Hints on using honey
Useful tips on how to use honey.
- Honey is much better for you than sugar but don’t forget that it is sweeter. When substituting honey for sugar in a recipe, as a general rule, 1 tablespoonful of honey = 3 of sugar. One cup of honey has the same volume as 1 cup of sugar but weighs 1½ times as much, so reduce the liquid content in the recipe by one quarter: i.e. three quarters of a cup instead of 1 cup.
- When buying honey make sure it is not liquid on top, with pale crystals on the bottom of the jar. This honey will have been spoiled by separation or fermentation because the water content is too high. Either return the jar to the shop or supplier, or use the honey for cooking.
- As a general guide, use light coloured honeys for cakes, biscuits and for sweetening fruit, cereals, puddings and tisanes. Darker honeys are best for gingerbread, fruit cakes and anything containing chocolate.
- Use honey to sweeten stewed fruit but never cook it with the fruit. Stir it in afterwards while the fruit is still warm. This will not destroy the value of the honey.
- Cakes made with honey instead of sugar will keep well. Honey helps baked food to stay soft and also improves both flavour and texture, but bake in a slower oven: decrease the temperature by 25°F.
- Add honey to the yeast instead of sugar when making bread: 2 teaspoons of honey to ¾oz yeast, for wholemeal bread. The loaves will keep better and remain moist.
- When adding honey to creamed butter, always drip it in very slowly, blending it in as you go.
- When measuring honey, first dip the spoon into hot water. The honey will then drip off easily.
- Honey can be made more liquid by warming it, and thicker by cooling. To liquidise honey which has granulated, stand the jar in a bowl of hot (never boiling) water. Once liquid, the honey is not likely to granulate again but if it does, the granules will be smaller.
- Honey mixes easily with liquids, warm and cold, and can be made to pour easily, perhaps as a sauce for fruit or cereal, by thinning it with a little water.
- Remember that honey will lower the freezing point of water in which it has been dissolved.