More and more people are pushing aside the container of sugar in their pantry in favour of honey. This trend is being driven by people wanting to consume a healthier diet as well as, of course, taste! Honey not only adds a natural, earthy sweetness to baked goods, it is also better for you than sugar. The coolest part about baking with honey is that each varietal has its own personality and flavour which means that it can be used to elevate your end product to masterchef status.
Banksia is a rich and gutsy dark honey with a delicious smoky citrus taste; Wandoo (or white gum) has a silky smooth texture with soft toffee-apple and candyfloss undertones; and Blackbutt is a strong flavoured, dark coloured honey with a thick syrup-like consistency – almost molasses-like. If you do not want the honey to be focal in your recipe or overshadow other flavours and or elements, we recommend using an Australian multi floral honey.
When it comes to swapping in honey for sugar in a recipe, it’s not simply an even trade. By following these simple tips your will be baking delicious goods with honey in no time. Below are Honey Wholesale’s 4 golden rules for successfully substituting honey for sugar in your next bake.
- Substitute about ½ cup honey for 2⁄3 cup white sugar (the stronger the flavour, the less honey you will need).
- Reduce the amount of liquid called for in the recipe by ¼ cup for every 1 cup sugar replaced.
- For every ½ cup honey you use, add 1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda along with the other dry ingredients (unless the recipe already calls for baking soda, then there’s no need to add more).
- Reduce the oven temperature by by 5°C to avoid over baking.
1. Use less honey than sugar – make it better for you.
“You definitely want to reduce the overall amount of sweetener when swapping white sugar for honey, as honey can be two or even three times as sweet depending on the honey,” says Shauna Sever, author of Real Sweet: More Than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Make with Natural Sugar. We encourage you to use your best judgement depending on the flavour and general sweetness of the honey that you are using. The general rule is based on using an Australian multi floral honey and is as follows:
The Rule: For every 1 cup of sugar, substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup honey.
2. Reduce the liquids – honey is 20% water.
Honey is made up of about 20 percent water, which means you’ll also want to reduce the total amount of liquids in the recipe to counter the extra liquid from the honey. When converting a recipe developed with white sugar it can take a couple of goes to get the consistency perfect. We have generally found that reducing the liquid by a quarter to a third has the best result.
The Rule: For every 1 cup of honey you’re using, subtract 1/4 cup of other liquids from the recipe.
3. Add baking soda – counter the acidity.
If the recipe doesn’t already call for it, you’ll need to add a little baking soda. Why is this you ask? It is because honey is naturally acidic, and baking soda helps balance that acidity to allow the baked good to rise properly. If your recipe already has baking soda, you will probably not need to add any extra on what the recipe originally calls for.
The Rule: Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for every 1 cup honey used.
4. Lower oven temperature – avoid over baking.
Honey has a higher sugar content than granulated white sugar. This higher sugar content means it caramelizes and therefore burns faster than granulated sugar. To ensure that whatever you’re baking doesn’t brown too quickly, lower the heat and keep a watchful eye. We recommend you check on your baked delights early and often when first substituting to avoid burning or over baking.
The Rule: Reduce the temperature of the oven by 5°C.
All health content on honeywholesale.com.au is provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider.