The natural, unrefined substance bees make from flower nectar. It varies greatly in colour, flavour and consistency, depending on the kind of blossom from which the nectar is gathered. In general, the honey lightest in colour will have the mildest flavour.
Types of honey:
Honeycomb gives us honey as it is made and stored by the bees. The honey is sealed in the cells capped with wax. It is sold by some specialist health food shops and should be served cut into small squares.
Cut honeycomb is honeycomb cut into bars, wrapped separately and sold in health food stores. Chunk is chunks of honeycomb suspended in liquid honey. It is sold in jars at specialist delicatessens and health food shops.
Liquid honey is obtained by uncapping the comb and extracting the honey. It is usually sold in jars and heat-treated to prevent crystallisation during storage.
Candied, creamed or solid honey is granulated honey from which some of the moisture has been removed. Buy from supermarkets, delicatessens or health food shops.
Ways to use honey:
Substitute honey for sugar on hot porridge.
Sweeten whipped cream with honey for cakes and desserts.
Serve fresh fruit for dessert with 90 g honey stirred into 185 g sour cream.
Top chocolate, vanilla or coffee ice cream with honey and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Mix half honey and half butter to spread on hot toast, crumpets, muffins, pancakes or scones.
Top sautéed apple rings, pineapple or banana slices with honey, cinnamon and a little grated orange zest; cook a few moments longer to glaze.
Mix honey with ricotta or cream cheese, nuts and chopped dried fruit to fill baked tartlet shells, or serve with plain sweet biscuits.
Add 1 teaspoon honey with a little mustard and ground ginger to pep up baked beans.
Make a hot syrup of 260 g honey and 60 ml lemon juice and pour over a freshly baked nut and fruit loaf. Prick the loaf first before using the syrup.
Glaze carrots, turnips, onions or new potatoes with honey. Cook vegetables, covered, in a very little salted water with 1 tablespoon each of butter and honey. Remove lid when vegetables are almost cooked and continue cooking until water has evaporated, leaving a golden glaze. Tilt saucepan to roll vegetables in the glaze before serving.