Saturday, 9 June 2007

Baking with Ginger

Ginger has long been a favourite baking flavour for New Zealanders. The Edmonds Cookery Book lists eight baked gingery items in the index, and there are so many more to be found.

Ginger can be included in baking in many forms :

  • Fresh
  • Preserved
  • dried
  • ground
  • crystallised
Each state giving a slightly different flavour, texture and style. Fresh ginger is sharper, but not as strong as the dried, nor as persistent after baking. Preserved stem ginger not only gives lovely chewy nuggets of fiery ginger flavour, but also a syrup brimming with ginger that is great used when sugar is called for and a ginger flavour would be nice. Ground ginger is a convenient form of the dried root, pungent and persistent. Crystallised ginger will always have a place in my kitchen, reminding me of my granddad, who snacked on the sparkly lumps like sweeties.

To kick off this week's Nihowera highlight on Ginger we will be baking today, Ginger Gems anyone!?

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