22 February 2013

Treacle Brandy Snap Cones

Bubbly, buttery, crunchy, heavenly spiced cones… Have I got your attention yet?
I relish brandy snap - baskets, tubular biscuits, cones, any format they care to come in really. At boarding school they were one of the few and far between desserts (along with chocolate self-saucing pudding) that I actually a) wanted to eat  and b) wanted seconds of… needless to say we didn’t get them often. In our little kitchen we had tried a few times to make brandy snap baskets without much success, ending with hot batter (albeit wonderful tasting batter) that wouldn’t hold its shape. The trick is the cooking time.

You really have to know if your oven runs hot or cold, making sure they stay in long enough for the butter and sugar to caramelise together so they will be crispy and light. Use the cooking time as a basis to check your brandy snaps but if they are not bubbling all over and turning golden brown then they are not done, give them another minute and check again. When you roll them around a cone shape or wooden spoon handle they should hold their shape, if they start to slouch or you can see bits that don’t look caramelised in the middle, keep them cooking.
I started with Margaret Fulton’s brandy snap recipe and once I had that down pat have experimented with different spices, zests and syrups, this is my favourite using treacle instead of golden syrup as a like its depth, orange zest, ground ginger and cinnamon plus a little brandy as the original didn’t have any in the snap itself.
Ingredients (makes 10 cones):
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 70 grams butter
  • 4 tablespoons treacle
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
You will also need 2 trays lined with baking paper, and a cone shape made from cardboard and then covered in baking paper
  1. preheat oven to 180 C
  2. combine sugar, butter and treacle in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has melted and it starts to bubble together, approximately 3 minutes
  3. sift flour, ginger and cinnamon into the butter mixture and stir together until smooth, add orange zest and brandy and continue stirring until smooth and glossy
  4. blob a rounded tablespoon onto your lined baking tray and smooth with the back of the spoon into a thin flat round disk
  5. if you are finding it difficult to spread the batter out very thin (it tends to come up from the baking paper), put another sheet of baking paper over the top and using your fingers smooth it out in a circular motion then carefully peel the top layer of baking paper away
  6. it also helps to wet your fingers slightly and press down on the batter
  7. you want the circles to be 12 cm in diameter
  8. repeat with no more than 3 on the tray at one time (I usually do 2), leaving room for them to spread a little while baking
  9. cook for 8 - 10 minutes, or until deep brown and bubbled all over
  10. remove from the oven and let them sit for up to 1 minute then roll into cone shapes with your cardboard cone shaper, be careful as they are HOT so don't burn your fingers, if they are too cool to roll, put them back in the oven for a minute and they will become flexible again
  11. roll one, pressing the end so the ice cream won't drip out, holding it in place until it holds its shape then set it aside to cool, repeat with the others
  12. have a second tray in the oven while you are rolling the first
  13. once cool you can store them in an airtight container for up to a week... if they last that long! 

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