Honey is a versatile ingredient in many foods. How can adding honey to your pantry improve your cooking? In many ways! First, honey is an all natural sweetener nearly twice as sweet as sugar. Using honey in your recipes also helps enhance the flavor of your other ingredients. Honey is often used as a glaze on roasts and baked goods to enhance browning and add a certain crispness to your foods. It not only retains moisture, which makes your cakes stay soft longer, it improves the texture of pastries and desserts. Sauces made with honey have an extended shelf life. The viscosity, or consistency, of honey is thicker than most other liquids and adds shapes to puddings and pastries. And who doesn’t like the golden hue of a honey glazed dessert?
There are a few considerations to using honey in your recipes. Because honey is twice as sweet as sugar, use 1/2 cup of honey for every 1 cup of sugar called for. Honey attracts and holds water, so decrease the amount of liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup for every cup of honey used. Honey’s thickness is an advantage when making things like puddings, but you may need to increase the cooking time slightly to allow the extra liquid to evaporate properly, and you may need to mix your batters for an extra minute. Honey batter browns faster than other types of batter, so reduce the temperature slightly. An extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey used will help your cakes and breads rise well. Finally, understand that if you are using a specific floral variety of honey, such as Orange Blossom Honey, that flavor will show through in your final product.
If you would like to try cooking with honey in a recipe already designed to use it, check out our recipes. If you have a favorite recipe from your kitchen, you may email it along with your name to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add it to our growing collection.