Recently, I have been obsessed with ginger. I have been drinking ginger tea, adding ginger to my smoothies, and eating crystallized/candied ginger.
Ginger possesses some wonderful health benefits. Not only is it high in antioxidants, it is also an anti-inflammatory, and helps to stimulate the metabolism and digestion. Plus, it can help fight off the common cold and sooth an upset stomach. (source)
I have found that eating crystallized ginger or drinking a cup of ginger tea after a heavy meal really helps to digest my food.
Who me? Eat those fries drowning in melted cheese and covered with bacon? Never! Come on, I know you give in sometimes, too. Ginger to the rescue!
Store-bought crystallized ginger is not exactly cheap, and I find it to be much too sugary.
So, I decided to make it myself. That way I could keep my wallet happy and cut back on the sugar.
Making your own crystallized ginger is a little time consuming, and needs constant attention. Ginger is needy! However, it is really easy to make and so worth the time and effort.
The result is perfectly spicy, slightly sweetened, chewy and crunchy ginger pieces. I seriously could eat all of them in one sitting.
Do we dare cover some of the ginger pieces in rich, dark chocolate?!
Umm, yes, please! We always need more chocolate in our lives!
I don’t even have words to describe how amazing crystallized ginger is when it is covered in chocolate. You simply have to try it for yourself.
Crystallized ginger with or without dark chocolate are both out of this world. I am seriously in love with this recipe. Just don’t tell Paul, okay?
- 1 pound young ginger* (see below for tips on selecting ginger)
- 5 cups filtered water
- 1⅓ cups raw sugar (or more if you prefer your ginger to be sweeter. I prefer mine on the less sweet side).
- OPTIONAL: ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, or pieces of a dark chocolate bar (vegan dark chocolate chips for vegan eaters)
- Use a pairing knife or the back or a teaspoon to peel the skin off the ginger. Rinse off the ginger to remove any excess skin debris. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the ginger into about ⅛ inch rounds. There is no need to be perfect in size here; I enjoy both the smaller pieces and the larger pieces equally. The smaller pieces are crunchier whereas the larger pieces are chewier.
- Place the sliced ginger and 5 cups filtered water into a medium-sized non-stick sauce pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer covered for 35 minutes, or until the ginger is fork-tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet. Grease the cooling rack by using a pastry brush and grape seed oil. Set aside.
- Drain the ginger, reserving the cooking liquid for later use (see suggestions for use below).
- Back to the same sauce pot, add ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid, the raw sugar, and the ginger. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently. Allow to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring very frequently.
- As the liquid reduces make sure to stir constantly to prevent burning. Once the liquid is mostly dried up, turn off the heat and keep stirring for 30 seconds, until the sugar has re-crystallized. Immediately spread it out onto the prepared cooling rack. Use your spatula to separate the clumps of ginger and spread them out evenly. Allow the ginger to cool completely.
- Store ginger in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks. Save the sugar that falls onto the baking sheet for baking or to stir into coffee.
- OPTIONAL STEP: Gently heat the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every minute until runny and smooth.
- Line a plate with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
- Place ½ cup of the crystallized ginger in a clean mixing bowl. Add the melted chocolate, stir to coat the ginger with the chocolate. Spread the chocolate-covered ginger onto the plate. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until set. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
You could use the ginger cooking liquid to make a whiskey ginger cocktail, or to make a tea that is sweetened with honey. You could also use it for smoothies. Don’t throw it away; it has a great ginger flavor and health benefits.
Adapted from: Alton Brown