A true classic for afternoon tea. They look much more difficult than they are: very quick to make, and once you’ve grasped that you need to wait a minute before lifting them off the tray, they are a doddle to shape — much easier than tuiles. They’ll be crisp within 10 minutes, ready to fill with piped whipped cream.
Note: most recipes have brandy in them. But this is not why they are called brandy snaps, and I think it’s neither necessary nor authentic. The “brandy” is more likely to refer to the fact that they are brannt or burnt, i.e. caramelised. So it’s absolutely fine to leave it out.
50 g butter
50 g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
50 g self-raising flour, or plain flour with 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
a few drops of lemon juice
Have ready a greased Swiss roll tin or similar sized baking tray. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients, except the cream, obviously. Place four heaped teaspoons of the mixture well spaced apart on the tray: they will spread a lot. Bake for about 8 minutes until golden brown. While they are baking get a couple of wooden spoons out. Let the brandy snaps cool for a minute until they are still soft but you can detach them from the tray with a spatula or slice without them wrinkling. Wrap each one loosely round the handle of a wooden spoon to form a tube, two per spoon. Unlike for tuiles, you don’t need asbestos fingers for this. By the time you’ve rolled the last one, the first will be set and ready to remove from the spoon. Place on a cooling rack. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, four at a time (if you do more than this you may not have time to roll them all before they stiffen, plus you will need at least one more spoon).
Pipe whipped cream into the brandy snaps just before serving; they’ll go soggy if you do it too long in advance.