create the hairline. Some pink chocolate was melted for the eyes and final detail was added with gel food colour applied with another cocktail stick. Leave to set for at least 30mins.
Perfect for trick or treaters!
*Coloured chocolates or Candy Melts are available from all good hobby shops and cake supply stores or from Ebay. It’s a joy to use and any you melt but don’t require can be simply hardened and reused at any point again in the future.