Can I use ginger beer instead of ginger ale in the icing for Nigella's chocolate ginger bread? What is the difference between the two?
Nigella's Chocolate Gingerbread (fromFEAST) is a sticky and slightly spiced chocolate cake with a soft chocolate icing. Ginger ale is used in the icing and we suspect that it would be fine to use ginger beer instead of ginger ale. Ginger beer has a slightly more assertive ginger flavour, but if you like the flavour of ginger then this should not be too much of a problem. It is also less sweet than ginger ale, but again we suspect that this will not affect the flavour of the icing significantly.
Ginger ale is a ginger flavoured carbonated soft drink (soda) and usually fairly sweet. Dry ginger ale (the one most commonly found in supermarkets) tends to have a milder ginger flavour than golden ginger ale. Ginger beer is a naturally fermented drink made with ginger, sugar, water and yeast. Unfiltered ginger beers can look slightly cloudy. Ginger beer has a stronger ginger flavour than ginger ale, is less sweet and less carbonated. Ginger beer has been brewed for a long time and used to be alcoholic, though now most ginger beer sold is non-alcoholic. However it is possible to buy alcoholic ginger beer and these are labelled as such, so make sure you check the label before buying.