Honey is the sweet fluid produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers. Worker honey bees transform the floral nectar that they gather into honey by adding enzymes to the nectar and reducing the moisture. Eating locally produced honey has many health benefits including reducing allergies to local plants.
The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees' nectar source (the blossoms). In fact, there are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the United States, originating from such diverse floral sources as Clover, Eucalyptus and Orange Blossoms. In general, lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor.
Most of us know honey as a sweet, golden liquid. However, honey can be found in a variety of forms.
Comb Honey - Comb honey is honey in its original form; that is, honey inside of the honeycomb. The beeswax comb is edible!
Cut Comb - Cut comb honey is liquid honey that has added chunks of the honey comb in the jar. This is also known as a liquid-cut comb combination.
Liquid Honey - Free of visible crystals, liquid honey is extracted from the honey comb by centrifugal force, gravity or straining. Because liquid honey mixes easily into a variety of foods, it's especially convenient for cooking and baking. Most of the honey produced in the United States is sold in the liquid form.
Tips for using honey:
You can use equal amounts of honey for sugar in most yeast breads and muffins, pancakes, or waffles
When substituting honey in recipes calling for 1 cup or more of sugar, reduce the other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup for every 1 cup of honey.
In cookie recipes using eggs or recipes with no other liquids, increase the flour by 2 tablespoons for each cup of honey
Add ½ teaspoon baking soda for every 1 cup of honey used.
Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees F if it is a recipe not designed for honey as an ingredient
Granulated sugar may play a critical role (creaming, holding air in a batter) in some recipes. Substituting with all honey won't be successful. Instead try substituting half the sugar with honey.
Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, honey and cayenne pepper until well blended. Chill until serving to blend flavors.
Nancy's Honey Spice Cake
3 c. all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg ¼ tsp. ground ginger 1 ½ c. honey ¾ c. buttermilk 3 eggs ½ c. vegetable oil 2 tsp. vanilla extract 2 c. finely grated carrots 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained 1 c. chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. In a large bowl, stir together the honey, buttermilk, eggs, oil and 2 tsp. of vanilla until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed. Stir in the carrot, pineapple and walnuts by hand. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting. To make the frosting, mix together the cream cheese, honey and 1 tsp. of vanilla until smooth and well blended. Spread over cake.
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