Prep 1440 hrs
Cook 25 mins
Caramelized ginger is little pieces of ginger root that are candied and coated with crystal sugar. They are very spicy hot, almost like a pepper, except that they are sweet as well. I've heard that they are excellent for the digestion and can be taken after food. But, they are excellent as candy any time! Gingered caramel is just caramel with ginger flavoring.
- sherry wine (cooking or regular or probably also rum)
- white sugar
- butter (for caramel only, not for caramelized ginger)
- Caramelized Ginger: Cut a ginger root to fit into a plastic bowl with a lid.
- Cover the ginger root pieces in sherry.
- Let this sit until the ginger is fully soaked through with sherry, which can take a month or more.
- The ginger will be dark tan in color and firm and somewhat stringy in texture.
- It will be almost translucent.
- Remove the ginger root from the sherry and set the sherry aside for later.
- Cut the rind off of the ginger root and cut the inner portion into pieces about the size and thickness of 1/2 a dime.
- Put the small ginger pieces into a bowl and cover completely with sugar.
- I had about 1/4 cup of ginger and I put in about 3/4 cup of fine grained white sugar.
- Add back about 2 tablespoons of the sherry.
- The resulting mixture, with the ginger pieces in it, is a thickish but runny syrup.
- Put a mound of sugar (at least a cup) on a plate or in a small bowl and set it aside where you can reach it when you are standing at the stove.
- Cook the ginger/sugar/sherry mixture on the top of the stove until it boils but not until it darkens, (i. e., remove it from the heat before the sugar starts to burn).
- Stir a couple of times while the mixture is heating.
- Use a slotted spoon and remove the ginger pieces from the boiled liquid and plop them onto the sugar mound, keeping them separate from each other as much as possible.
- Spoon more granulated sugar over the top and let this sit for about 1 minute.
- Then stir the whole thing to coat the ginger with sugar.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes, then remove the ginger pieces and set them on a piece of baking paper to air dry.
- Gingered caramel: The boiled sherry/sugar stuff that's still in the pan can be boiled up again for about 30 seconds.
- Just as it starts to brown, remove it from the heat and add two or three tablespoons of butter.
- Let it cool for a few minutes and then pour the now very thick caramel onto more baking paper.
- This is fantastic caramel!
- Notes: This recipe starts with about 2 four inch pieces of ginger root and the yield is about 1/4 cup of caramelized ginger and about 1/3 cup of gingered caramel.
- I happened to have cooking sherry on hand so that is what I used.
- I had purchased two or three small (maybe 4 inches long) pieces of ginger root and I had not used them for anything.
- I had heard that you can soak your ginger in sherry to preserve it so I had cut the roots into 2 inch pieces, give or take, and covered them in sherry in a plastic bowl with a lid.
- I forgot about the ginger and it sat on my kitchen counter for 4 or 5 months.
- Possibly it would have been ready to caramelize a lot sooner than that but it was in perfect condition for this recipe after months of sitting.