Almond, honey & yoghurt cake

Almond, honey & yoghurt cake

22-11-2021Marc Fosh

This week I visited the annual “Feria de la Miel de Llubí”; a festival celebrating everything about honey with a wide variety of stalls selling locally produced honey and food and cosmetic products made from honey. You’ll also find advice and every piece of equipment needed to start keeping your own bees.

Honey is as old as history is itself. Humans have eaten it, bathed in it, fixed their wounds with it and traded with it since history was recorded. Bees are the main pollinators in most ecosystems and play a crucial, if often overlooked, role in the food chain. Unfortunately, bee numbers are falling rapidly due to habitat loss, climate change, invasive species and pesticide use and honey production in Spain has been slowly decreasing over the few years.

Honey comes in many forms: runny, set, wild, farmed, raw, processed. It can be filtered simply to remove bits of wax and the odd bee leg so the end product is flawlessly clear. Monofloral types, from hives that pollinate a particular sort of plant, such as acacia, manuka and sage, can command high prices. Clear honey is often easier to use for cooking because it’s easier to pour although it has a tendency to crystallise over time; just put the jar in a jug of hot water for a minute or so and it will return to its clear and liquid state. Crystallisation does not affect the honey’s quality.

It’s easy to see why as honey can liven up so many dishes. You can use it as a sweetener to replace sugar in desserts, drinks and baking and it has a particular affinity with milk products such as yoghurt and cheese. In savoury dishes, use honey as a delicious glaze for roast pork and root vegetables or stir a little into vinaigrette for a delicious salad dressing.

Here in Mallorca, honey is traditionally served with local Sobrasada on toast. I adore honey with mustard. I think it’s one of those great, classic combinations and it is perfect for rabbit or chicken with the addition of fresh thyme, rosemary or tarragon. I also love to make this simple almond, honey and yoghurt cake. It’s a perfect dessert with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Almond, honey & Yoghurt cake

  • 80g ground almonds
  • 180g plain flour
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 180g sugar
  • 120g natural yoghurt
  • 3 organic or free-range eggs
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt

1 Heat the oven to 160C fan/gas mark 4. Line a 22cm cake tin with baking parchment.

2 Beat the yoghurt and sugar in a large bowl and beat in one egg at a time.

3 Pour in the olive oil, honey, and orange juice, zest and mix well.

4 Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, add the ground almonds and a pinch of salt, and then gently mix everything together.

5 Pour into the prepared tin. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

banana, honey and ginger smoothie

Banana, honey and Ginger smoothie

Serves 2

  • 2 bananas
  • 1tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1tbsp clear honey
  • 400ml natural greek yoghurt
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lime

1 In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Miel Rabbit with mustard & honey

Rabbit with mustard & honey

Serves 4

  • 2 whole rabbits cut into large pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g piece pancetta or bacon, cut into large cubes
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 1 generous tsp honey
  • 200ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 2tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Gently fry the bacon until lightly browned.

2 Add the rabbit pieces, the onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and thyme.

3 Cover with the white wine and chicken stock and bring slowly to a simmer.

4 Cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 30 minutes.

5 Remove the lid and add the mustard, cream and honey and boil for a few minutes until thick and glossy.

6 Add the chopped tarragon, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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