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Category Archives: Baking & Cooking with Honey

Honey History

Hello everyone,

Here is my last post about honey; Honey is as old as written history.

Honey is an organic, natural sugar alternative with no additives that is easy on the stomach, adapts to all cooking processes, and has an indefinite shelf life. I like to make lemon tea with honey when I have a cold/flu. It soothes a sore throat and upset stomach.

Honey History: Honey is as old as written history, dating back to 2100B.C. where it was mentioned in Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform writings, the Hittite code, and the sacred writings of India and Egypt. It is presumably even older than that. Its name comes from the English (hunig), and it was the first and most widespread sweetener used by man. Legend has it that Cupid dipped his love arrows in honey before aiming at unsuspecting lovers. In Old Testament of the Bible, Israel was often referred to as “The land of milk and honey”. Mead, an alcoholic drink made from honey was called “nectar of the gods”, high praise indeed. Honey was valued and often used as a form of currency, tribute, or offering. In the 11th century A.D., German peasants paid their feudal lords in honey and beeswax Although experts argue whether the honeybee is native to the Americas, conquering Spaniards in 1600 A.D. found native Mexicans and Central Americans had already developed beekeeping methods to produce honey. In days of old, honey has been used not only in food and beverages, but also to make cement, in furniture polishes and varnishes, and for medicinal purposes. Bees perform the vital service of pollinating fruits, legumes, vegetables and other types of food-producing plants in the course of their business of honey production. This info was provided to me by the University Of Idaho extension office and by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, About.com Guide.

I have 3 cakes this week, 1st one I am getting done today for a veteran. He just wanted a devils food cake with white frosting! Which is unusual we normally make more decorated cakes for the VA home, but not this time. I bought a cake stencil and some chocolate jimmies to use on it. I normally handwrite on the cakes, but I wanted to do something different this time.  My 2nd cake is for my husband’s office. They are having an auction to help raise money for there annual Christmas party. I am making my chocolate cream cake and decorating it with a fall theme. I am molding some chocolate scarecrows and molding a teddy bear to look like a scarecrow for the top of the cake. I want to pipe on pumpkins, wheat stalks, ect..  It should turn out cute. It will be interesting to see how much the cake sells for!!! My last cake for the week is for a nursing home resident. I don’t know yet what I want to make. My last 2 cakes to them were not up to my standards. I was sick, just some of the Sarcoidosis complications. I had went to the ER the night before, so I was wiped out. I made just 2, 9-inch round cakes. One was white and pink the other was all chocolate. I know they tasted good, so I guess that’s what really counted the most. I did get a thank you card from the pink and white cake, the lady said the resident just loved it! I want to make something really pretty for the Saturday cake. Maybe something with roses since I LOVE to make roses!!!

Well I better go for now, I need to get the cake done and work on some other recipes. Keep checking back I’ll be posting a Christmas menu that I made for some friends several years ago. It is a little different, I know Christmas is far away yet, but it’s never to early in my mind to plan for it!!!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Baking & Cooking with Honey

 

More Honey Information

Hello Everyone,

Honey has been a favorite sweetener since prehistoric times and still has advantages over sugar even today. Honey is composed of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose, honey is absorbed in a different manner and therefore causes a slower, more gradual rise in blood sugar. Because honey has a  slightly higher percentage of fructose than sugar, it tastes sweeter, and less is required for equal sweetness. Honey contains small amounts of numerous vitamins and minerals, but not enough to fulfill and of the body’s daily needs. Remember that honey does contain calories, and cannot be used freely by a diabetic and is not recommended for infants formulas. The flavor, aroma and color of honey vary with the kind of  flowers from which the bees gather the nectar used to make the honey. The fructose gives honey its sweet flavor, and the nectar adds the characteristic taste of the floral source to your recipes. the most common varieties are alfalfa, catsclaw, clove, cotton, horsemint, mesquite, white brush, Chinese tallow, huajilo and wild flower. Generally the lighter the honey, the milder the flavor. If a stronger flavor is desired for your recipe, use a darker, stronger flavored honey; if a more delicate flavor is desired, use a lighter milder flavored honey. Honey can easily be substituted for sugar as shown with common recipe favorites her on my blog and with other recipes. Due to honey’s ability to retain water, products made with honey tend to remain moister longer than similar products made with sugar or other sweetener. Some minor adjustments may need to be made to a recipe when substituting honey for sugar.

