Have you ever thought of ginger ale as an ingredient rather than a beverage? You should, you really should.
Suet Paste Made with Ginger Ale.
The use of Ginger ale instead of water for making the paste of suet puddings makes the paste exceedingly light. The same quantity of ale is used as would be required of water.
The Queenslander (Brisbane) 7 September 1895.
Ginger Ale Cake.
One pint bottle of ginger ale, 10oz.butter, ½ lb.sugar, 12oz. flour, 6 eggs, 1lb. sultanas, ½ lb. raisins, ¼ lb. peel, 2oz. cherries, 2oz. almonds, 1 tablespoon glycerine, 1 tablespoon brandy, ½ grated nutmeg, 5 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of salt. Cut up fruit and soak all night in ginger ale. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add fruit, spice, flour, brandy, and glycerine last. Bake 35 to 4 hours.
The Land (Sydney, NSW) 29 March 1940
For truly “from scratch” recipe of course, you could make your own ginger ale to use in your suet pudding and cake.
Dissolve 3 lb. loaf sugar in 2 gallons of water, then add the well-beaten whites of three eggs and 2 oz of ground ginger; it is well to moisten the ginger before adding it to the whole with a little water. Now place this over the fire in a porcelain kettle, bring slowly to the -boiling point, skim and stand aside to settle. When cold, add the juice of 1 large lemon and a quarter of a yeast cake, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of warm water; mix thoroughly and strain. Fill into bottles, cork tightly and tie the corks. Stand aside to cool immediately. It will be ready to use In about two days.
The Mirror (Sydney) 1 December 1917.
If this recipe is a little too close to the scratch point for you, here is the cheat’s version:
6 breakfast cups sugar, 1 dessertspoon tartaric acid, add 7 cups boiling water and when cold, add 1s.worth of ginger ale essence. It is then ready for use. Use about two tablespoons of the ginger ale to each glass of water. This quantity makes about 3 bottles of the mixture.
The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld.) 15 November 1924