I am not a patient person. Especially in the kitchen. Not when I’m hungry and want to eat Right. Now.
One thing this year that I’ve started making is my own syrups for coffee. Mainly for iced coffee in the summer, but with fall, my favorite drink is a Gingerbread latte. Starbucks doesn’t start selling it (usually) until Thanksgiving, but again, there’s that not patient thing I’ve got going on.
So, I opt for making my own. I’ve made Vanilla Bean syrup and Caramel Vanilla syrup as well as straight up caramel syrup. And after I got the gist of it, I was pretty good. Gingerbread on the other hand, is going to be a bit more tricky, I’m afraid. See, it’s thick. And I need it a little thinner. The recipe I tried works. The flavors are good. The blend of spices good. But it’s still a little thick. I’m going to have to play with it.
Y’all know how much I love to play in the kitchen. A lot. I mean. A. Really. Lot. I haven’t spent as much time doing so this year as I had wanted or planned, but I do hope to remedy that in the coming weeks and months. This time of year inspires me. I just have to find a way to remain motivated at other times of the year.
My pictures are never as pretty as real food blogger pictures. But I use a cell phone camera, they use cameras that are incredible and have settings I have no idea how to use. Then there’s the photo editing and software. No, I just use my cell phone. If you click the links to get the recipes for the syrups, by all means, look at their pictures and how awesome they are. Mine are well, just mine…
Now, let’s start playing!
I’ll be trying different Gingerbread syrups over the next few weeks until I find the perfect one. For now, this is the one I’m using.
Everyone waits with baited breath and eager anticipation for Starbucks to bring out the Pumpkin Spice latte each year. Okay well, almost everyone. Not me. I tied one once and promptly returned it. It was too sweet for me.
So, while the majority of latte drinkers seek out the Pumpkin Spice, I await the Gingerbread latte. It’s not advertised as much anymore and I’ve been in several Starbucks stores that won’t even make it. Makes me very sad. I had to take matters into my own hands more this year than usual. Instead of buying gingerbread syrup for the latte, I decided to make my own.
The internet has more food blogs than one could visit in a year, even if you tried to visit one several in one day. And because there are so many food blogs, there are many recipes for homemade gingerbread syrup. I’ve only tried one so far, and it’s very good. When it’s gone, I’ll try a different one simply because that’s what I do. I like trying different versions and modifying, tweaking…
Most of the recipes I read through use whole spices. I don’t usually have whole ones. I might invest in them for the next time. For now, I had to find an equivalency chart for whole spices to ground spices. I had to fiddle with the amounts a bit, but it worked just fine, I think. The chart I used was Cook’s Thesaurus: Global Spices
The recipe I tried came from the blog, The Galley Gourmet. I’ve visited this site many times and really like her recipes.
Homemade Gingerbread Syrup:
(modified from The Galley Gourmet)
Homemade Gingerbread Syrup
makes about 1 1/4 cup
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses (the only molasses I have is Sorghum, but Blackstrap would be good)
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
8 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (though I think I added more like 1 Tablespoon)
In a medium saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. Strain the syrup through a cheesecloth or very fine mesh strainer and transfer to a container to cool. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
The vanilla is my own addition. It cuts the sharpness of the spices and adds a bit of sweetness in a way that only Vanilla can.
If you are looking for a Gingerbread latte recipe, the Galley Gourmet has one on her site as well. I never follow a latte recipe exactly because some days I want it stronger and some days I want it sweeter.
Usually though, a latte is 2 oz espresso, 3/4 cup steamed milk, 1-2 Tablespoons syrup (gingerbread, cinnamon, caramel, etc…), and whipped cream or the froth from the milk. I add a dash of nutmeg to the top of the whipped cream… Yummy!
The Gingerbread latte is my holiday indulgence. I make one several times a week. If I bought one from Starbucks (when I can get them to make one), I’d be broke very quickly. My espresso machine was relatively inexpensive given how often I use it in the fall and winter. After the holidays I usually make caramel or cinnamon lattes, sometimes a mocha (I’m still trying to get a mocha right).
For now though, enjoy…