candied ginger

This actually makes four products if you want, all from a kilo of ginger!

Candied Ginger:
1 kg fresh ginger root (aged if you desire for stronger flavour)
4 liters water
2 kg sugar
Peel the ginger.  Reserve the peel for making ginger candy and tea (optional)
Slice the peeled ginger across the root, (not lengthwise) about 1/4 inch thick. Add ginger pieces to 4 liters of water and 2 kilograms of sugar in a heavy bottomed pot, heat to boiling, then reduce to medium cooking down to half of the volume. Stir just enough to keep it from sticking.
Remove from heat and let the ginger soak overnight.
Drain the ginger well, and reserve the syrup. Spread the ginger pieces on racks and dehydrate until chewy. I used the dehydrator for a couple hours, but you can use your oven at its lowest temperature. Be sure to turn the fan on!

Ginger Syrup:
Warm the reserved ginger syrup from making the Candied ginger. Its great added to ginger cookies, tea, or straight out of the bottle for immune-boosting. 

Ginger Tea:
Puree the reserved ginger peels and squeeze out all the juice. Reserve the juice to make Ginger Candy!
Lay the squeezed puree of the peels evenly on drying racks and dehydrate until very dry. Store in a cool dark place and add to your tea cup with boiling water for a zing of ginger tea.

Ginger Candy: (This is the most complicated of the four recipes.)
1 kg sugar
reserved juice from squeezing ginger peels
Set up some cookie sheets with parchment paper, and spread with tapioca starch. Make some depressions with your fingers for pouring the candy.
Use a large, thick-bottomed pan & slowly caramelize 1 kg of sugar. Cook VERY slowly! Have your candy/cooking thermometer ready! You're looking to reach firm-ball state, meaning the temperature of the boiling sugar should reach around 120°C (248°F) and no more.
(if you go past 248°F and the sugar is still in big lumps, you had the heat too high. You will need to make hard candy instead of ginger chews! just keep cooking until all is melted and bubbly up to 300°F and carry on with the recipe.)
Add ginger juice from the puree. Now move quickly! On your cookie sheets, pour the candy into the depressions, let it cool, then cover with more starch. Cut into nibble-size pieces, (break into chunks if you made hard candy) and store in an airtight container with ample starch to keep the pieces from sticking together.

A word of caution: Please be careful when working with hot sugar. Sugar burns are nasty. Hot sugar is almost impossible to quick rub or rinse off the skin, and it will continues burning long after it comes into contact with your skin. Please don't allow yourself to be sloppy or distracted when working with hot sugar, and avoid dangling hair, jewelry, or clothing. Click for info on: Candy temperatures

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