In December, I feel like I’m on a permanent quest to get super cosy and comforted. I’m talking soft jumpers that envelope you in warmth. Snuggling your morning coffee in your hands. Wrapping your favourite scarf around the bottom half of your face. Soup and warm bread. Those unattractive but oh-so-comfy fluffy fleece socks.
It’s not just about getting myself comfy. I put the thick soft cotton duvet covers on and load up on extra pillows. I bake bread and cakes and sweet chocolate chip cookies that make your house smell beautiful. That warm pine smell of a Christmas tree. And hot coffee.
This recipe is being added to my cosy list. It makes a strong ginger syrup, perfect for your porridge, your hot chocolate, your winter warming cocktails and hot toddy. It makes your kitchen smell warm and sweet in the process too. Double win.
300gr fresh ginger
1 litre of water
450gr caster sugar
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1, Peel your ginger. May seem labourious but it’s really easy if you use a teaspoon to scrape away that papery brown skin.
2, Slice the ginger into thin rounds, around 2-3mm thick.
3, Place the ginger in a saucepan along with any juice that came out when you were cutting it. Pour over the water and then dump in the sugar.
4, Set over a medium heat on your stove and bring to a really gentle boil, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. We want to thicken up the syrup and infuse it with all that ginger so don’t be tempted to boil it furiously. I did this on the second recipe test and it was just tasted weaker.
5, Drop the temperature down a little, add in the lemon juice and zest and simmer for 45minutes to an hour. Stir it occasionally and when the syrup has reduced down by about a half, you’re good to remove from the heat.
6, Strain through a fine mesh sieve and decant into sterilised jars/bottles.
The leftover ginger can be sliced finely and preserved in a jar with some of the syrup. Semi candied ginger as a by-product is pretty sweet.