On to week four of the Great British Bake Off and the theme for this week's episode was biscuits. I was not so worried about making biscuits as about making bread because I have done it before and it has always turned out alright; that was until I found out that they were making brandy snaps. I have eaten brandy snaps before but I suppose it never really struck my incredibly slow mind that people might actually make them in their own homes and I wouldn't even have a clue how to begin. I watched the episode and all of the contestants making their brandy snaps and I was not much appeased, it looked very difficult and somebody even said that it was like torture having to wrap up with your bare fingers the burning hot biscuits that had just come out of the oven. It did not for a second put me off making them however.
I began by putting the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan to melt together, I don't think anyone could say that that part was difficult.
I stirred the mixture over a low heat, making sure that all of the sugar granules dissolved before taking it off the heat and stirring in the other ingredients. Then I spooned four teaspoons of the mixture onto a lined baking tray and put it in the oven. So far so good.
The next part of the process was the most, in fact the only, difficult part. Once I had taken the unformed brandy snaps out of the oven I had to wait for them to cool long enough that I could lift them up with a pallet knife but not so long that they were too hard to bend. With the pallet knife I picked up the brandy snaps one at a time, draping them over the oiled handle of a wooden spoon, I then had to very quickly roll the biscuit around the spoon, trying to make it as even as possible and still not burn my fingers.
I did four trays of brandy snaps, making sixteen altogether, so not as many as they did on the bake off but as many as it said to do in the version of the recipe I was using. They were remarkably easy to make considering how hard they looked, the main difficulty was in not having heat retardant fingers and also in making the brandy snaps all the same size and colour, I did not quite manage in that respect. They were not too much of a disgrace however.
In the Great British Bake Off the contestants were told to fill their brandy snaps with cream and, not wanting to miss out a step, I wanted to do this too. I thought however, and was later proved right, that brandy snaps would not last long when filled with cream, so I did not want to risk putting it in all of them and only put it in three in order to take a nice photo with the finished product. After a lot of trying here is the final photo.
If you want the recipe to try out Mary Berry's brandy snaps here is the link http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/brandy_snaps_47363