Wednesday 19 December 2012

B for Baby Brandy Baskets with Vegan Lemon Cream and Passionfruit Curd

This post is brought to you by the letter B.

B is for Busy Busy Busy.  After weeks of being a bit of a bum and not doing much, I went straight into an action packed event extravaganza of the last three weeks.  Got myself a summer job as a civil servant (when in Wellington...), went back up to Auckland twice, saw a pre-screening of the Hobbit in all its 48 frame 3D glory (ah-mazing - everyone should go!), made my very first pavlova (post to come!), finished up our last Baking for Hospice round for the year, and that's not even counting all the prep for Christmas!!  So B is for need a Breather and Being very sorry for the lateness of this post!

B is also for Back to School. I was lucky enough to get to go back to my old high school's leavers dinner.  2012 marks ten years since my last year at Rangitoto College...but it sure doesn't feel like it's been that long!  Was really awesome getting to catch up with old teachers as an 'adult' to discover that they are all actually hilariously fun people.  Go Rangi!

And finally, B is for these Baby Brandy Baskets with Vegan Lemon Cream and Passionfruit Curd.

I LOVE brandy snaps.  They are just the right mix of gingery, crispy caramelly, and creamy.  All cigar-shaped and cream-filled, they were the height of sophistication in the 80's, so totally retro cool now.  

I have to admit though, this was one of those recipes that very nearly broke me.  Everything just went wrong.  Sure the mixture was easy enough to get together but the first batch burnt, badly.  Then the second batch hardened faster than I could get them on to their moulds.  The third batch burnt my poor wee fingers.  Then a good number of the successful ones broke on transferring into a box.  

AND then, at the party, as if things couldn't get any worse, the ones all made up with their pretty little dollops of lemon cream and passionfruit curd started going soggy far too quickly.  So not only are they rather tricky on the baking end, you also need to assemble them just before serving so if you're making them for a crowd, you will spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen dolloping.

I think brandy snaps might just be one of those things I buy rather than make in the future.

{topped with mint}

I'll post this recipe anyways because everyone loved them and they are rather adorable looking.  And I do have to say that the vegan lemon cream and unbelievably easy microwave passionfruit curd were phenomenal.  Tart, citrusy,
and oh-so-light, then topped with some shredded fresh mint and it was like summer in your mouth.  Yum.  Just about made up for the brandy snap bungle.

Baby Brandy Baskets with Vegan Lemon Cream and Passionfruit Curd

Baby Brandy Snap Baskets

makes loads of wee baskets...maybe 40-60? Hard to tell coz I burnt/broke heaps.
50g salted butter 
50g white sugar 
2 Tbsp golden syrup 
50g flour 
2 tsp ground ginger

1. Melt the butter, sugar, and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar has completely melted.  Whisk in the sifted flour and ground ginger and set aside to cool.  When completely cooled, put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes

2. Preheat your oven to 180oC.  Line two baking trays with baking paper.  Place around 1/4 of the mixture in between two layers of baking paper and roll out to around 2mm thick.  Cut out into squares around 4 cm squared and lay on the lined baking tray around 2 inches apart (they will spread quite a bit.  

3. Bake for 8 minutes (it will go brown and be bubbling).  Remove from the oven. Allow them to cool for about 30 seconds so they are cool enough to not burn your fingers but still pliable.  Drap over an upside down mini muffin tin to form baskets.  Leave them until completely cooled and solid.  

4. To assemble: Just before serving, dollop a generous spoonful of lemon cream, then passionfruit curd and top with shredded fresh mint. 

Vegan Lemon Cream

600g silken tofu

5 Tbsp maple syrup
juice of 2 lemons

1. Blend all together in a food processor.  Chill for around an hour in the refrigerator to set.

Homemade Passionfruit Curd


makes around 1 1/2 cups

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
85g caster sugar
1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp fresh passionfruit pulp (3-4 passionfruit)
60g butter, cubed

  1. Place eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a microwave safe bowl.  Beat until well mixed.  Add passionfruit pulp and butter.  Stir roughly.
  2. Microwave the mixture uncovered, on Medium power (50%) for around 6 - 8 minutes, whisking every minute, until the curd is thick enough to coat a spoon.  Be careful not to over heat at is can turn almost scrambled eggsyIf you're not using right away/are giving as gifts, pour passionfruit curd into sterilised jars and seal.  Either way, put the curd into the refrigerator to cool completely, will thicken a little more on cooling.


  1. if it's any consolation, it is encouraging to read other people blog about when their kitchen adventures are so traumatic! i think there's this idea of everyone being goddesses in the kitchen, so i for one take comfort knowing that other people have things go wrong, and bravely tell the world!
    that said, the passionfruit butter looks delicious!
    happy christmas to you.

    1. It truly was traumatic!! One of those awful baking moments which leave you wondering if your baking mojo has gone forever. Super glad to hear it happens to other people too. I actually love that passionfruit curd, so easy and so passionfruity. If only passionfruit weren't so expensive! Wishing you the happiest, most delicious Christmas!! xox

  2. Aww it sucks that the brandy baskets caused you so much trouble. I love brandy snaps but the ones from the shops are not so great, I find them a bit too thick, so I'd love to try and make them how I like them. But they look like more trouble than they're worth! The baskets in your photos look perfect though, and I love how you're honest with your kitchen experiences, it's cool to know what to watch out for when trying these things at home. Half the fun of cooking is trying out new stuff. So it's cool to hear about your experiences, both good and bad.
    Hope you have an awesome new year!



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