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Chestnut Honey Financiers for Winter

28 Dec

While honeybees hibernate for the winter, why not snuggle up with the fruits of their labor and toast the last harvest of the season. Like many beekeepers, my autumn harvest is typically dark and flavorful not unlike the renowned chestnut honeys of Italy. What to do with such robust flavors?

Hazelnut is a perfect pairing for late season honey and when combined with the richness of a financier, it’s comforting beyond compare.

Italian Chestnut Honey
Chestnut Honey Financiers

Chestnut Honey & Hazelnut Financiers

makes about 1 dozen financiers
(adapted from thekitchn)

1 cup ground hazelnut flour
3 tablespoons flour
pinch salt
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, plus a little more to grease the muffin tins
1/3 cup chestnut honey (or other dark, flavorful honey)
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a silicone financier mold. NOTE: I strongly recommend using silicone molds as these babies can be sticky to remove. DeBuyer Elastomoule are excellent molds, though costly, and there are plenty of alternatives.

Combine the ground hazelnuts, flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan, add honey and sugar, stirring to melt and blend. Pour the butter honey mixture into the almond flour mixture, whisking to combine. Add the eggs, one by one, stirring until the batter is uniform.

Pour about 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter into each cavity of the greased and floured mold.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Let stand in the mold for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully. Dust with powdered sugar and let cool before eating for best texture.

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Honey for Thanksgiving! Recipes that Support Local Bees

27 Oct

Sugar? How very unauthentic. How very, dare I say, un-American.

This Thanksgiving, why not go old-school with a healthy dose of honey added to your traditional recipes? European colonists brought honeybees to North America in 1622, so you can be sure that cooking with honey from your local beekeeper is the original Patriot Act.

Honey Pumpkin Pie

Honey Pumpkin Pie

CRANBERRY SAUCE

Burnt Honey Cranberry Sauce | Orange Cinnamon Honey Cranberries | Honey Mustard Cranberry Sauce

TURKEY

Whiskey Honey-Glazed Turkey | Soy & Honey Glazed Turkey  | Turkey Roasted in Honey

BRUSSEL SPROUTS

Honey Balsamic Roasted Sprouts | Brussels with Sriracha, Honey & Lime | Roasted Sprouts with Honey & Pecan

PIES

Ginger-Honey Pumpkin Pie | Honey Pecan Pie with Bourbon Cream | Honey Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Honey Recipes: Fig Honey Jam with Bay

12 Sep

Each autumn when figs ripen and the honey jar starts to fill, I crack open my copy of a frou-frou cookbook by the woman known in France as the Fairy Godmother of Jam, Christine Ferber, and turn to p167.

There on p167 is a simple recipe for the most grown-up ambrosia your lips shall encounter — Fig and Honey Jam with Bay. I’m sure it’s divine with all sorts of bourgeois goodies like foie gras but I eat it straight out of the jar after a long sweaty day slinging websites.

Fig & Honey Jam with Bay

  • 2 1/4 lbs figs
  • 3  1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 oz honey (I like a darker summer honey.)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
If you’re lazy, just cook this all up slow and long on the stove. Then seal into jars.
Alternatively, you follow these more complex instructions including an option to add pectin, which I’ve never needed.

Honey Cookies for Christmas

18 Dec

With the girls all tucked away for winter, visions of sugarplums dance in my head. And these sugarplums will be made with honey. Do you have any favorite holiday honey recipes?

Almond & Honey-Butter Cookies

Beautiful thumbprint cookies that highlight the perfect marriage of almonds and honey. Definitely a “save the honeybee” cookie as almonds are utterly dependent on pollination by honeybees.

http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/2009/04/almond-and-honey-butter-cookies.html

by Culinary in the Country

Sunflower Honey Chocolate Truffles

Sumptuous truffles made with neighborhood honey by Sweet Hive Chicago. Use a distinctive honey to highlight the flavor even more.
http://sweethivechicago.com/2010/12/13/honey-for-the-holidays-chocolate-truffles/

by Bob Vivant

Sesame Honey Cookies

Nutty like halva but soft like a cookie, these anchor a cookie plate on the savory end of sweet.

http://www.nanokatz.com/2010/09/04/sesame-honey-cookies-2/

Photo by Nano Katz

Melomakarona

A slightly soft but spicy Greek cookie dipped in honey.

http://ellysaysopa.com/2007/12/15/melomakarona/

Photo by Elly

Honey Recipes: Nigella’s Honey Bee Cake

26 Sep

It’s hard not to giggle like a schoolgirl at a chocolate cake covered in marzipan honeybees.

