|Homemade Ginger Ale Float with Lemongrass Ice Cream and Ginger Candy|
2 cups fresh ginger cut
into 1/8-inch slices
(about 2 Large “hands”)
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 quart club soda, well, chilled
1 Lime, quartered
Lemongrass Ice Cream (recipe follows)
4 mint sprigs
1. To make the syrup, combine the ginger, 2 cups of the sugar, and the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until syrupy or reduced by half, 40 to 45 minutes. The syrup will thicken as it cools so don’t overreduce it. Strain the syrup and reserve the ginger.
2. Preheat the oven to 225° F. To make the candy, place the remaining 2 cups sugar in a large bowl, add the reserved ginger, and toss to coat on all sides. Place the ginger on a baking sheet and bake until dried but still chewy, about 3 hours.
3. To make the floats, fill four 8-ounce glasses with the club soda. Pour 2 tablespoons of the ginger syrup down the side of each glass (4 if you prefer a sweeter float). Squeeze a
Lime wedge into each drink, add a scoop of the ice cream, and garnish with a mint sprig.
Serve with the candy.
ADDING THE GINGER SYRUP TO THE SODA WATER,
GO SLOWLY, EASING THE SYRUP DOWN THE SIDE OF THE GLASSES. THE
SYRUP WILL FORM AN ATTRACTIVE LAYER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE
REMIND GUESTS TO STIR THEIR FLOATS BEFORE PARTAKING.
Lemongrass Ice Cream
3 cups milk
8 lemongrass stalks, white parts only, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 vanilla bean, preferably Tahitian, split lengthwise and scraped
3/4 cup egg yolks (5 to 6 large eggs)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1. In a nonreactive medium saucepan, combine the milk, lemongrass, and vanilla bean and heat over medium heat until scalded. Turn the heat to tow and simmer until the mixture is reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steep at least 1 hour and preferably overnight; the longer it steeps, the more flavor wilt develop. Strain the mixture, return the milk to the saucepan, and bring just to the point of boiling.
2. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl With cold water and add ice. In a nonreactive medium bowl, combine the yolks and the sugar and whisk to blend. Add a ladleful of the scalded milk mixture to the yolk mixture, mix well, and transfer the tempered yolk mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or the eggs will scramble.
3. Strain the mixture into a medium bowl, and place it in the bowl of ice water to cool. When cool, add the cream, and stir to blend. Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not overharden; the ice cream should have a soft consistency. Transfer to the freezer.