Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Creamed Honey

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you spend enough time in the kitchen, chances are the repetition of ingredients and techniques will become boring. Buffalo and ostrich made it to my table, because I wanted to taste something new. While molecular cooking is beyond me, I've tried sous vide and use other new techniques as soon as instructions become available. I also keep my eyes open for new ingredients and every so often I come across an old one that I know nothing about. Creamed honey is a condiment that's been around for years, but I've only recently discovered it. It was a chance find. I buy ingredients in bulk whenever I can and I ended up with a quart of honey, which is a ridiculous amount for two people. My honey, of course crystallized, and I had two choices, find a way to use it or throw it out. My research led me to something called creamed honey.

Creamed honey is not a whipped product. It contains no air. It's the result of controlled granulation of honey and results in extremely small sugar crystals. The smaller the crystals the better. When finished, creamed honey should be smooth and velvety and spread like peanut butter or Nutella on a piece of bread.

Making creamed honey is quite simple. There are some basic steps you have to follow, but they are more technique than recipe. You begin with a starter. The starter is creamed honey from a previous batch and it serves as the template for granulation. You can buy the creamed honey that you will use for a starter in most grocery stores, probably on the same shelf as the honey. It is important to remember that your finished creamed honey will be no better than what you start with, so find a brand you are comfortable using. If you save a bit from your first batch you'll never have to buy it again and you'll always know who to blame or praise.

The liquid honey you use should be free of granules. If it is not fresh from the hive, it should be warmed until it is completely liquified. Some recipes call for heating the liquid honey to 140 degrees, then cooling it down quickly (in the refrigerator). This guarantees that the creamed honey will not ferment, but the honey will lose some of its medicinal properties when it's heated to this temperature. If you heat your honey, I suggest you also warm your starter in the microwave for about 10 seconds. This makes it easier to mix. The liquid honey must be brought to room temperature before proceeding. When the honey is at room temperature, blend in the starter at a ratio of about 10 parts liquid honey to 1 part starter. This measurement does not have to be exact. Mix until the starter is evenly distributed, but do not mix in air. Let the mixture set overnight to allow small air bubbles to rise to the surface. The following day scrape off the air bubbles that rise to the top. Pour mixture into wide-mouth jars and put them in a cool place for storage until the honey has creamed. If it is too warm the honey will not cream properly. The creamed honey should be ready in 3 to 5 days. Your creamed honey will be ready to eat in 3-5 days.

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1 comment :

David said...

Mary, I've had creamed honey and I really enjoyed it. We've never tried making it at home though... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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