Good afternoon, people 🙂
Last Sunday I decided to attempt something I had seen on the GBBO god knows how long ago. The bitchin’ brandy snap. I didn’t know if brandy snaps were always served with cream inside but I go the extra mile, for my readers ❤
The most obvious recipe to choose was that of Mary ‘mothafucka’ Berry, the baddest bitch ever to grace our TV. Not only can you find a written recipe, but there is also a video where Mary, and Cold Ungrateful Nasty Traitor (C.U.N.T) Paul Hollywood, take you through each step, which is always handy. The other recipe came from popular website, GoodToKnow.co.uk.
I was fucking horrified to see that neither recipe called for actual brandy, because there is nothing better than a dessert that contains alcohol. That being said, it was a relief when realising that I wouldn’t have to buy an entire bottle of the shit just for a few brandy snaps. I know I’ll be using it again when the time for Christmas cake rolls around, but I get the feeling it wouldn’t last that long in this house.
Both recipes called for only a few ingredients, all of which I already had in the cupboard, so that was fucking sweet.
Mary ‘mothafucka’ Berry
This bitch deserves to go first, no question. The first step was obviously to preheat the incinerator (though to be honest, that isn’t a necessity with this twat of an oven), and line two baking trays with baking paper. So, both of those things I did, and cracked on with melting the sugar, butter, and golden syrup. Mary firmly insisted that one would do this over a very low heat, and that it would take like 15 fucking minutes. And by god, was she right. I have never been so bloody bored whilst baking than I was waiting for this to melt. When it did melt, it didn’t seem to thicken like the mix you can see in the video, so I did worry but nearly instantly after taking it off the heat, it thickened. After waiting a few minutes, I added the flour, ginger, and lemon juice, and stirred all of that in. Pretty fucking basic, but that was fine with me as I had a cracking hangover.
The next step was to dollop the mix onto the trays, only 4 spoonfuls per sheet. The mix was thickening too quickly for this to be easy, but I persevered. After getting 5 dollops and 3 mutant puddles onto the trays, I threw them into the oven for ’10-15mins, or until golden’. Now, I fucking despise it when a recipe says ‘for X amount of time or Y amount of time’. Like bitch needs to be more specific. I, like always, had the incinerator set to a lower temperature, and checked on them a minute or two early. So, I sat on the kitchen floor contemplating what life would be like if I had a standalone mixer (don’t judge me). However, something awoke me from my day dream…the smell of burning. I could literally smash the smug face of that fucking oven in sometimes. I opened the door, not even shocked by the smoke, and saw 8 dark splotches. In fairness, they certainly weren’t black and crispy, but they did look a lot darker than the google images I had research 3 mins before starting this bake. I thought that at least these could be my practice batch when it came to the rolling.
This is where things got…painful. After the flattened snaps, reminiscent of roadkill, had sat for a minute or two out in the air and firmed up, I had to pick one up with a knife and lay it on the oiled handle of a wooden spoon. Yes, you read correctly, I have finally invested in a wooden spoon! So I draped it over, and tried to manoeuvre it around the handle. As stated in a previous post, I am not a fucking octopus so I couldn’t take photos of this part and this website wont let me post videos because apparently I’m not already paying the twats enough. This first attempt didn’t go too well to be honest, and handling a near-molten sugar mix meant that I was saying goodbye to some more skin. (If you haven’t ready any previous posts, every time I have to zest a fruit, I end up bleeding).
After 4 failed attempts at rolling, I decided to do it MY way. I flipped the snap over, lift an edge over the handle, then rolled it forward until the snap had wrapped all the way around. This left me with a much prettier and more uniform shape. I honestly think I should get an award for my innovation.
The estimated returns from this recipe were 16 brandy snaps, but I ended up with double (no complaints there). The mix had set into a dough by the time I got to the last couple of trays, but in fact this made things easier. I could take some of the dough, and roll it into a ball in my hands – this meant a much more uniform shape brandy snap, as it melted into a near-perfect circle.
You can see the difference.
