A guest post from the My Honey Crate Blog.
It’s that time of the year. The family’s on their way over and you’re cooking a meal to feed a small army for Thanksgiving. We wanted to give you a few tips on working honey into your recipes to add natural sweetening and extra flavor.
1) Honey Is Sweeter
Use Less! In most cases you can use just 2/3 – 3/4 the amount of honey that you would use of sugar. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you’d use 3/4 cups of honey.
2) Honey Is Wet
Honey is 20% water, and that water will add to the overall amount of liquids in your recipe. Typically you’d want to reduce the other liquids, collectively, by the same amount of water in the honey. Here’s how to estimate it. For every cup of honey you use, reduce your overall liquids by 1/4. If you use 1 cup of honey and the other liquids add up to 2 cups, you’d reduce them by 1/2 cup. Make sense?
3) Gotta Balance Your pH
Honey is naturally acidic and can make your final product dense. If the recipe doesn’t already call for it, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of honey used. This will balance the acidity and allow proper rising.
4) Honey “Feels The Burn” Much Easier
Because of it’s higher sugar content, honey is prone to brown much easier and table sugar. Lower your oven temp by 25 degrees and keep an eye on it.
5) Get That Flavor
Did you know that there are more than 300 honey varieties in North America, alone? That’s a lot of flavor profiles and a lot of ways to enhance your dish. As a rule of thumb, if you’re just looking for sweetness you’ll want to go with a lighter honey. If you want more honey flavor, go with an amber to dark amber honey. Finally if you’re looking for rich notes of molasses, coffee, chocolate, etc, try a dark honey such as gallberry or buckwheat. There are some honeys that don’t fall within these parameters but you’ll probably be fine.
All of these tips are approximations and your results will vary depending on your oven, altitude, type of honey, etc.