Sweet as Honey

People talk about natural foods, sweetener alternatives and health foods. In National Honey month, it’s prime time to discuss one of my favourite flavourings.

Honey Ice Cream
500ml milk
120g honey
pinch salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
500ml cream
1 tbsp vanilla essence

  • In a saucepan heat the milk but do not boil.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, the honey and the salt and mix to break up the eggs.
  • Pour the hot milk over the egg mix,whisking so the eggs don’t cook.
  •  Place everything back into the saucepan and cook over a gentle medium heat for 5-8 minutes stirring continuously so as not to cook the eggs but to thicken the mixture.
  •  Remove before it can simmer, which would make the mix split, and cool in a water  bath.
  • When cold, stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Refrigerate for one hour before transferring the mixture to the freezer. Stir rapidly every 25 minutes until it thickens, or use an ice-cream machine and follow directions of manufacturer.

Honey Apple Cake
70g unsalted butter
80g brown sugar
2 eggs
60g honey
1 tsp lemon zested
180g plain (all-purpose)flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice
60g cold water
2 apples, fresh, peeled, cored and chopped into cubes
40g walnuts, chopped

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in honey and lemon zest. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt and add to the butter mixture alternately with water.
    Do not over mix.
  • Stir in apples and walnuts.
  • Bake in a greased and floured round cake tin, at 165 degrees Celsius for one hour, or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cake pan and arranging the honey apple glaze on top of the cake before serving.

Honey Apple Glaze
60g honey
2 tbsps orange juice
2 tbsps lemon juice
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced  thinly

  • Heat honey together with orange and lemon juice in a shallow saucepan.
  • Core and slice the apples and add to honey.
  • Cook until tender and glazed but not soggy.
  • Allow to cool slightly.
  • Arrange attractively on top of the cake and pour remaining sauce from the apples over the top of the cake also before serving.

Grilled Honey Citrus Chicken
4  chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
60g  honey
30g lemon juice, freshly squeezed
30g orange juice freshly squeezed
2 tsps vegetable oil
1 tsp rosemary fresh, crushed
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 tsp fresh orange zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

  • Into a mixing bowl combine the honey, lemon juice, orange juice, lemon and orange zests, oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix well.  Add the chicken breasts honey-lemon mixture and allow
  • In a hot fry pan cook the chicken breasts at a medium heat so as to cook them slowly, and for a longer period of time; too hot and the heat will result in burning the marinade and under cooking the chicken.
  • Remaining marinade can be brushed over  the chicken as it cooks. l Ensure that the breasts are cooked by either cutting one open or ensuring that the juices from within run clear. Breasts should take about 5-7 minutes each side to cook.
  • Brush the hot chicken with a little fresh honey, a slice of lemon and serve with a fresh salad.

Roast Lamb with Honey Chutney Glaze
1 leg of lamb (1-1½ kg.)
690g honey
60g mixed dried fruits
3 limes to create both juice and zest
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped very fine
1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped finely
pinch cumin powder
pinch salt and pepper
40g honey for final glaze

  • Clean the lamb leg and place it into a baking tray. l Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  • Lightly salt the outside of the lamb leg and then place in the oven and roast for thirty minutes before reducing the temperature to 170 degrees.
  • In small saucepan, combine the honey, lime juice and zest, mixed dried fruits, crushed ginger, rosemary, cumin and salt and pepper.
  • Heat the mixture and cook slowly over a gentle heat until simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • When lamb temperature is reduced to 170 degrees cook for a further 40 minutes before applying the chutney glaze to the outside of the lamb. Brush the glaze onto the skin of the lamb and keep re-applying it and juices from the pan every 10 minutes until the lamb leg is cooked.
  • When cooked allow the lamb leg to rest 10-15 minutes. Glaze one final time with some fresh warmed honey and serve with fresh rosemary sprigs.

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In the Name of Love

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