I feel like ginger is one of those polarizing flavors. You either really like ginger or you don't. Right? Maybe it's just me. I'd have to say that I started in one camp, but over the years I've converted over to the Dark Side (the Dark Side being ginger lovers). Maybe my tastes have become more sophisticated over the years? Or maybe my taste buds have died? Depening on which side of the ginger divide you are on will probably tell which of these you think is true. :)I have to tell you this, though. Even if you are on the fence about ginger, if you are ever offered a piece of candied ginger covered in dark chocolate I suggest you try it. Give in to the Dark Side. It's just delicious!
I love candy fruits and fruit peels (like grapefruit rind!), but some methods for making candy are better than others. I recently spent two weeks try to make a candied pineapple (with was a whole, baby pineapple). The cook book I was using made it sound so easy. It was not. It did not turn out. Big two-week-and-many-wasted-bags-of-sugar fail. Bummer.
This method is much faster and much more fool-proof (aka Emma-proof). It will also make your whole kitchen smell amazing in the process. Win-win.Candied Ginger
Recipe and method adapted from David Lebovitz.
3-4 ginger root pieces (see mine above)
3-4 cups water
2 cups sugar
First peel and cut the ginger into very small pieces. I cut mine into matchsticks using my mandoline and a sharp knife. The thinner you cut the ginger the better it will candy, so don't be afraid to really go for it here. As always, any time you are working with sharp knives be careful. Don't work too fast; that's usually when accidents happen.Place the prepared ginger in a small pot and fill with water just until it covers the ginger. Bring to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes. The water should be very brown. Drain the pot of the water and repeat with new water. Drain again once done.
Now fill the pot with the ginger, 2 cups water, and 2 cups sugar. Cook over medium/high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the mixture has reached 225°F (you'll need a candy thermometer for this). This took about 30-35 minutes for me. Once the mixture reaches 225°F, remove from heat. The ginger should look almost translucent.Let the ginger sit in the pot for at least an hour (or up to overnight). Drain and toss the ginger in sugar. I let my ginger sit in the sugar for a few hours before I sifted it out. The candied ginger will harden some during this stage, but it will still be chewy when eaten.Melt about 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips in the microwave. Dip the candied ginger in the chocolate and place on a sheet of wax paper until the chocolate hardens. To speed this up, you can pop the chocolate covered ginger in the freezer.If you don't eat it all right away, store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. No refrigeration required. I love the chocolate-dipped ginger as a delicous mini snack or after-dinner treat (it also makes your breath better if you eat something with a lot of garlic or onion). You can also chop up the plain candied ginger and add it to cookies, cakes, on top of muffins, or really any baked goods you might be making soon. Enjoy! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited using Stella, from the Signature Collection.