6 November 2011

Fox's Brandy Snaps Collection

Fox's Brandy Snaps Collection
It had never occurred to me how brandy snaps were made and if I had been asked to list things that were baked, I would never have listed them as an answer. Having now seen these made on the BBC Great British Bake Off I now understand their complexity, but have not felt the urge to attempt my own. They did look delicious though, and it had been many years since I'd last eaten one. When I saw Fox's Brandy Snap collection, I decided to treat myself.

Described as "a modern selection of delicious brandy snap discs and delicate curls dipped in milk, dark, and white chocolate", and in a box of deep purple, orange and red, everything suggested to me a luxurious treat to enjoy in the evenings as the autumn nights drew in.

These remained in the pantry for several days, allowing my desire for them to grow. Finally on a cosy evening I opened the box to get to the goodies. Sadly I was disappointed like a child receiving socks for Christmas. All but a few of the snaps had been reduced to a pile of broken shards. I barely had enough to arrange my photo. Packaged in a flimsy plastic tray and then a cellophane wrapper, I couldn't help thinking a thin layer of corrugated paper, such as used in chocolate boxes, would have kept the snaps in place. It would seem that the Victorian gent Mr Fox, in his soft top hat and spectacles had given his biscuits a good thrashing with his cane. As new, the biscuits were formed into tubes and flat 'rounds'. All of the tubes survived. Whoever described them as 'delicate curls' needs a lesson in structural engineering, or basic physics.

"Too much snap to enjoy the chocolate,
too much chocolate to taster the buttery brandy snap."
Presentation aside, which lets face it is more down to transport and handling from factory to store, how do they taste? On the Bake Off, they served brandy snaps filled with whipped cream. In this collection most of the snaps have been chocolate coated. Whilst the chocolate is nice enough, it takes away from the snap rather than complimenting it. In truth I did not enjoy these one bit. There was too much snap to enjoy the chocolate and too much chocolate to taste the buttery brandy snap. On this matter, perhaps I am a purist. Only the uncoated snaps were a treat. These were sweet, buttery, and left me wanting more.

Looking on Fox's website I do not see this product listed. I can only hope it is being retired.  The uncoated snaps are available as separate box, in tube form and would be my recommendation. This collection - steer clear.

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