Using honey in cooking August 18 2014, 0 Comments

For the last few months, I have been writing our monthly newsletter, and including with it a receipe that includes honey.

Of course, this is the main reason I cook with honey rather than refined sugar being a more healthy sugar option - plus the taste is improved - but an additional bonus for cooking with honey is that you extend the life of your baked goodness. Since honey is a naturally occurring food preserver, using it in cooking keeps the moisture intact, and for every 1/2 cup of honey you use, you get about 1-1/2 extra weeks of life from your goods. And it will feel as fresh as the day you baked it!

It's actually a bit of trick to cook with honey; it isn't just about replacing your sugar. This is because it is also a liquid. So you have to reduce the amount of liquid you use in the ingredients list. You can generally replace honey 1:1 with sugar to replicate the same sweetness, however, you need to also reduce your liquids by about 1/3 to every 1/2 cup of honey you use. This is easy if you have milk in the receipe, I just cut the milk out of the receipe, but if there is no milk, you have to use trial and error to reduce some of the butter/oil of the receipe and the number of eggs you use.

Loaf: I reduce the oil by 1/3, and add my honey. If it is too sticky after mixing all the ingredients, I add another egg.

Cake: Milk is the first to be replaced, followed by butter. Reduce your butter by about 50g if you are adding 1/2 cup of honey.

Biscuits: Generally I cut an egg (for 1/2 cup of honey) if the receipe calls for 2 eggs. Reduce your butter if there is only 1 egg in the receipe.

Now PLEASE note, that the appearance and texture of your baked yummies will be different. Especially if you replace all your sugar with honey, rather than just some. The chemical makeup of the honey once baked, will make the receipe denser and bake to a golden-light brown. The first time I did my blondies (white chocolate brownies) they came out quite brown and I thought I had burnt them. But it was just the honey making them look a little more tanned ;-)

Trial and error is definitely the way to go, and if you are worried, just replace a little of your sugar with honey - this will at least give a little more life into your treats!

And don't forget to sign up to the newsletter if you don't want to miss out on the yummy honey receipes either! Just at the bottom of the page :-)