I picked up a golden jar of honey from the beekeeper J.Wallace of Horeswood, Campile, Wexford last time I was in Ireland.
I don’t know much about the beekeeper however the honey has a lovely floral scent. Campile, where this honey is from means ‘head of the creek’ in Irish, it is a small village located in the south of County Wexford.
The types of flora common in the area (which may have influenced the nectar the bees foraged on) are oak, ash, beech and birch as well as lots of wild flora mainly growing in hedgerows.
With nearly half a kilo of Wexford honey in my kitchen I have been wondering what I might use it for, what dish could I make?
I generally don’t like to heat or cook good honey as it tampers too much with the flavour and aroma (so spare your expensive or unusual honey) however honey does work beautifully with baking (by adding flavour, sweetness and depth). Having decided to make a cake with my Wexford Honey, out came the mixing bowl and a recipe book. You can use honey instead of sugar in most cake recipes.
- Honey is sweeter than sugar so you only need to use 50-75% of honey versus sugar.
- Honey has more liquid so you need to reduce the liquid ratio in your recipe, I usually deduct 10-20%.
- Honey is slightly acidic so you may want to add 1/4 baking powder for every cup of honey to help the batter rise.
- Finally as honey burns faster than sugar, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Celsius.
You will discover when baking with honey that the moistness of the cake improves (which is why it is so popular in commercial baking). If you are going to bake with honey, don’t use the seriously good stuff (save that to eat as simply as possible).