There are many reasons as to why many of us choose to use honey in cooking and baking recipes, either for the multiple health benefits it gives to us or the practical functions it serves, here Tiffson lists a few:
-Honey helps enhance the browning process of grilled or baked goods therefore it is often ideal to glaze honey over roasted or baked goods to achieve surface browning.
PhotoCredit: Predator Nutrition
-Honey is a natural flavour enhancer, usually a sweetener, and the good thing about honey is that each type of honey has its own unique flavour to it.
-Honey provides the needed texture and feel to food especially for pastries and baked goods.
-Honey can also be used as a natural preservative, it can help prolong shelf lives of certain types of foods.
-An essential component about honey is that it helps retain moisture in food, this is rather important when it comes to baking cakes. You would like your cake to come out warm and moist and not all dry and cakey.
-I did not know this myself either but honey aids in binding ingredients together due to its viscosity- an element that aids in holding desserts such as cakes and puddings in shape.
-Honey can act as a natural food colouring, giving your food that gold glistening colour making every bite extra appetising.
~6 Useful Tips Cooking with Honey~
Did you know that honey can be 25%-50% sweeter than cane sugar? Here are a few useful tips to cooking with honey:
- Here is a little honey measuring trick for you to try: When measuring honey into a measuring cup, be sure to lightly oil spray or heat the measuring cup in hot water, this allows honey to pour out freely without making a sticky mess on the sides of the measuring cup. This way it gives a more accurate measurement for your recipe.
- When working with honey, always use lesser amount of honey because it is almost twice as sweet as sugar. Up to one cup, honey can still be substituted equally for sugar. But as the measurement grows bigger beware to reduce at least 1/4 to 1/3 cups of honey for every additional cup of sugar used. By reducing the amount of honey also ensures the right amount of moisture it needs in the recipe as honey is hygroscopic (meaning it attracts water), you would not want a soggy honey crunch cake do you?
- Reduce cooking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent overbrowning, and this way baked goods become more crisp and browns faster than sugar batter.
- Give honey a longer and strenuous beating in comparison to sugar beating.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of honey in the recipe, this helps neautralize honey’s acidity and help the food rise beautifully. But if the recipe contains sour cream or heavy cream then this step won’t be necessary.
- If you’re cooking a recipe that involves jams, jellies, or candies, increase the cooking temperature just a little to allow the extra liquid in honey to evaporate.
- You should also consider the difference in wide honey varieties out there, because honey has the power to balance, enhance, or impart some of its natural flavors to other foods.
- Reminder: Please keep your honey in a cool dry place for storage, avoid refrigeration and moisture (avoid double dipping your jar of honey!). Although crystallized honey is natural and is not harmful in any way but it may be time consuming to liquidize it before you can use it again. But if this ever happens to you, don’t fret, all you need to do is to place your crystallized honey jar straight in a pot of warm water for about 5-10 minutes and voila! Nice liquidy golden honey ready to be served.
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Happy Cooking!! –Tiffson Co.