I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am right now! The men in my life just don’t get it, and are watching me jump and squeal with looks of alarm on their faces. Pffft. This is my happy dance and I don’t care who’s watching.
Can you keep a secret? I have this little addiction that I’ve been trying to curb because it gets so expensive. Have you ever eaten ginger chews? Spicy, chewy, tummy-warming ginger chews? I buy mine at the local health food store, and can easily wipe out the handful of candies that come in the box before I even make it home.
I love, love, love them. And yet, I could never find a recipe for them. When I have a recipe idea in my head but don’t know where to begin with the ingredients and measurements, I do what every other person with a computer does: I Google it! I find several recipes, get a general idea of how they’re made, and then experiment until I make it my way. But no matter how hard I hunted, I couldn’t find one single recipe that sounded right. I tried one that seemed to have potential and ended up with a ginger hard candy. A very good ginger hard candy…but I wanted chewy.
With bits and pieces from many recipes, and my last piece of ginger root, I crossed my fingers and finally met with success! Take THAT, Google! I’m not claiming that they’re healthy. I plan to try a batch using agave or honey in the future, but these are basically sugar and ginger, and I.Don’t.Care.
Disclaimer: An hour after I posted this recipe I made yet another batch (thank goodness for frozen ginger juice) because the guys said it wasn’t chewy enough. An additional tablespoon of cornstarch and 5 more degrees made all the difference! After the chews have sat out for 12 hours they are very firm, but after a minute in your mouth they soften up. If you prefer your chews softer, only use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and bring the mixture up to a temperature of 260 F.
UPDATE: For those who have corn allergies, follow the directions below with the following changes:
- Substitute honey for the corn syrup
- Use 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (aka, tapioca flour) instead of cornstarch
- Reduce the ginger juice to 3 tablespoons
- Cook to 270 F.
You may have to play with the recipe a little. Your altitude and your thermometer may be a little different than mine. Start by making a half batch and see how it works for you.
Here, at a fraction of the cost of imported chews, is my recipe for Ginger Chews.
|Ginger Chews|| |
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 5-6 ounces of fresh ginger root, or enough to make ¼ cup juice
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root (optional)
- Prepare a mold. You can use a pan lined with parchment paper sprayed lightly with oil, hard candy molds lightly sprayed with oil (not chocolate molds – they melt!), or combine 2 cups cornstarch and 2 cups powdered sugar and put it in a cake pan. You can adjust the amount if you want deeper molds. Make holes in it with your finger or spoon handle, or press designs with small objects. In the photos, I used a star-shaped ice cube tray.
- Juice the ginger root. I use a food processor and process the ginger, skin and all, stopping to stir it several times. You could also scrape the ginger root with a spoon to remove most of the peel, and finely grate it. Place the processed or grated ginger in a small sieve and press out the juice with a spoon. The quantity of juice will vary depending on the freshness of the ginger. Extra can be frozen for another time.
- In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and cornstarch. Turn the heat to medium. Stirring often, bring the mixture to a boil and watch the temperature carefully, using a candy thermometer. When it reaches 265 F, remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the ginger juice and grated ginger (if you like it very spicy). Be careful and use a long spoon! It will sizzle and spit while you're stirring in the ginger juice.
- Pour into the mold of your choice. If you are using the cornstarch/powdered sugar method, pour carefully into each cavity. Pour any extra onto a lightly greased piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with some of the cornstarch mixture, if desired.
- Allow the candy to sit for several hours to firm up, then dust with cornstarch and wrap each piece in a square of waxed paper or parchment.
Whether you eat them as an aid to digestion, to curb seasickness or morning sickness, or just because the hot gingery taste is amazing, these little candies will hit the spot. Excuse me while I go gloat.