Call it what you will -- whipped honey, creamed honey, spun honey, granulated honey, churned honey, honey fondant or -- if you're British -- set honey. Whipped honey, by any other name, is certainly still as sweet. The treat is easy to find in any well-stocked grocery store, usable in every way that regular honey is, and simple to make on your own. If you're a fan of this velvety temptation and you aren't a purist, there's no need to stick to honey-flavored honey. Get creative, and add your own signature flavor.
Make Your Base
You don't need to start with pre-whipped honey to make a custom-flavored delight. Start with plain liquid honey and make a few adjustments to arrive at a creamy consistency. See your local beekeeper or gourmet shop to pick up crystallized honey -- a less-refined product that includes much of the native pollen -- to add to the mix. The crystallized sugars work with the air bubbles introduced by thorough whipping to "set" the honey into its unique buttery consistency. In an electric mixer, whip the crystallized honey into the liquid honey at a ratio of approximately one part crystallized to nine parts liquid. Whip thoroughly, until all of the crystals "melt" into the mix and the honey looks creamy.
Flavoring whipped honey with vanilla beans is delightfully simple. Just split a vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape the soft center into the honey, then thoroughly whip the mixture back into a creamy consistency. Flavor to your own taste, starting with approximately one bean per cup of whipped honey.
Flavor creamed honey with any dried fruit that strikes your fancy -- such as dried blueberries, goji berries or exotic lychee -- but first you'll have to make a paste. Blend a small amount of the dried fruit in a food processor, slowly adding liquid until the fruit forms a smooth paste with a thick, play-dough consistency. Maintain a low moisture content to preserve the stability of the end product. Whip the paste into the creamed honey base, keeping in mind that the more thoroughly you mix, the creamier and more "set" the honey becomes.
Flavoring with citrus requires a delicate hand -- and the help of strong-flavored citrus zest. Start by adding about a teaspoon of zest for every cup of whipped honey. From there, add your preferred citrus juice -- for example, lemon, orange of grapefruit -- in half-teaspoon to one-teaspoon quantities, whipping well with every addition. The goal is to introduce as little additional moisture as possible. Taste at each increment, stopping when the honey reaches the desired balance of flavor and texture. Flavor with liquid extracts in much the same way as with citrus juice -- in small increments, whipping thoroughly and tasting along the way.
Storing Your Signature Blend
Pour whipped honey -- flavored or not -- immediately into an airtight storage container before the pollen recrystallizes into a grainy, runny mess. Once the honey is in the airtight container, set it upside down to move any large air bubbles to the bottom of the container. After two hours, set the jar right-side up and watch the single bubble rise slowly, cleanly to the top. Store your honey in a cool room, away from direct sunlight, or until the honey has solidified -- usually, one week.
- The Fresh Honey Cookbook: 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper's Kitchen; Laurey Masterton
- Image Source/Stockbyte/Getty Images