Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recipe: Whipped Honey

Whipped Honey... You've got to try it!

For anyone who has ever tried Whipped Honey, you understand why this form of honey is so popular.  Of course, regular liquid honey is the most commonly sold and used form of honey, but whipped honey is a fantastic way to enjoy this sweet treat.

Perfect accompaniment for breakfast or light snack.

What is Whipped Honey?
Whipped Honey is also called Creamed Honey, Spun Honey, Churned Honey, Candied Honey, Set Honey, Honey Fondant, and Spreadable Honey.  These names suggest that maybe some ingredient was added to the honey or that the honey was churned or spun.  In reality, Whipped Honey is nothing more than a type of crystallized honey.

Most of us are familiar with how honey crystallizes.  It often occurs around the lid, but honey crystallization can occur throughout the entire jar.  This is not a sign of spoiling or bad honey.  All honey can and will crystallize if old enough or cold enough.  You can reverse this by placing the jar or bottle of honey in some warm water or a sunny window.  The quality will still remain good, because honey truly never spoils unless it is contaminated.

The crystals in our old or cold honey are large crystals.  You can eat this honey.  It is crunchy.  I actually like it on a peanut butter and honey sandwich.  In contrast, the crystals in Whipped Honey are much smaller.  They are so small that they give the honey a smooth and spreadable consistency.  Also, these small crystals prevent the formation of the larger, harder, and crunchier crystals in the honey.

The Dyce Method
The first practical method of making Whipped Honey was developed in 1928 by Elton .J. Dyce, Ph. D., professor of Apiculture at Ontario Agricultural College, while he was working at Cornell University.  After finely grinding large, hard honey crystals, he added between 5-10% of the fine crystals to 90-95% regular, liquid honey.  The crystals are gently stirred into the liquid honey and allowed to rest at a temperature of 57 F (14 C).  In about a week, the "seed" crystals have converted most of the liquid honey to Whipped Honey.  The "seed" crystals don't actually "reproduce" themselves as some have suggested, but it is rather a chemical/physical reaction that spreads through the honey, and the "seed" crystals act as the impetus.

If you have the right spot, making Whipped Honey is very easy!

Making Whipped Honey at Home
We can make Whipped Honey relatively easily at home if we have a place that stays at a steady cool temperature of 55-59 F, ideally at 57 F.

  • Find a location with a steady, cool temperature.
  • Purchase a good quality Whipped Honey - this will be your "seed" or "starter".
  • Take a clean jar and fill it 90-95% with liquid honey.
  • Fill the remainder of the jar with Whipped Honey (less than 5% will produce coarse crystals, and more than 10% is not needed).
  • Stir the Whipped Honey through the liquid honey.
  • Let sit in the cool location for 1-2 weeks.

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