Fragrant, fresh ginger combines with creamy buttermilk and lemon zest in these delicious muffins adapted from a recipe in "Ginger: East to West," Bruce Cost’s authoritative book on the spice.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment liners in a 12-muffin tin. Combine one-third cup of finely chopped fresh ginger with one-quarter cup of sugar in a small skillet and cook until the sugar melts. Remove and let cool.
Using a Microplane grater, finely zest two lemons to make one heaping teaspoon of zest. Add zest to ginger mixture with three more tablespoons of sugar and stir to combine. In a separate mixing bowl or standing mixer, cream one-half cup room temperature butter with one-half cup sugar and beat until smooth.
Add two eggs and beat well. Stir in one cup of buttermilk. Add two cups flour, one-half teaspoon salt and two-thirds teaspoon baking soda (this is an odd measurement, so just eyeball the amount in the one-teaspoon measure). Beat until smooth. Fold in the ginger-lemon mixture and mix well to combine.
Fill each muffin cup with batter and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.