The ten best recipes to make with honey?

So this is Day 100 of the One Hundred Days of Honey. In my last blogpost, I said I felt full; now I actually feel rather empty 😦

But there have been some wonderful things I’ve been filled with over these one hundred days. And for my final post I’m going to try to select the ten best culinary experiences. Click through to see the details, or scroll down for a list of the links to every honey recipe I’ve blogged about.

So, in reverse order, the things I think you should try making with your pot of honey are…

10. Nigella’s honey chocolate cake – despite its rich, dark chocolatey loveliness, you can taste the honey

9. Cranberry pudding with honey sauce – a US recipe which apparently dates from colonial times and is a moist fruity steamed pudding

8. Oaten honeycomb – another steamed pudding, but this time gluten-free thanks to the oats from which it’s made, based on an Irish recipe

7. Carob, orange and honey muffins – a fabulous texture from the carob flour, with orange juice to cut through the richness

6. Honey ice-cream – a recipe which doesn’t require an ice-cream maker and which produces wonderful velvety ice-cream

5. Pears en papillote – a dramatic recipe which produces fragrant exotic honeyed parcels for each diner to unwrap at their plate. Who knew baking paper could bring such magic to dessert.

4. Coventry tartlets – rich traditional tartlets made with cream cheese and honey

3. Bircher muesli – the honeyed breakfast zinging with vitamins and good health.

2. Green beans with honey and garlic – proof that honey isn’t just for teatime or dessert: an oriental twist to beans in a very easy recipe

1. Tiessennau Mel –Welsh honey muffins, dark as parkin and sticky as gingerbread

The full list of honey recipes from my 100 Days of Honey…

For more honey recipes but also honey tasting notes and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.


Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The ten best honeys in the world?


It’s been (almost) one hundred delicious days of honey. If all goes to plan then tomorrow will be the final post in this blog. I feel sad, I feel I’ve learned a lot, and I feel rather full.

I’ve loved all the licks of honey that have come my way as I’ve been writing the blog, but here are my top ten favourites in reverse order. They come from all over the world – California to Kosovo, New Zealand to Sardinia and Romania. For full information, including in some cases suggestions for where to buy the honey, click through to the original post.

10. Avocado honey, tasting nothing like the fruit. The avocado flowers produce a dark, late-night honey, all malt and burnt wool aroma and leather flavours

9. Sunflower honey – a rich, indulgent and energizing mix of ‘yellow’ tastes (butter, lemon, pineapple) and ‘green’ tastes (fresh cut grass, new figs)

8. My own Kosovan honey. Blatant favouritism, but I love the taste of it because it’s the taste of the landscape I love looking at.

7. Clover honey – my ‘ur’ honey; the first I remember eating; soft and creamy and uncomplicated

6. Thistle honey with a surprising taste of geranium

5. Romanian raspberry blossom honey – ‘Werther’s original honey’ with a butterscotch scent and stewed quince taste

4. Carob honey – a mellow sweetness with coffee aftertaste

3. Asphodel honey – a rare and beautiful, pale crystalline honey from Sardinia – a metallic chamomile followed by orange blossom with almond milk finish

2. Beechwood honey – its medicinal taste isn’t for everyone, but it is said to be full of antioxidants and is surprisingly more-ish

1. Lavender truffle honey – a wicked, smoky blend of honey from lavender flowers, infused with truffle


And for your reference, here’s the full list of the honeys that have been reviewed on the 100 Days of Honey blog:

For more honey tasting notes, honey recipes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Orange and honey creme caramel


Following yesterday’s tarte tatin I’m obviously still feeling a little upside down as I’ve made another recipe which requires inversion to serve.

This is from one of my favourite cookbooks – the ‘Bees Online’ honey recipe collection. It makes a classy dessert that we couldn’t quite live up to (it’s a Sunday, my yoga day when I do inversions of my own, and I was scarcely dressed by the time we sat down to eat), though we enjoyed it very much. The orange and the hazelnuts add bite and texture to what can otherwise be a cloying dish.

260g honey

1 tbsp water

4 eggs

550ml milk

finely grated rind of half an orange

pinch of cardamom

90g roasted peeled hazelnuts

extra honey to drizzle

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Heat 170g honey with the water in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir as it comes to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and continue to warm. As soon as the colour of the honey deepens, remove from the heat.

Allow the bubbles to subside then divide the mixture between the ramekins you’ll serve it in.

Gently warm the remaining honey and whisk in the eggs until just combined. Then whisk in the milk, orange rind and cardamom. Pour the mixture over the honey caramel.

