Saturday, December 12, 2009

Making Candied Ginger

Jacob hates ginger. Jacob abhors ginger. Jacob wants to beat ginger up and bury him in the ground under 6 feet of dirt.

Jacob used to have some serious stomach problems when he was younger, and the doctor said the remedy was to eat a piece of fresh ginger every day. So he had to choke down pieces of ginger daily, and I guess it scarred him. He hates the thought of eating ginger, even if it's wrapped in a thick coating of sugar.

So guess what I made?

Aren't I just the most loving-est wife you have ever known?

Not that Jacob's bad experiences don't mean anything, I just saw this recipe here and had to try it. I had never thought of making my own candied ginger before, but it seemed so easy to do. And when I get something stuck in my mind to make, the only thing to do is just make it...before I go crazy.

Plus, I had a recipe for cookies that used candied ginger that I wanted to make again, so this was the perfect excuse. I'll post those cookies as soon as I make them.

This process was really easy. I didn't have a mandolin slicer, but just using a knife worked just a well. It gave it a rustic feel, which probably appeals to those who like chocolate chunks over chocolate chips. I'm not that kind of person, but I'm learning to roll with the punches.

This candied ginger hardened up pretty quickly, and it was more spicier than store-bought versions. It was nice. I think they will make a nice addition to the cookies I'm planning, a little spicy a little sweet: a great combination.

I'm also including the recipe for ginger ale, which I haven't tried yet, but it looks easy and good, too. I'll let you know when I do try it. But if you beat me, let me know how it turns out!

Candied Ginger
From The Purple Foodie
[printable recipe]

1/2 pound / 225g fresh ginger, peeled, sliced thinly
2 cups / 400g sugar, plus additional sugar for coating the ginger slices, if desired
2 cups / 1/2l water
pinch of salt

Put the ginger slices in a non-reactive pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let ginger simmer for ten minutes. Drain, and repeat one more time.

Mix the sugar and water in the pot, along with a pinch of salt and the ginger slices, and cook until the temperature reaches 225F/106C.

Drain very well while the ginger is hot, so the syrup will drain away better and sprinkle the drained slices with caster sugar as you toss the ginger in a bowl. Spread the ginger slices on a cooling rack for a few hours or overnight, until they're somewhat dry.

Alternatively, you could let the ginger sit in the syrup for an hour or overnight and even store the ginger slices in its syrup.

Storage: The ginger, packed in its syrup, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one year. Tossed in sugar, the pieces can be stored at room temperature for a few months.

Ginger Ale
Yield: 6 servings

Leftover ginger water from boiling
Leftover sugar syrup from candying
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
Juice of 3 limes (or half per serving)

Simmer all of the above except the lime for 5-7 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is beginning to thicken. Turn off the heat. The syrup will continue to thicken. Once cool, transfer to a jar if you're not going to be using it all up.

In a glass, add 4-5 tbsp of the concentrate, juice of half a lime and club soda and stir. Drink up!


Teanna said...

I love candied ginger! What a great idea to make it a little bit more appealing! And homemade gingerale? How cool???