Celebrating bees and using local honey products to create delicious treats
This month we have been working towards our bee badge (see previous blog post on Pawprint Family). I have recently added window boxes to my kitchen window and we have planted these with bee friendly wild flowers, and a couple of wet weekends ago we made some lip balm using beeswax pellets. For this recipe visit this blog post.
This week we decided to make a tasty treat for Nanny's birthday, a Devonshire Honey Cake. I bought some honey from our local farm shop that stocks Becky's Beezzz honey. When I can I like to shop local to help support artisan producers as more often than not the quality of the produce is superior, and after recent headlines about food standards, this is my stand against this.
Local honey also is said to be great for allergies, as it takes some of the pollen from the local region and gives you a small dose in the honey, and in doing so acts like a vaccination to the pollen that may be irritating you - fascinating! Honey at Becky's Beezzz is raw honey, which means it is not pasteurised and comes straight from the hive.
However reading more about Becky's Beezzz they also run bee experience days (sadly not this year due to Covid) I have made a note for next year as I think doing something like that for the day would be very cool. They also sell bee keeping equipment and live bees, mated queens and all the knowledge you need to set yourself up as a beekeeper in your garden if you wanted! Then my google journey took me one step further as I wasn't sure the experience days above would be child friendly. Then I found Quince Honey Farm in Devon that runs mini beekeeper days, they can also roll their own candles and have close up critter encounters. This looks great, so I can definitely see a van trip coming up with a view to doing this at some point in the future (when we can).
So using our local honey from Becky's Beezzz we made a Devonshire Honey Cake for Nanny's Birthday
250g clear honey plus extra to glaze
225g unsalted butter
100g dark muscavado sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
300g self-raising flour
Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees celsius. Butter and line a 20cm round loose-bottomed tin. Cut the butter into pieces and add to a pan with the honey and sugar. Melt slowly over a low heat. When the mixture looks quite liquid, increase the heat under the pan and boil for about one minute. Leave to cool for 30 minutes, to prevent the eggs cooking when they are mixed in.
Stir in the beaten eggs into the melted honey mixture using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour in the egg and honey mixture, beating until you have a smooth, quite runny batter.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour until the cake is well-risen, golden brown and springs back when pressed, or check with a skewer and if it comes out clean then the cake is done.
Turn the cake out on a wire rack. Warm 2 tbsp honey in a small pan and brush over the top of the cake to give a sticky glaze, then leave to cool. Keeps for 4-5 days wrapped, in an airtight tin.
If you want to look more seriously into beekeeping or quite fancy and experience day visit Becky's Beezzz.
If you want a great day out planned with the children in Devon visit Quince Honey Farm.