Put the ramekins in a roasting pan and fill the pan with water until it comes halfway up the ramekins. Bake in this bain marie for about an hour until the custards are just set.

Remove from the bain marie and cool, then refrigerate for several hours before inverting on plates to serve. Top with hazelnuts drizzled with honey.

For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.

Posted in gluten-free, recipe | Leave a comment

Honey tarte tatin


DSC_0042 I’d never made a tarte tatin, but always enjoy messing around with pastry. The lesson I learned today is… before you start messing around with pastry, read through to the end of the recipe and check whether any of your handicraft will show in the final product.

In tarte tatin, by the way, it won’t show at all, because of course (I mean, I have eaten tarte tatin so this ought to have been something I remembered) you invert the tarte once it’s out of the oven. Having – as you can see in the photograph – crafted the pastry with details of both a beautiful bee and an apple, and fashioned the initials of all of those who would be served the dish, only to realise this would be on the base of the finished tarte, I feel now like one of those medieval masons who did their finest carving up, up, in some lofty cathedral spandrel and high above the heads of the future worshippers, so that no-one ever sees it. Or like the panel workers in the car factory who scrawl swear words behind the posh upholstery though no-one will ever know.


Ah well, at least it tasted fantastic – a properly buttery, honeyed dessert. Want to know how I did it…?

Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 20cm ovenproof dish. Pour half a cup of honey into the pan and put in the oven, setting it to 200 degrees centigrade.

Peel, core and slice two apples and place the slices attractively (because, you know, this is the bit that will show, NOT the pastry…) in the warmed honey over the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with a quarter of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Roll out the pastry and place on top, making sure it goes right to the sides.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool in the dish for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.

For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.

Posted in recipe | Leave a comment

‘Apiscotti’ biscuits made with bee-pollinated ingredients


I love the idea for these biscuits –  made up of ingredients almost all in existence thanks to the bees, apis mellifera. It’s a good reminder that one in every three mouthfuls we eat is bee-dependent – not just fruits and nuts, but even the butter in the recipe since bees pollinate the crops grown as cattle feed.

The recipe is another from the marvellous Honey I’m Homemade book by May Berenbaum.

60g butter

0.5 cup sugar

0.25 cup honey

3 eggs

0.5 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond extract

0.25 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups flour

0.5 cup chopped dried cranberries

0.5 cup chopped dried cherries

0.5 cup blanched sliced almonds, chopped

Cream butter and sugar together and mix in honey until smooth. Beat eggs until frothy and then add salt, almond extract, nutmeg and baking powder. Combine the creamed butter with the egg mixture. Add flour until dough is a consistency that can be handled. Refrigerate dough for an hour.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Divide chilled dough into 3 parts and flatten each third into a rectangle. Place a line lengthways down the centre of each rectangle and sprinkle with cherries, cranberries and nuts. Fold both sides of each rectangle into the centre over the filling and seal edges, making a ‘loaf’.

Place loaves on a greased baking tray and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut biscotti on a slant while hot into half inch slices. For crispier biscuits, return to oven for 5-10 minutes.

For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.

Posted in recipe | Leave a comment

Delicious Coventry tartlets


I have a new favourite honey dessert! I found this recipe in the wonderful Honey I’m Homemade recipe book (though there it is accredited to a booklet published by the American Honey Institute in 1941).

It produces 10 gorgeous creamy, sweet-but-not-t00-sweet tarts with a proper honey taste. I’ve translated the quantities into grams where necessary below –

320g cream cheese

0.5 cup honey

75g butter

2 egg yolks

0.5 teaspoon salt

0.25 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon orange juice

450g shortcrust pie (cheat and buy it, or use a recipe for honey pastry)


Combine all filling ingredients, beating to a smooth, creamy consistency.

Line tart moulds with pastry.

Prick pastry and fill with cheese filling. Bake at 230 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 160 degrees and bake for about another 15 minutes until golden brown.

For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.


Posted in recipe | 6 Comments

Green beans with honey and garlic


Now this is a surprise! I’m never usually convinced about sweet flavours with savoury – sultanas distracting me from my curry or Wensleydale ruined by putting blueberries in it. But it turns out that sauteing green beans in olive oil and then tossing in some garlic and a teaspoon of honey is a delicious and classy way to produce something Oriental-tasting with minimum effort.

Heat a tablespoonful of olive oil in a pan until it starts to smoke. Take a fistful of green beans (washed, topped and tailed), and saute them in the oil, moving the pan the whole time. You can watch the beans turn a gorgeous bright green, the startling colour of a lawn before a thunderstorm. Then throw in a couple of cloves of garlic, finely chopped, and a teaspoon of a strong honey (I used Nigerian honey). Continue to saute for a minute or so more and then you have a delicious vegetable dish.

