During Christmas baking, I invariably have a ton of fresh ginger in the house. Why? The gingerbread cookie recipe that I use from pastry chef Anna Olson has grated fresh ginger in the dough. That’s right. Killer pop from the ginger. But I usually buy too much to make sure that I have lots. This leaves me with little knobs of ginger floating in the vegetable drawer of my fridge.
In between making various cookie and pastry dough for Christmas baking, I looked down at a lone thumb-sized piece of ginger. I went to the fridge, snapped off another piece about that size and decided to make a drink to fuel the rest of my day: Maple Ginger Mocha.
- 1 cup 2% milk (2% is a nice balance of creaminess and frothing ability for a hot drink)
- ¼ cup sliced fresh ginger (keeping the skin on is ok because you're just straining it out later)
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (Grade No. 2 or amber variety)
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 200mL/6 fl oz freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee
- In a small pot, bring the milk up to a light simmer over medium heat. Add the fresh ginger, reduce heat to low and simmer with the occasional swirling of the pot for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and allow the ginger to steep like tea for 3-10 minutes. The longer you steep the "hotter" the ginger flavour will be. I steeped for 5 minutes and it had a good ginger punch.
- Strain the ginger out. Transfer the ginger-infused milk back to the pot and bring to a simmer again over medium heat. Add the maple syrup and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
- To serve, add the espresso to a tall cup with the sweet cocoa-ginger milk. Froth the mixture with a milk frother or a hand blender. Divide the mixture into two small cups, topping with frothy foam. Serves 2. Or just keep it all for yourself and put it in one big mug!
- Option: Omit the espresso, steep the ginger for 2 minutes if you are serving it to kids (or the rare person who doesn't like coffee. I know, they're out there! I know one or two!). It'll be a Maple Ginger Hot Chocolate!!