Ginger IV

Further Avatars of Ginger
Ginger Beer Reborn

Triple Ginger Cake

Triple Ginger Cake

This is a Fusion recipe, with French and Japanese influences, which combines several forms of Ginger for a very intense Ginger flavor — this is an improvement on other available Ginger Cake recipes.

Ingredients:

 4 ounces peeled fresh Ginger
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rye flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground Ginger
½ teaspoon salt
7 ounces honey
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 cup canola oil
1 cup boiling water
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs

For the icing:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon ground Ginger
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the garnish:

3 tablespoons crystallized Ginger

Equipment to Lay Out:

1 9-inch baking pan, preferably spring top
Pastry brush
Parchment paper
Drying rack

Method:

First heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease the baking tin and line the top and sides with parchment paper.

Then  grate the ginger, preferably using a Japanese kitchen grater or oroshigane and set aside.

Next, combine the honey, sugar, marmalade and oil in a saucepan and heat until the brown sugar is absorbed and liquid.  Then add the ground ginger, then the cup of boiling water with the baking soda and mix to combine. Set this aside.

Combine the two flours with the salt, baking powder and spices in a large bowl and set next to the mixer, if you are using one.

In an electric mixer equipped with a pastry hook, first beat the two eggs lightly, then add the honey-water-oil mixture and mix to combine. Next add the dry ingredients and mix together thoroughly but do not over-rmix.

Pour the dough into the spring pan and bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, combine the confectioner’s sugar with the powdered Ginger.  Add the lemon juice and mix to produce a thin glaze.

Chop the crystallized Ginger finely.

When the cake comes out of the oven, let it stand until cool enough to handle, then remove the spring pan and leave it to get quite cool on the drying rack. When the cake is cooled, apply the glaze using the pastry brush.  Finish the cake by sprinkling the crystallized Ginger over the top and a bit on the sides if you desire.

This is a small, flat cake that will keep well and is also good toasted.  It is a true Triple Ginger cake, as it contains fresh, ground and crystallized Ginger.  The flavor is intense, concentrated Ginger.

Ginger Syrup

This Japanese method of making a syrup from fresh Ginger has various uses in the kitchen and keeps well in the refrigerator.  In warm weather, it can be diluted to taste with soda water to make Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer.

Ingredients:

8 ounces fresh Ginger
8 ounces sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 red chili pepper (togarashi)
1 – 2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
2 – 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:

You will also need to prepare a sterile bottle big enough to hold the resulting syrup; this recipe will produce about 500 milliliters of syrup.

First, grind the Ginger, preferably using a Japanese oroshigane grinder.

Put the Ginger, sugar and water in a saucepan.

Add the aromatics — chili pepper, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf.

Heat over a medium fire, and when it comes to the boil, reduce the flame to low fire.

Cook over low fire for 8 minutes, then add the lemon juice.  Cook for just 1 minute more, then turn off the fire and set aside to cool.

When the mixture is cooled completely, strain through a cheese cloth into the bottle.

When diluted to taste with soda water, this makes an excellent Ginger Beer.

Ginger Beer Reborn: Recently a Japanese restaurant in Chicago has begun to offer a Ginger Beer-based cocktail, Les Botanique, conisting of Gin, Lime and Ginger Beef.

Crystallized Ginger

Crystallized Ginger

Ready-made crystallized Ginger is getting hard to find in stores, even Asian markets, which sometimes stock it.  When you can find it, the price per pound is usually quite high, and although Crystallized Ginger has a long shelf life, Crystallized Ginger you make yourself seems to have a much more intense Ginger flavor than what you can buy. The manufactured variety may have been sitting around for some time.

Fortunately, this Ginger is easy to make and is very versatile, as it can be use din many dishes and baked goods.  You do have to be careful to watch while making it and have to check the temperature and consistency frequently.

Once made, Crystallized Ginger will be very crisp, with intense Ginger flavor and has a long shelf life. The ingredient cost is very low compared to store-bought.  But you do have to invest the time to get it candied properly.

A candy thermometer, while not absolutely necessary, is very helpful in making this.

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh Ginger root, peeled
4 cups sugar, plus additional for coating
4 cups water
Pinch salt

Method:

Slice the peeled Ginger finely across the root, the thinner the better.  Put the Ginger slices in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower the flame and simmer for 20 minutes, drain and discard the water.

Cover the Ginger with water again and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 1 minute this time, and drain again.

Now add the 4 cups of water to the Ginger in the put and also add the 4 cups of sugar and a pinch of salt.

Bring to the boil and reduce the flame and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid becomes the consistency of honey and the temperature rises to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the temperature hits this number, the Ginger is done.

Turn off the fire and drain the Ginger in a colander. When the Ginger has cooled a bit, place it on a large platter and toss in granulated sugar.  When the slices have taken up all the granulated sugar they can absorb as coating, shake off the extra sugar and dry the Crystallized Ginger on a wire rack overnight.

After they have fully dried, store the Crystallized Ginger in a tight-fitting glass jar.

An interesting use of Crystallized Ginger is in  salad with Yams or Sweet Potatoes, Crystallized Ginger Yam Salad.

Other cooking applications of Ginger would include Ginger Custard, rice cooker dishes like Ginger Pilaf, Ginger Frittata and even a Ginger Chutney. And Ginger can enhance the nutritional value of Chicken Stock as in Ginger Chicken Stock.

In any case, Ginger makes its appearance in many Fusion dishes such as Pineapples and Bananas with Ginger Cream Sauce.

In another article, we’ll look at some of the alcoholic Avatars of Ginger.

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