Makes about 24 biscuits
Fairly fiddly to make, but well worth the effort.
It is essential to have everything prepared before you begin as the biscuits
cool very rapidly
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
AND THIS IS WHAT YOU DO .....
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160 fan/ gas mark 4 and two baking trays with baking parchment.
2. 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.
3. 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. Start shaping the brandy snapes within one minute of removal from the oven, as they start to harden very quickly. You can soften them by returning them to the oven for a minute.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. To make baskets, oil the base of small ramekins or narrow tumblers 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.
7. Pipe whipped cream into the cigars or use the baskets or cones for ice cream and berries. If not using straightway, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.