Molasses Brandy Snap Baskets

I think these are really fun to make, and the crunchy caramel flavour is the perfect partner to any ice cream – particularly Preserved Ginger Ice Cream.

Makes 6

This recipe first appeared in How to Cook Book Three

Molasses Brandy Snap Baskets
 1 teaspoon brandy
 2 oz (50 g) molasses sugar
 1½ oz (40 g) golden syrup
 2 oz (50 g) butter, plus a little extra for greasing
 1½ oz (40 g) plain flour, sifted
 ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
You will also need a baking tray measuring 11 x 16 inches (28 x 40 cm), lined with silicone paper (parchment), and a jam jar with a base diameter of about 2 inches (5 cm), well-buttered.


Measuring golden syrup is a sticky business, and the easiest way to deal with it is to first weigh out the sugar and then weigh the golden syrup on top, so it sticks to the sugar and not the scale pan.

Next, put the whole lot into a medium-size, heavy-based saucepan, together with the butter, and heat gently for about 5 minutes, or until all the sugar has dissolved, there are no granules left and the mixture is completely smooth. (The way to test this is by looking at some on the back of a spoon.)

Then remove the pan from the heat and beat in the flour and ginger, followed by the brandy.

Now place 2 tablespoons of the mixture on to the lined baking tray, allowing space for them to spread as they cook to make two circles roughly 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter.

Bake on the middle shelf for 7 minutes, keeping a close eye on them for the last 2 minutes' cooking time.

When they're ready, remove the tray from the oven and allow the brandy-snap circles to cool for a couple of minutes before lifting one from the tray and moulding it over the upturned, greased jam jar, pressing the edges out to get a frilly basket shape. If they get too cold to mould, don't worry about it - just pop them back in the oven for a minute and then try again.

If you're unsure of yourself, have several goes at it - but it is easier than it sounds!

As soon as the first basket is ready - it only takes about a minute - place it on a cooling rack and quickly mould the second one.

Then repeat the whole process in twos until they're all complete.

The brandy snap baskets can be made several hours in advance and stored in an airtight tin.

To serve, place them on a plate and fill with a large scoop of ice cream. If it's the Preserved Ginger Ice Cream, pour a little ginger syrup over and decorate with a few pieces of chopped preserved ginger.

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