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Brandy Baskets

Brandy Baskets

Brandy Baskets

By Carolyn Eddie | June 9, 2017

Alan and I are celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary on the 12th of this month, to be honest I am not sure how he has put up with me all this time!

So I have to share the recipe for the dessert that was served at our wedding. I have no real memory of the rest of the meal, chicken maybe, but the dessert, for a Banff lass, was the height of sophistication.  Strawberries and kiwi fruit, together with caramel sauce in a time when strawberries only made a brief appearance for a few weeks of the summer was very fancy.

The recipe is the one for brandy snaps, the cream filled cigar shaped dessert which is only really around at Christmas. The baskets can be made in advance and stored in a airtight container but only fill them with fruit and cream just before serving as they will get soggy.  High humidity is not great for them either.

The key to making them is to cook them until golden brown then, once out of the oven, shape them over a small water glass.  If the lacy biscuit (cookie) becomes too hard to work with you can pop them back into the oven to soften them again.

The caramel sauce is based on a recipe by the fabulous Ina Garden.  I always ended up with a pan of crystallized sugar so the recipes below suggests you add little lemon juice or vinegar which seems to help my success rate. It can be a little tricky so I allow you to buy a good quality sauce in a pinch.  If you succeed with the caramel it will keep beautifully in the fridge for quite some time.  Make it together with chocolate the ganache from the Heart Shaped Almond Torte and you have two sauces which you will find suddenly become useful for a variety of desserts, apple pie, ice cream Sundays and so on.

Allow a good hour as you need to cook the mixture in batches.

Brandy Baskets

Ingredients

  • 4oz/120g Butter
  • 21/2oz/75g all purpose flour
  • 31/2oz/100g sugar
  • 3 TBS Golden Syrup
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 2 TBS brandy
  • Caramel
  • 101/2oz/300g/11/2 cups sugar
  • 3fl oz/80ml/1/3 cup water
  • 10 fl oz/310ml/11/4 cup heavy cream
  • splash of vinegar or lemon juice
  • To finish
  • Strawberries topped and halved, Kiwis pealed and sliced. then halved. Raspberries or any fruit you would like.
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F/180C and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Have four small drinking glasses to hand.

Melt butter and syrup in a small pan, remove from heat once melted.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.

Keep pan on a low heat to keep mixture warm.

Take 1tsp of mixture and drop onto on quarter of parchment paper.

Using the teaspoon spread mixture out in a circle until 4inches/10cm wide.

Repeat three more times.

Bake for around 5 mins until nicely browned.

Allow lacy wafers to cool enough so you can handle them then drop them over the glasses. lacy side out to form cups.

They should harden quickly allowing you to work with the next batch.

If mixture becomes too hard it can be soften by turning it briefly to the oven.

Repeat until all the mixture is finished.

Caramel

In a heavy bottomed pan add sugar, water and a little splash of vinegar.

Melt the sugar over a low heat until it is dissolved, without stirring.

Increase heat to medium and boil until sugar turns a deep brown, be careful as mixture goes from perfect to burn very quickly. 5-7 minutes

Be careful caramel is very hot!

Once it has reached the desired color take pan off heat.

Slowly add the cream, which will make the caramel splutter and harden,

Return pan to a low heat and, stir constantly until the mixture is smooth.

Leave to thicken for a couple of hours

To finish

Just before serving fill brandy baskets with whipped cream and fruit, drizzle with caramel sauce.

 

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