Saturday, 18 December 2010

Gluten-free brandy snap baskets

I posted about making brandy snaps a while ago, testing two commercially available flours, Doves Farm and Bob's Red Mill.  This blog shows you how to make brandy snap baskets, for a flamboyant desert where the last minute effort is minimal.

I used my standard flour mix of 40%urid lentil flour, 40% tapioca and 20% polenta for these.  Having done a lot of tests I am happy that this mix makes most things in a direct swap for normal wheat flour.  Bread is a bit different, but cakes, pastry and cookies, and in this case brandy snaps, work fine without any extra ingredients or effort. Look at the earlier blog for the ingredients if you don't have a recipe:

Take you mixture and place on a baking sheet.  Put four blobs about 1cm in diameter widely space- they will spread a lot.

 Pat them out a little bit with a damp finger or swirl with the back of a spoon.  They do spread anyways but I found they produced a more even brandy snap with this little bit of help.

Bake until they go amber coloured.  You need to shape them where they are hot enough to be supple and not so hot they fall apart while burning your fingers.  I found that leaving them on the non-stick mat but sliding this so that two were on the cooling rack and two still on the tray allowed me to shape the first two while the others stayed hot enough from the heat of the tray.

brandy snaps - non-stick sheet half on and half off hot baking tray

If I took them all off the tray the second two were too stiff to shape and I had to put them back in the oven for a few seconds before shaping.

I made small baskets by forming them around some little individual tart cases as I wanted to be able to pack them in tart cases for a friend.  Use an upturned glass or small bowl - whatever has the sort of shape you want. Have several ready so that you can shape several and leave them to cool while the next batch are baking.  I oiled these using grapeseed oil, which has very little flavour.

Taking a hot brandy snap that will hold its shape, place on the greased mould and press lightly so that the brandy snap takes up the same shape.  Leave to cool and pack in an airtight box or plastic bag until needed.

Shaping the brandy snap basket
this video has no sound - it wasn't clear enough to post - another thing to learn

To serve - place on a plate, fill with whatever takes your fancy, and be prepared for 'oooh's of delight.


  1. Always in search of a dairy free option, I tried this with Trex - don't bother! I also tried it with Sunflower Pure, and the mixture did blend ok, but on coming out of the oven the discs didn't harden off (and they didn't spread out nearly as much as the butter versions either). I am still thinking they may be ok to serve as slightly chewy brandy discs with some ice cream, but they didn't set enough to be able to roll them. I made a batch with butter too, as per your recipe here, and they worked really well, so I know it's not my cooking techniques at fault!

  2. thanks - had meant to try this, so you have saved me the trouble. Haven't tried the kosher margarine Adriana recommends but I couldn't find a local supplier. If I do manage a dairy free version too I'll post it.


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