Marmalade brandy snaps with pumpkin cream
These marmalade brandy snaps with pumpkin cream are addictive, rather than the normal quite sugary snap they have a lovely citrus zing from the sharp marmalade. How strongly they taste of marmalade will depend on the strength of the marmalade. You can fill them simply with a vanilla cream or this pumpkin/squash cream.
When eating a slice of the sweeten squash out of the jar they have the texture of ground almonds, the kind of texture I expect to find in a frangipane recipe. If you have an allergy to nuts I think these would make an ideal replacement in most recipes for ground nuts.
Apart from using the squash in the ginger steam pudding recipe I had in mind when preparing them, I wanted to use it in a recipe with contrasting texture, a crunch to their softness and that’s how brandy snaps came about and orange flavoured snaps naturally developed from that idea.
The squash slices were cooked and kept in syrup and stored in the fridge since making them in this post here.
The flavour of the pumpkin/squash is easily over-powered, the puree has to be paired with something bland in order to have a chance for the flavour to come through, mascarpone, cream cheese, ricotta, curd cheese, double cream all come to mind but as I type I’m wondering whether an acidic cream, sour cream, creme fraiche would also balance the sweet squash out nicely and emphasise its delicate flavour.
How much cream cheese?
I tried different proportions of cream cheese to squash, the best for flavour was when the cream cheese was half to the amount of squash (by weight), that however makes the squash cream on the softer side even after refrigeration. It’s certainly stiff enough to pipe as I did for the top photo of this post but it’s the kind of cream I would only pipe at the last minute before serving.
If adding equal amounts of cream cheese to squash then the squash cream is stiffer, not as delicate with the extra fat making it easier to pipe but you lose some of the squash flavour and also its brighter colour. My advice is to go for what suits you best, you can certainly go for something in-between these amounts.
Squashing the purée
Blend the slices of pumpkin with a hand blender or mini blender, if you don’t have either mash it with a fork and then push it through a sieve. Although the slices easily mash with a fork I would not recommend doing that without sieving it also because the fork doesn’t break down the little threads of squash as you can see below. The problem with these little bits left like that is lack of flavour. You really want the fibres of the squash to breakup as much as possible, the more broken and amalgamated into the cream the stronger the flavour you’ll have in the finished cream.
Have a look at my post here on How to Make Brandy Snaps for a step-by-step guide on making them.
- 50g butter
- 75g sugar
- 75g marmalade *
- 40-50g flour
- pinch of salt
- Add butter, sugar, marmalade and heat them until the sugar has completely melted. Take pan off the heat and add flour. Stir the flour well until you have a smooth mixture. Keep the pan in a bain-marie to keep the mixture liquid.
- Drop a teaspoon on to baking paper (not greaseproof paper), leave plenty of room and drop a second teaspoon for small size, two teaspoons for larger ones. Bake in a pre-heated oven until the are the right colour, light caramel colour.
- The first two are the test ones, where you find out how long it takes to bake in your oven. Don't have the oven too hot otherwise they will burn around the edges before the middle is ready. Towards the end of baking turn the baking sheet around for a better even baking, though there will always be hot spots.
- 200g squash mashed as explained above (If blending in a mini-chopper or hand blender add syrup before blending as it will help)
- 1 tablespoon of the reserved syrup
- 100-200g of cream cheese, see note above
- very small pinch of salt
- Mix all of the above together until smooth.