Sep 6, 2012

Honey Do

Yes, honey actually does!
Honey contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.  It is rich in carbohydrates and makes for a healthy energy booster.   
Remember when your grandmother told you to put honey in your tea to treat your cold and sore throat?  Guess what, she knows what she is taking about!  Honey contains antimicrobial agents making it an excellent treatment for aching throats as well as an infection preventative for minor burns and scrapes.  Honey was the most used medicine in ancient Egypt. Of the more than 900 medical remedies known about for that era, more than 500 were honey based.
During the month of Tishrei, 1400 tons of honey will be consumed in Eretz Yisrael alone. This honey is produced in about 100,000 hives throughout the country. This year, due to heavy rains last winter, the production will easily keep up with demand.
Another interesting fact—honey never spoils! It can be stored at room temperature, in the heat or in the cold—it will never go bad. It may get cloudy in cold weather or refrigeration but it’s perfectly fine to use.
Honey also contains niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, so don’t leave it just for dipping your apples. Use it in one of these great recipes.

For the cake:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup orange juice
4 tablespoons canola oil
for the sauce:1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9” round or square baking dish with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder. Add juice and oil. Whisk until just combined. Pour into prepared baking dish.
In a small saucepan, heat the oil. Whisk in cornstarch until bubbly. Slowly stir in water, whisking until cornstarch is blended in. Add honey, continue whisking until mixture is warm and honey is incorporated.
Slowly pour sauce over batter. Bake 35-40 minutes until cake is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around sides of cake. Serve warm. Spoon a portion of cake and warm sauce into a bowl along with a scoop of ice cream.

This moist, subtly spiced honey cake studded with apples combines all the sweet traditions of Rosh Hashanah.
3 ½ cups flour
1 ½  teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs
1 ½ cups honey
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled
2 Granny Smith (green) apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour or spray a 10-inch tube pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
With an electric mixer beat sugar, oil and eggs until combined. Add honey and beat until well blended. Add dry ingredients alternately with coffee, beating on low until combined. Stir in chopped apples by hand.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 1 hour or until a cake tester placed in the center of the cake comes out dry. Let cool on rack 15 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan by running a knife around the inside edge of the pan. Cool. This cake can be baked in advance. The flavors will even improve.

“Spoon bread” refers to cakes that are so moist and luscious that they are best served with a spoon. This one makes a wonderful dessert for a Yom Tov meal.
For the fruit:
1 (16 ounce) package frozen  strawberries, defrosted and cut in half
3 cups sliced peaches, plums or nectarines or about 10 ounces frozen fruit
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the cake:
¾ cup flour
½  cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¾  teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place fruit in a bowl. Whisk together honey, cornstarch and cinnamon. Pour over fruit mixture and toss. Place fruit mixture into a 9-inch square cake pan. Set aside.
In large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, lemon zest and baking powder until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, juice, oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter on top of fruit.
Bake about 45 minutes or until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling.
Serve warm, with a spoon, of course!

With Rosh Hashanah just a “calendar-flip” away, you may be thinking of ways to add honey to your dishes. If you substitute honey for sugar in your favorite baked recipe here are a few tips to keep in mind:  
1-Reduce the other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used. 
2-Add a half teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey.
3-Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over browning.
4-A 12 ounce jar of honey is equal to a standard 1 cup measuring cup.

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