For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.

Posted in recipe | 1 Comment

Armenian honeyed rice pudding in the slow-cooker


You may remember me mentioning my disastrous first attempt at making (burning) Armenian rice pudding for my book group. You may also remember my new craze for slow cooking. Today I decided to try my first slow-cooked Armenian rice pudding, since I am promised that this way there could be no chance of it burning.

I didn’t use my haybox, fond though I am of it – I was recently given a secondhand Cookworks slow-cooker, so the rice pudding was the first test for my new kitchen equipment.

The result? 10 points for the Armenians and 10 points for the slow-cooker. I put all the ingredients in the crockpot together and left it to click on and off unsettlingly in the corner of the kitchen. Two hours later I had a perfectly tender rice pudding. If anything, it was a little sweet (a rare criticism from me) so next time I would either reduce/ remove the sugar or/ and serve the pudding with some tart fruit like plums.


1.5 cup water

1 cup rice

4 cups milk

0.5 cup honey

0.25 cup sugar

Put all of these ingredients into the slow cooker and leave for two hours. At the end, stir in a teaspoon of vanilla and sprinkle half a teaspoon of cinnamon over the top.

For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.

Posted in recipe, slow-cooking | 1 Comment

The cranberry honey pudding and the haybox slow cooker


When I made a steamed oat honey pudding last year, one of the comments on my blog suggested that a greener approach to steaming would be heat retention cooking. So today, I confected a ‘haybox*’ (*no actual hay included) with the idea of using that rather than burning electricity for an hour for the cranberry and honey pudding I’ve loved steaming before. I’d read an account of how to make your own ‘haybox’ while I was researching for an article on green cooking (published in the English Prishtina Insight newspaper but available online in Albanian) and if the name conjures up hippies and homesteading, let me reassure you that this was made from a cardboard box lined with ripped up newspapers and a chipped pizza box, then wrapped in an old eiderdown – an urban take on the casserole classic.

Unfortunately, it would be untruthful to tell you that the pudding actually ‘cooked’ in the retained heat haybox, though it retained its heat impressively. I think I was probably too ambitious for my first round of retained heat cooking, but I’ve bonded strangely with this old box-in-a-blanket, and am thinking of all the other food I can prepare in it – rice pudding, porridge, bean stew… The websites devoted to heat retention cooking assure you that if you put the warm ingredients in before you leave for work, ‘your supper will be waiting for you when you get home’, as if it’s not just a strawbox you’re building, but a wife.

Meanwhile, here’s the recipe for a pudding that tastes good enough to be worth burning an hour of fossil fuels.

For the pudding:

2 cups dried cranberries

1.5 cups flour (I don’t mean to brag about my green credentials, but I should mention that I used half wheat flour, bought at the supermarket, and half barley flour, ground in a watermill in a village in Kosovo I visited last year :-))

1 tsp bicarb of soda

0.5 tsp baking powder

0.5 tsp salt

2/3 cup honey

1/3 cup hot water.

For the honey sauce:

0.5 cup butter

2/3 cup honey

2 tbsp flour

2 eggs, beaten slightly

0.5 cups lemon juice

225g creme fraiche

Mix dry ingredients. Mix together honey and water and stir into fruit mixture. Pour into a heatproof bowl and set the bow on a rack in about 3cm water in a large bot. Heat the water to a simmer, and cover and steam for an hour.

While the pudding is cooking, prepare sauce. Combine butter, honey, flour and eggs in a double boiler over simmering water. Heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens; do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and creme fraiche.

For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.

Posted in recipe | 3 Comments

An Irish recipe for easy honey mousse

Last year we had a blissful holiday in Ireland in a thatched cottage with a quirky DVD collection, a board game called Class War (we played it a few times and the Marxists always won) and a collection of soup-stained recipe books in the kitchen, including one called A Taste of Ireland by Theodora Fitzgibbon. I wrote down the book’s simple recipe for honey mousse and now that I’m equipped with a working electric whisk I’ve had a go at making it. It’s come out as a light and very sweet dessert – I will serve it in very small portions, and next time I’d make it with something to stop it from being cloying; perhaps with grated ginger or served with some tart peaches or plums.

The ingredients are simple – just 225g honey and 2 eggs.

Mix egg yolks with honey. Cook on a low heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold in. Leave for several hours before serving.

For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.

Posted in Ireland, recipe | 1 Comment