There have been a few very fortuitous things happening for me recently – not in actual life, but here on Kathy Can Cook. First, my sister offered to write me a guest post on ginger, which I jumped at of course! Second, Jess asked me to help her make a cocktail with candied ginger in it. Third, I was invited to A Spoonful of Ginger at the MFA to help benefit the Joslin Center for Diabetes Research. So, obviously, there was a need for a BLOG SERIES.
So, candied ginger. Candied ginger is a perfect snack or palate cleanser, it’s a moment of sharp heat and sweetness when you need it most. It’s great in cookies, cocktails, and on it’s own. It’s basically magic (the ginger syrup that you get as a byproduct is pretty awesome as well). My sister had a couple of good comments on candied ginger on her post about ginger too – go read up on it!
I ended up making this because I just needed to. I read the recipe that Jess had chosen (she posted the full cocktail on her blog) to highlight, essentially a dark and stormy – but infinitely better. So I read the recipe and noted that there was A LOT of fresh ginger being used – two large hands is nothing to sneeze at. But I did it, peeled and chopped two hands of ginger, and got roughly a quart of peeled ginger that was BEAUTIFUL, bright yellow, and lovely.
I don’t know that I will buy premade candied ginger again – because here’s the thing, this was perfect. It tasted fresh and gingery, it had that sharp ginger flavor without a weird old ginger aftertaste and I totally could have made a small amount. I also loved that I didn’t have to coat it in sugar, and make it candy sweet, if I didn’t want to.
Note: This recipe is adapted from a recipe that Jess got for a Goslings Rum and Ginger Cocktail, created by Ming Tsai. I am sharing only the recipe for candied ginger, because it was AWESOME, you can see the cocktail over on Jess’s blog.
- 2 cups ginger, roughly two medium hands or one large one
- 4 cups sugar, plus 1 1/2-2 cups for sugaring
- 2 cups water
- Peel and cut your ginger. I find ginger is easiest to peel with a spoon, you can run the tip of a spoon right over the skin and it’ll fall off, this also works for those little nubbins and nooks where a peeler or knife wouldn’t fit.
- To cut the ginger cut it unto 1/8 inch thick rounds or strips, either will work one way you’ll see the fibrous ends of the ginger and it’ll be a little bit rougher and with the grain you’ll get smoother pieces but they’ll be tougher.
- Combine the chopped ginger, 4 cups of sugar, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring this to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and allow the ginger syrup to simmer for 10-15 mins, until it is about 1/3 reduced
- Preheat the oven to 200 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the syrup into a heatproof bowl. Reserve this syrup, it’s great in club soda as homemade ginger ale.
- Combine the strained ginger and the rest of your sugar in a large bowl – gently toss the ginger with the sugar until it’s sparkly with sugar and mostly separate pieces. I found that a pair of gloves would be ideal here.
- Spread the ginger in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet and put it on a middle rack in the oven.
- Bake the ginger for 3 1/2-4 hours, rotating it occasionally. The ginger will be mostly dried out after this.
- Allow the ginger to cool completely before touching it. MOLTEN SUGAR IS HOT. I left mine in the cooling oven overnight, and it was perfect the next day.
- Break the ginger apart gently, this is easily done using a gentle pressure and pinching the piece of ginger between your fingertips – they should fall right apart.
- Enjoy! I love to add a touch of the syrup and a couple slices of the candied ginger to lemon tea, or club soda (with a splash of rum).