One of nature’s amazing gifts to us, honey, is an excellent sugar for confectionery purposes. Honey is a natural invert sugar, has antibiotic properties, and has been revered for millennia for its flavour and health benefits – archaeological studies show that it has been harvested for at least 8000 years!
Honey is made by bees, who harvest pollen and regurgitate it to store it as a food source in their hives. Humans revere it for its complex flavours, which come from varying levels of fructose and glucose, as well as organic acids compounds. It also exhibits the terroir of the place where it is produced, based on the plants from which the bees harvested pollen to make the honey.
This terroir can result in floral or fruity flavours, and it is best to taste your honey (just as your would taste your chocolate), paying attention to its flavour notes to discern how best to pair it. Honey pairs amazingly well with stone fruits and herbal or floral flavours. My favourite pairings for honey are plums, figs, and peaches. That said, honey is entirely worth celebrating solo!
This Honey Sesame Croquant recipe keeps it simple and can be used as a component in a bar or bonbon, or served on its own.
Honey Sesame Croquant
15ml lemon juice
200g sesame seeds
Cook sugar, honey, water and lemon juice on medium high to 310°F (155°C), which will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir at the beginning just to combine, then leave the mixture to boil. Be sure to brush crystals from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent premature crystallization.
Once you have reached temperature, stir in the seeds then pour and spread to cool on a silicone mat or parchment. While hot, score the croquant into squares, and break apart once the croquant has cooled.
This recipe is extremely easy to change for endless variations: just add a pinch of Chinese Five spice or cinnamon to add some kick, or switch out the sesame for other nuts or seeds.
How do you use honey in your chocolate or confection recipes? Tell us in the comments section!
Photo credit: Amgad Fahmi