’tis the season for ginger!

Mike is here for a guest post on making candied ginger and ginger ale :D

Finished candied ginger

 

Hi all! For Christmas this year, one of my goals was to be less commercial in my gift giving. A few years ago, Trish gave me some dried fruit, almond butter and my favourite tea. An awesome gift for sure — especially considering the dried fruit was dried kiwi — but it got me thinking about how gift gifting must have been like 100 years ago. Needless to say, I’m not a very crafty individual, at least when it comes to yarn, so I was very excited when I stumbled upon instructions for making candied ginger.

Equally exciting is just how easy it is. Are you ready for this? To make candied ginger at home all you need is:

  • Sugar
  • Ginger
  • Water

That’s it! Unless you want to make your own homemade ginger ale, in which case you’ll need some club soda — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The first step is to peel the ginger (the tutorial recommends using a spoon) and then cut it really thin. Slicing it thin is crucial. If you cut it too thick, it’ll be quite spicy/peppery and take much longer to dry.

Cutting the ginger  

Secondly we mix the simple syrup. It’s equal parts sugar and water. Simple eh? We used about a cup and a half of each, but we were making a few batches and ended up reusing the syrup a few times.

Bring the sugar-water mixture to a boil and then simmer the ginger for 30 minutes or until tender.

After the ginger is finished cooking, strain off any remaining syrup and move to a wire mesh or cooling rack. Basically the ginger needs to be well ventilated so it can fully dry.

 

Drying ginger

Here’s the ginger looking all syrupy and waiting to dry.

A large batch of ginger drying

The anticipation!

Once the ginger is all nice and dry — about seven or eight hours should do — shake it in a large bowl with some white sugar until it’s completely coated. I used half table sugar and half icing sugar, which gave it a nice texture!

After making a few batches, we saved the ginger flavoured syrup to use in tea and to make our own mock ginger ale. The ginger ale was good, a little spicy, but not bad.

Ginger syrup 

Festive drinks!

I hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start. Cheers!

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