In this guest blog post, madeitwithlove shares some festive cheer and a delicious recipe for ginger preserved in syrup – this recipe is sure to come in useful around Christmas time or and indeed throughout winter, when we love baking and cooking with delicious , comforting spices and flavours. Over to madeitwithlove…
Hi fellow members
It’s Christmas!! I hope you guys are all having a wonderful time baking and decorating your festive cakes. Paul never fails to impress with his Christmas designs. This year we have the magnificent Rocking Rudolf and the serene Christmas Reindeer Cake added to an already fantastic Christmas cake and treats library.
It’s such a pleasure returning to past festive designs, there’s absolutely no shortage of choices from past or present so everyone can produce at least one fabulous cake!
Christmas is also a time of evocative aromas filling our homes. The wonderful smells of cakes baking, beautiful citrusy notes of fresh fruits and heady wafts of spices let us know it’s almost time for the festivities to begin. One of my favourite spices is ginger. Whether powdered, candied or preserved in syrup, it gives me instant glowing thoughts for some special baking. This leads me on to preserved ginger in syrup. Stem or preserved ginger can be quite expensive to buy, yet is so easy to make at home. Today I’d like to share my recipe for preserved ginger in double strength syrup. Use it to give an extra bite and texture to cakes, as decoration on muffins or cupcakes or encase it in chocolate truffles. It can also be used as an accompaniment to melon as a starter or eaten straight out of the jar as a little treat. The syrup itself can be used for drizzling over cakes, making glazes or added to spirits to make cocktail drinks. Preserved ginger and ginger syrup make excellent gifts for people who love this fiery spice.
Ginger Preserved in Syrup
350g of ginger root (scraped and diced into approximately half inch cubes)
330g caster or granulated sugar
Place ginger in sufficient water to cover. Bring to the boil and then simmer for an hour or until ginger has softened and becomes less fibrous. Keep an eye on water level, don’t let it dry out and burn the ginger (guess who’s speaking from experience!!). While this is going on, sterilise some jars or a Kilner jar, ready to receive the preserve.
When the ginger is soft, drain off the water into a keeping receptacle and use it for making the syrup. Measure 165ml of this water and add to it the sugar. Allow the sugar to dissolve on medium heat and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and carefully add the ginger. The syrup will rapidly boil up to the top of the pan and spit! Gently does it. Continue with a low simmer until the syrup thickens to the consistency of runny honey and the colour turns to a golden amber. Sometimes there may be a scum foam which rises to the top. Spoon this off so the syrup remains clear. It can simmer further, however there is risk of over cooking the syrup and turning it to toffee. Once the syrup has thickened, fill the hot sterilised jars with the still hot preserve. Fasten the lids immediately to form a seal and allow the jars to cool to room temperature. The preserve, unopened, should keep for well over a year. Once opened, keep refrigerated and it should be fine for a long time as long as the contents are not contaminated .
The remaining ginger water can be turned into simple ginger syrup or double strength syrup. For simple syrup use equal quantities of water and sugar. For double strength syrup use one part water to two parts sugar.
That’s it folks. If you have a go at making the preserve and enjoy it, please leave a comment or share how you changed the recipe. Have a great winter fest with your loved ones and be safe.