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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
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    Default Honey Recipes.... Chefs Opinion on it all

    Two months ago, I was hired to consult for a honey packing company along with 3 other chefs. The job was simple... come up with marketable recipes that use honey. Simple it was, yes and the pay was nice as well. Couldnt say no to it.

    However, I have seen two ships passing in the night so to say. See, a lot of people want recipes that really glorify the honey... the taste and flavor that is. However, to be honest, it is somewhat very diffacult to do that. Honey is a sweetner at the very basic with notes of whatever varietal it is however... it is the varietal tastes that get lost when using it in cooking and baking.

    It is like using a very expensive extra virgin olive oil or a very aged balsamic vinegar. These are best used at the end of the dishes. If they are used in the process of cooking and baking, the true flavor of those items are lost.

    At the very basic, it is BEST for the person who wants to cook and bake with honey NOT to look for the notes and charactorists of the honey to pull through. However, the first and farmost thing is to look to reduce or elimante any of the white sugar that is in recipes.

    There are exceptions, yes. But in the last two months, we have cooked near 1200 recipes and as chefs, have concluded this thought together.

    There are simple preperations, like salad dressings, that are exceptions to this. However, more complex things like Honey Almond Creme Brule, even using the strongest honey, it is still lost in the process of baking.

    I hope this helps people. I am not here to argue at all but to shed some light on this as I do think people, customers and beekeepers, have this notion that if they cook and/or bake with honey that there item should have a pronounced honey taste and flavor to it.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Chef Isaac; 12-28-2008 at 05:34 PM.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
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    2,496

    Default

    I think you are right about this Chef. A Swiss baker that I am friends with stated that he would take all the second grade honey I have because in making his pastries there is no difference in taste when using the second grade and "the good stuff." BTW he makes fantastic pastries.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Inver Grove, MN
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    Default

    I agree. I'm not a professional chef, but I do a lot of baking.

    I use honey in my baking:

    1. because I'm a beekeeper and that's what beekeepers do.
    2. because I believe my baked goods brown better and nicer with honey.
    3. because honey is the only really environmentally friendly sweetener
    4. because I always have quite a bit of somewhat darkened melter honey to get rid of and that stuff works great for baking.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Default

    i would also add that it does give baked good a deep more complex flavor but it can not be singled out in such taste tasts.

    I would also add that, when you use honey, honey will extend the shelf life of goods sweetened with it.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
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    2,310

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Isaac View Post
    i would also add that it does give baked good a deep more complex flavor but it can not be singled out in such taste tasts.

    I would also add that, when you use honey, honey will extend the shelf life of goods sweetened with it.
    The thing that bothers me when I see recipes that use honey is that they usually have a small percent of honey. It seems to me that as beekeepers we should focus on recipes that would really utilize a lot of honey. I understand that in a commercial setting a tablespoon of honey times millions uses a lot of honey. But recipes handed out at farmers markets should include things like honey mustard dressings and similar items that get used frequently and contain a lot of honey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
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    Default

    your right but there is a max on hits with recipes containing a lot of honey... enough to make it a real note in the flavor and taste. I think what is best, from the cooks standpoint is to maxamize the honey and minimize the white sugar content.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

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