“Frothy, fruity versions of the posset without its custardy eggs, syllabubs had been all the rage since Charles II was reputed to have sent his milkmaid into the fields with a dish of warmed spiced wine or fruit syrup into which she was to milk the cow.”
Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain through its Cooking
“The odd-sounding name itself—sometimes spelled ‘sillibub’—comes from the early English word ‘silly,’ meaning ‘happy.’ As you will see, it is a very happy alcoholic dessert indeed.”
A light, airy wisp of a dessert, syllabub dates back to the Tudor Era. Part foamy cream, part cocktail (it was once served as a female party drink), it defies description, except to say that it provides a refreshing counterpoint to a heavy meal such as a roast. This recipe uses white wine, although others use sherry or even brandy. The citrus is a must, as it cuts the sweetness of the cream and provides a bright flavor. This adults-only dessert is delicious served with brandy snaps, ginger snaps or shortbread cookies.
Lemon Syllabub with Brandy Snaps
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 oz butter
- 2 oz Demerara sugar
- 2 oz golden syrup (or corn syrup)
- 2 oz plain flour
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Whip cream until it forms soft peaks and add sugar.
- Whip in the wine, lemon juice and zest.
- Cover and chill until needed.
- Serve in glass dishes with a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg (optional).
- Delicious served with brandy snaps, ginger snaps or shortbread cookies
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Put butter, sugar and syrup into a small, heavy based pan and heat gently until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Do not allow mixture to boil.
- Leave mixture to cool slightly (two or three minutes).
- Sieve in the flour and ginger then pour in the lemon juice and mix thoroughly until smooth.
- Drop about 4 teaspoons of mixture onto the trays spacing well apart as the mixture spreads.
- Bake for approximately 10 – 15 mins. The snaps should be a dark golden colour and lacy in appearance.
- Take the tray out of the oven and leave for about one minute for the brandy snap circles to firm up slightly.
- Meanwhile, grease the handle of a thickish wooden spoon.
- Working quickly, roll the mixture around the handle of the wooden spoon and press the join lightly to seal then slide the brandy snap onto a wire rack to cool. Do not worry if they are not perfect circles!
- Repeat the process until all the mixture has been used. If the circles on the tray harden too much, place them back in the oven for a few seconds to soften.
- To serve: fill with whipped cream or on their own as a delicious accompaniment to creamy cold desserts.