Fucking amazingly,this recipe didn’t specify any sort of cream to fill these with, so I *whipped* up some basic thick vanilla cream, and piped it into each tube. I had googled some suggestions but I could not be fucked with making ginger cream, and it doesn’t sound like something I’d really even enjoy. Both the taste and look of ginger is nasty, and I’m not just referring to the root. This was a bit difficult to start with as the mix was still pretty cold, but after I had handled the bag and things warmed up a bit, it was much easier to push into the hole. I put all my snaps aside, and started on the next recipe.
This recipe was basically the friggin’ same, the biggest difference being the use of caster sugar, rather than demerara sugar like Mary had told me to use.
I dumped all the same bollocks into the pan and painstakingly waited until it had all liquefied. I did worry a bit that this mixture looked less golden, but the consistency seemed pretty good so fuck it. This recipe didn’t specify that I had to wait for the mix to cool before adding the flour, so I did what any novice baker would do – dump it straight the fuck in and stir. Unbelievably, the mix didn’t spontaneously fucking combust, so I carried on with adding the ginger and lemon. After it was all ‘incorporated’, I repeated the process of putting 4 spoonfuls of mix onto each tray. This mix was runnier than Mary’s, so it was a bit of cunt getting it on there without dripping skin-burning mix everywhere.
I hurled the trays into the oven and sat and watched the brandy snaps in the same way I would stare at Ryan Reynolds squeeze into the Deadpool costume. These snaps only took 5 minutes per tray, and thank fuck for that…the amount of mix I had was definitely going to produce about 36 million tubes. I did exactly the same when it came to rolling the snap, by wrapping it around the spoon handle as I rolled it forward. I think by the 4th tray in, I had officially burned off all my fingerprints. On an unrelated note, if anyone fancies a late night trip to the local jewellers, let me know.
I don’t know how long it took me to use up all the mix, but I was starting to struggle to remember a time when I wasn’t rolling these fuckers. Eventually, 36 million tubes later, I had finished. I let them cool for a bit before filling them all with the same cream I used for Mary’s.
You can see the difference in output between each recipe. I was drowning in brandy snaps, so I had no choice but to take a shit tonne into work and even gave a few to a local celebrity that I know (I hear he enjoyed them).
These recipes were nearly identical, so of course there wasn’t a crazy amount of deviation between them. Of course, GoodToKnow’s recipe produced an almost commercial amount of brandy snaps compared to Mary’s (maybe I could go into business with mass production, because I am making fuck all with this blog…not that I’m doing this for money, that is).
I presented a couple of each kind to taste tester Lee. He didn’t have much to say on presentation, because after all it was just 4 tubes on a plate. When it came to taste…same again. To be honest with you, I need a new taste tester, because this one is becoming less useful. He guessed which snap belong to which recipe…and he was fucking wrong! I fucking love it when he’s wrong. Personally, I felt like Mary’s tasted more burned, despite picking two of the palest snaps. I also thought they were a bit softer than GoodToKnow’s results, but that could well be because they had been sat with cream in them for at least half an hour.
Overall, my favourite snaps were GoodToKnows. It absolutely breaks my stone cold heart that I have to say this, because Mary Berry is a legend in her own right. Unlike with Nigella and Delia, I am not about to lose respect for her, because this bitch knows what is up. I will give her another chance in a future bake, whatever that may be (any suggestions, let me know!)
I took most of the snaps into work, and a certain lawyer absolutely lapped them up, so I was happy. I am conveniently situated next to the office kitchen, so I am able to hear people converse with each other about how much of a fucking baking legend I am and how they wish they had my skill*
Mary ‘mothafucka’ Berry
- Difficulty: 7/10 – making the mix was easy, but the rolling was tricky
- Presentation: 7/10 – most of them were conform and neat, but a couple were too dark and wonky
- Taste: 6/10 – certainly not a disaster, certainly could have been better
- Difficulty: 8/10, same hardships with the rolling but also the mix being runny didn’t help things
- Presentation: 10/10 – I firmly believe these snaps were all of perfect shape and size, but I had already had a lot of practice by the time I was rolling the last batch
- Taste: 9/10 – the only negative was that they had gotten softer with time, but I suppose that is normal
The Final Word
I am happy my work colleagues enjoyed my hard, cream filled tubes in their mouths.