Honey bee cake Honey bee cake

This weekend, my friend Alexis converted a cup of our honey into this tasty cake, every bit as sumptuous as it looks. Paired with mimosas on her back porch, it was the icing on a perfect late summer weekend.

Get the recipe: Nigella Lawson’s Honey Bee Cake

Honey Recipes: Pots de Crème with Lemon + Honey

29 Jul

With just 4 ingredients, Tartelette’s pots de crème recipe is a sublime way to highlight floral honeys like lavender or apricot. Whisk in a few egg yolks and cream et voila!

Minimalist decadence.

I happen to have a stash of floral spring honey from my Albuquerque neighborhood and will conduct rigorous recipe testing this weekend. With solely your well-being in mind, of course.

Honey Lemon Pots De Crème

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups (375ml) heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup honey
zest and juice of 2-3 lemons (you’ll need 1/4 cup or 60ml of juice)
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325Fº and position a rack in the center. Place your ramekins in a heavy deep pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Turn the heat off but keep the cream warm.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and honey for a couple of minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt and whisk until smooth. Slowly pour the heavy cream over the egg yolk mixture, whisking well. Let stand for a couple of minutes to let any foam rise to the top, skim it off and divide the mixture among your ramekins. Pour hot water inside the pan, making sure the water comes at least halfway up the sides of your dishes. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Recipe from Tartelette

Making Mead: A Photo Essay

4 Jul

I’ve never brewed anything successfully. The kombucha I attempted to brew in a jar on my countertop grew nothing but mold despite my urban hippie aspirations.

But here I am trying again with mead only this time with some major tutelage. Elliot’s the brewmaster here and I’m just a helping hand who happens to have copious amounts of honey to spare.

The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery
The Urban Meadery The Urban Meadery

We made a standard mead using champagne yeast and 1 gallon of honey for a 5 gallon batch. The local brew store recommended a few additions such as irish moss for clarity and a wee bit of tannin for balance. Continue reading

Honey Tasting Party at Home

24 Jun


After mountain biking, a few friends stopped over tonight for a honey tasting in celebration of National Pollinator Week. It was a motley affair filled with sweat, spice, and of course, honey.

The Menu

  • Cambozola with golden spring honey and cranberry pecan bread
  • Strawberries dipped in honey
  • Red Chile Honey Glazed Bacon
  • Honey Chipotle Grilled Chicken Thighs
  • Corn Quinoa with Mesquite Honey
  • Honey Roasted Apricots with Greek Yogurt, Pistachios and Lavender Blossoms (from Seasonal Fruit Desserts)


Honey Recipes: Apricot Almond Tart with Honey

6 Jun

The finished tart with our backyard honey

Bakers have been known to be quite snobbish about their almond tarts. When people ask if that’s almond paste in his tart, my favorite French chef in Albuquerque laments in a thick accent, “It’s not almond paste! It’s almond cream!” He’s genuinely hurt.

So for Bruno, we have a tart with bona fide almond cream, but this one is sweetened with honey rather than sugar making it even more lovely and floral and local.

Honey Almond Tart with Apricots

  • Recipe inspired by Tartelette
  • Makes one 8-inch-diameter or rectangular tart

The key to this recipe is the post-bake drizzle with honey. Make sure the honey used at this final step is a high quality floral honey, preferably one purchased at your local farmer’s market. Continue reading

Honey Recipes: Panna Cotta with Bitter Honey

30 May

A recipe by CHOW

If you’re saving any dark aster or buckwheat honey from last year’s precious stash, this is it – A triumphant final fling to share with good friends. And don’t forget to toast the honey goddess for more good luck this season.

Panna Cotta with Bitter Honey

Recipe by Aida Mollenkamp on CHOW

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large pinch (about 1/4 teaspoon) saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup bitter honey (I’d recommend aster honey or buckwheat honey)
  • 8 dried figs (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine cream, milk, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. When it simmers, add saffron, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over water and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk together gelatin and cream mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Fill four ramekins or small dishes with about 1/2 cup of the base. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until mixture is set, about 4 hours or overnight.
  3. To serve, dip the bottoms of the ramekins or small dishes in hot water. Run a knife around the perimeter of the panna cotta, cover with a serving plate, and flip to unmold the panna cotta. Drizzle each panna cotta with 1 tablespoon of bitter honey, and, if using, garnish with a couple of dried figs.