This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
The root of a reed-like plant with annual leafy stems 3 to 4 feet high. Cultivated in warm countries; does not grow wild. The common brown ginger-root is in its natural state; the white, known as Jamaica ginger, is the root scraped and washed free from its outer coating. Ground ginger is considerably adulterated, generally with starchy substances and also with old ginger from which the "essence of ginger" has been extracted.
"For a wonder the confirmed joker of a proprietor was serious! He didn't perpetrate above three puns and four witticisms per minute! On his menu for the day was ginger pudding, and he asked me to try it, which I did. It is such a capital, yet inexpensive specimen of culinary art that I asked him for the recipe. Here it is: Ginger Pudding-2 lbs. bread-crumbs, 3/4 lb. finely chopped suet, 1 lb. molasses, 1/4 lb. sugar, 1 oz. baking powder, 1/2 oz. ground ginger, 3 eggs; boil in buttered moulds; should the mixture be too stiff, add a little milk sparingly; the pudding ought to come out of a light golden color, and be as light as a feather. I commend this to caterers who have to give plenty for money." "I have met another ginger pudding of late, which has about a dozen different names. The most popular, however, are 'Chinese Pudding' and 'Golden Pudding.' This new thing is merely a very light but sweet plain pudding with lumps (about 1-inch cubes) of Chy-loong preserved ginger in it, and served with custard sauce colored with saffron.
On dit that this novelty originated at Smedley's Hydro, at Buxton".
Is made of 2 1/2 lbs. sugar, 2 oz. bruised ginger, 4 lemons (rind and juice), 1/2 oz. cream tartar; 2 1/2 gls. boiling water poured to them in an earthen jar; when cold, little yeast added; stand till next day; then bottled, and corks tied down; ready for use in 2 days.
Old-fashioned sort rnade of 1 1/2 lbs. black molasses, 1/2 lb. butter, 3 eggs, 1 oz'. ginger, 1/2, lb. brown sugar, 24 oz.flour, caraway seeds, candied peel, juice of lemon, 1 teaspoon soda; all mixed over night, worked like bread, baked in flat sheet 1 inch thick, brushed over with milk.
Pounded ginger, 1 oz.; butter, 4 oz.; flour, 4 oz.; golden syrup, 4 oz. Beat the butter and mix with the golden syrupj stir in the flour and ginger; roll out thin and bake for 15 minutes in slow oven; roll like wafers whilst warm.
One pint molasses and 1 cup lard heated together and poured hot in 1 qt. flour, 2 teaspoons soda and 2 ginger; let this dough cool, add flour enough to roll; roll thin and bake quick.
"The great gingerbread fair is in full swing now at Paris. I have often wondered why the Paris Municipal Council don't tender for the unsold stock of the vendors of gingerbread. The wood-paving they use is so unsatisfactory that something more solid, more heavy, and more wear-resisting might well be tried in its stead!"