I have to say up front that one of my absolute favourite flavours has to be ginger. I love it in any way shape or form. It's wonderful, dried and powdered . . . and sprinkled into spicy cake and cookie batters. I love it freshly grated . . . and cooked up into wonderfully fragrant stir fries and sauces. I also like to make a delicious lemon and ginger tea with the fresh ginger root. (It's just wonderful steepedin boiling water, along with the juice and zest of half a lemon . . . and then served with a bit of honey and a great cure all for when you have the sniffles . . .)
I love to eat it candied, well . . . just like it was candy! You can keep your sour coated candies . . . I'll choose a nice firey piece of candied ginger over them any day of the week! Candied ginger and chocolate?? It's a marriage made in heaven . . . especially when coated in dark chocolate.
I also love it preserved in syrup. I keep a jar or two of those tasty sweet and spicy nuggets in my larder at all times . . . just waiting to be used in a recipe or two, and I often glaze my cooked carrots with a mixture of butter and a teaspoon or two of the delicious syrup from the jar. Have you ever tried the syrup spooned over vanilla ice cream? FABULOUSLY delish! Trust me . . . and add a few chopped bits of the ginger as well. You'll thank me for it, yes . . . you will!
I'm happy to say that ginger is a real favourite flavour of my Todd's as well. Something that we can obsess over and share together. It's a wonderful thing!
I made these tasty cheesecake squares the other day. Just the perfect chilled dessert for a hot summer day. (They do eat a lot of spice in hot countries don't they?) This really fit the bill for this time of year! Todd scarfed down two of these delicious squares at one sitting and was rooting through the fridge to find another one only a few hours later.
Ahh men . . . what can you do, but love them . . .
*Ginger Cheesecake Squares*
Makes 12 squares
Imagine a smooth and creamy cheesecake stogged full of tiny bits of candied ginger, floating atop a crisp base created from crushed gingernut biscuits. Top the whole thing with some sweetened whipped cream and more candied ginger and you have a wonderfully refreshing summer dessert, fit for a king, or at least the king of my castle at any rate!
For the crust:
200g ginger flavoured biscuits, finely crushed
60g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the filling:
500g (2 large containers) of cream cheese (Philadelphia)
124 ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
2 TBS caster sugar (superfine)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
125 ml (1/2 cup) whipping cream, lightly whipped
For the topping:
125ml (1/2 cup) whipping cream
2 tsp caster sugar
1/4 cup candied ginger, thinly sliced
Pre-heat the oven to 170*C/325*F. Lightly grease a 9 inch square baking tin and line with some baking paper, leaving the paper hanging over the edges so as to make the squares easier to lift out when you go to serve it.
Combine the biscuit crumbs for the crust, along with the butter and cinnamon. Press into the base of the tin. Pop into the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes, or until firm.
Beat the cream cheese, golden syrup and sugar for the filling with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the ginger and the lightly whipped cream. Pour over the base. Bake in the heated oven for about 25 minutes, or until just set. Turn off the oven heat and allow to cool in the oven, with the door propped slightly ajar.
Beat the cream for the topping together with the sugar, until soft peaks form. Spread over the cooled cheeesecake base. Pop into the refrigerator and chill for several hours before serving. To serve, cut into squares and top each square with some of the sliced candied ginger. Delicious!
Note: By large I mean the 8 ounce containers of philadelphia!