1. Use equal amounts of honey for sugar up to one cup. Over one cup, replace each cup of  sugar with 2/3 to 3/4 cup over honey depending upon the sweetness desired.

2. Lower the baking temperature 25 degree and watch your time carefully since products with honey brown faster.

3. In recipes using more than one cup honey for sugar, it may be necessary to reduce liquids by 1/4 per cup of honey.

4. In baked goods, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of honey if baking soda is not already included in the recipe. this will reduce the acidity of the honey, as well as increase the volume of your product.

I delivered the Mission cake today and it all went well, they were very happy to see the cake!! Made me feel good. I have just one more cake for this month and it’s for a vet on Tuesday. All he wants is devils food cake with white frosting, so that one will be an easy one to take care of.

I am still sick, I had 2 Dr appts this week, plus a pelvic ultrasound. I have to stay on blood thinners for a while longer. My blood clots are dissolved, but one of then could come back. With the way my Dr described the vein it looks like a pen tip and it’s open and could clot again very easily. I hope and pray that it wont!!! The steroids are keeping me awake and giving me a lot of energy. Sometimes it’s nice other times I would just like to rest and sleep!!!

Well I hope everyone out there in cyberspace is doing well!!

Until next time..

Amanda 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2010 in Baking & Cooking with Honey

 

Honey

Hello everyone,

Here are some baking, cooking, and storage basics about honey.

Honey Tips and Hints:

It’s very easy to substitute honey for sugar in your recipes. Honey is up to twice as sweet as table sugar, so you will need to reduce the amount called for in the recipe by 1/3 to 1/2 honey for granulated or table sugar. In addition, since honey is composed of up to 18% water, you will need to reduce the liquid called for in baked good-by about 1/5. When baking sweets,  you should also lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees F. (15 degrees C.) If you are measuring honey by weight, 1 cup will weigh 12 oz. To help that honey slide smoothly from your measuring utensils, simply  lightly coat the utensil with vegetable spray before measuring the honey. Unless the recipe calls for sour milk or cream, some cooks add the merest pinch of baking soda to the recipe of baked goods to counteract the slight acidity of the honey which may cause overbrowning. Since it has the ability to absorb and retain moisture, honey is used in the industry to keep baked goods moist and fresh. Use honey in baked goods if you plan to mail to keep them bakery-fresh. Honey is also an excellent choice to use in salad dressings, since its emulsifying qualities make it a perfect stabilizer.

http://homecooking.about.com/od/specificfood/a/honeytips.htm

Honey Storage

Storing honey is easy. Simply keep it in a cool location away from direct sunlight in a tightly covered container. It is not necessary to refrigerate honey. In fact, it’s much easier to handle if you don’t. Honey may be frozen, although there’s really no need. Do not be alarmed if stored honey becomes cloudy. This is called crystallization. It is not harmful nor it is any indiction of deterioration. In fact, honey has an indefinite shelf-life thanks to its high concentration of sugar. Raw honey with high pollen count will crystallize even faster, and cold temperatures also cause crystals. Crystallized honey is one of the many forms intentionally produced for purchase be many beekeepers. If your honey crystallizes, you can easily re-liquefy it by gently heating the jar in a pan of hot water, stirring while heating. Do not overheat as heat may alter flavor and color as a result of cartelization of the sugars.

Since I have several recipes that call for honey I wanted to write some of this down to help anyone. I love baking and cooking with honey or just drizzling it on hot bread!!!

I have 1 Angel cake this week, it’s for the Lighthouse Rescue Mission. I make a 11×18 sheet cake (which takes 3 cake mixes) and 2 dozen cupcakes. I don’t get very fancy with it, it’s all for all the men’s Birthday’s for the month. I have a few Dr appts to this week so there is my week!! LOL!!

I’ll have more honey hint’s and tip’s through the week. It’s from the University of Idaho Food Safety class we had awhile back.

Until later!!

Amanda 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2010 in Baking & Cooking with Honey