Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday's Twist: Whipped Honey and Lemon-Rosemary Honey

Tuesday's Twist:  A basic recipe with a fun twist.  In other words, just another excuse for me to play around with weird recipes I've been dying to try.

I performed an operation yesterday with my dad.  It turns out my vintage mixer isn't quite as spry as it appeared to be two months ago.  I think it has arthritis.  Instead of its effortless whir, the gears and joints started to sound like nails on a chalk board.  I suppose it was to be expected seeing as she was built between 1944 and 1953.  Invasive surgery was our only option.

We prodded and pried then whacked and wiggled.  Much to my horror I have now seen her greasy, grimy guts.  And let me tell you, there's a lot of grease.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but certainly not a good 1/4 cupful of ancient grease with far too much resemblance in both color and consistency to earwax.  But hey, it was better than blood.  At first I thought it was old Crisco and was ready to wipe out every last glob.  Thankfully my dad reminded me that grease keeps the gears working.  It was intentionally placed lubrication, not rancid Crisco or cookie dough. We (ummm, he) spread the grease back around and we eventually got everything sealed back up.   I'm happy to report our patient is back to moving with soundless ease.  With no complaints of pain or grinding joints she even felt up for a little something new, whipped honey.

Deep, golden honey quickly transforms to a creamy opaque state.  I've never tried store-bought whipped honey, but I've read it's thick like butter.  I did a little research and found there is quite a bit of science to real whipped honey.  True creamed honey is spreadable rather than drippy as a result of careful attention to crystal size (this article provides a nice explanation.)

I was just playing around so this isn't a true creamed honey. Since I was working with a newly recovering patient, I stopped whipping after 5-10 minutes.  I'm not sure if regular honey would get thicker with a longer whipping time.  I also decided to play with some flavors and whipped up a lemon-rosemary batch.  Honestly  it didn't have as much flavor as I was hoping for.  Fresh rosemary would be much better, but I didn't have enough honey left to try again.  Though our patient sounded fine, she felt a tad warm to the touch from all the whipping and I was worried I'd pushed her too far.  Let me know what happens if your younger, healthier mixer decides to whip up its own variation.

Whipped Honey

1/3 cup honey

Beat honey with an electric mixer on high sped until opaque and creamy, about 5-10 minutes.  Add desired spices or see below for variations using herbs.

Lemon-Rosemary Whipped Honey
This is just an example of what I did.  Use these measurements as rough guidelines for inspiration and go from there. Next time I'd use fresh rosemary and more of it. Experiment with other flavors such as thyme, ginger, black pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, lavender, orange, lime, jalapeno, mint or basil.  

1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt

In a small saucepan or skillet bring honey, rosemary and lemon juice just to as simmer.  Turn off heat and let stand for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.  Transfer to a bowl and whip on high speed with an electric mixer until opaque and creamy, about 5-10 minutes.

Food for Thought: " 'Well,' said Pooh, 'what I like best,' and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called." -A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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