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Posts Tagged ‘honey’

Fruit Vinegar

Pear Vinegar (infused with chamomile) and Concord grape vinegar (infused with lemon thyme) 

When people think of vinegar, salad dressings and pickles usually spring to mind. Rarely does one think of fruit. But after staring wistfully at the couple hundred apple cores left from Thanksgiving pies, I researched fruit vinegars to use these fruit scraps that would otherwise be resigned to the trash heap. There are many ways to make vinegar but the simplest method is to ferment sugar into alcohol which is then oxidized into vinegar. Fruit, ripe with sugar, quickly ferments into alcohol so exposing it to air often spontaneously results in vinegar, much like wine that was forgotten about for decades or more. And like wine, fruit vinegars can preserve the aroma and flavor of fruit well past their harvest months. Peach, cherry, pear, raspberry, Concord grape, apple…any fruit is fair game for making vinegar.

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Amaranth Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream and Cardamom-Carrot Puree

Amaranth Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream and Cardamom-Carrot Puree

A perfect spring afternoon is a slice of carrot cake and a double cappuccino. In its current sugary, cream cheese-laden incarnation, the healthiest thing about carrot cake is its name. In fact, it would be more accurate to call it “Sweet cream cheese and spiced carrot-pecan layer cake”. Honestly, the cake seems like an afterthought as there’s usually more icing than cake. I wanted to create a carrot cake recipe that tasted like fresh carrots. No walnuts, no pecans, no pineapple, no raisins, no coconut. Just carrots.

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Honey Mead

One of the earliest fermented beverages, and one that even predates beer, is honey wine (mead).  In its most basic form,  mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey and water.

 

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Bees make many kinds of honey that vary by color, aroma, and texture.  The variation comes from the kind of nectar the bees harvested to make the honey.

Bees make many kinds of honey that vary by color, aroma, and texture. The variation comes from the kind of nectar the bees harvested to make the honey.

Cloyingly sweet and nondescript, honey was just another ingredient for desserts and ice creams. At least, this was true until I finally got around to opening the jar of lavender honey that I bought in France a few years earlier.

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