Infused honey is delicious. Some of you long-time readers know that I used to make and sell various herb-infused honeys both online and at local markets.
I miss making huge batches of infused honey, some days. But honestly, most of the time I am relieved that I am no longer responsible for making a product to sell. Along with managing a full time job, a partner, puppy, and kitty who are all the most snuggly awesome things in the world, a garden, and a whole mess of hobbies, I was running out of hours in my day.
Don’t let that make you think that I no longer make or enjoy infused honeys, though. My windows and cabinets are still full of sticky goodness stuffed with herbs from yard and market. Preserving herbs in honey is a fun and easy way to save a harvest bounty.
Since I am no longer selling honey, I’ve decided to share some of my specific recipes and techniques with you all. I hope you enjoy, and get to experimenting soon!
One of the most popular products that I sold as Pixie’s Pocket Honey was the Dark Cocoa Honey. When I was working the market, I had a regular customer who told me that she kept her jar of cocoa honey stashed in a drawer next to her armchair so that she could eat it by the spoonful while she watched movies in the evenings.
The Cocoa Honey was great on its own, but I decided to use my favorite local truffle as an inspiration to make a Spicy Cocoa Honey…this one never made it online, as it sold out every single week at the farm market!
Spicy Cocoa Honey
To infuse cocoa into honey, you will need to warm the honey up…not TOO hot, but warm enough for the chocolate to melt and mix well. I suggest that you use a double boiler, or any similar indirect heating method.
Ingredients & Supplies
- Double-boiler, or other indirect heating method
- 12 oz of honey (preferably raw and local – find your local beekeepers)
- A number of small, individual jars – sanitized. I save round horseradish jars, baby food jars, or 4oz canning jars for this purpose, myself.
- Cocoa Nibs (buy from Amazon)
- Cocoa Powder (buy from Amazon)
- Bar of Dark Chocolate (At least 70% dark chocolate, and get the best quality you can stand to afford. Totally worth it! )
- Ground cinnamon (1/4 tsp)
- Ground ginger (1/8 tsp)
- Ground cayenne (just a few dashes)
- Stirring device. I prefer chopsticks to spoons, as they “take out” less honey and also feels like a wand. Win/win.
First, bring the double boiler to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and add the honey to the top pot. Allow it to warm, stirring gently every now and again.
While that is warming, wash and sanitize your jars by letting them soak in boiling water. Remove, dry, and set aside to let them cool off.
Add two tablespoons of dark cocoa powder, a bit at a time. Stirring with something thin like a chopstick helps to reduce throwing the cocoa in the air and getting it everywhere.
Grate or finely chop two squares of your dark chocolate bar.
Add the chocolate to the warm honey and stir.
Add the ground cinnamon, ginger and a dash or two of cayenne. Stir it well.
Taste! You have to cool a bit first, as you can’t get the full range of flavors while it is warm. Cool off a taste by drizzling some warm honey onto a glass plate. Let it sit a moment, and then give it a try!
Adjust the flavor as you prefer. Want more chocolate? Add some! Want more spice? Go for it!
If your jars are cool and dry, throw some cocoa nibs in the bottom. I use enough to cover the bottom of any jar, about a tablespoon for a 4oz jar, for example.
Transfer your honey into something easy to pour from. I use a pyrex measuring cup. Pour the warm honey over the cocoa nibs, cap the jar and set aside. That’s it!
That’s it! Allow the honey to cool completely before opening and using it.
As far as storing it goes – I’ve never had a jar go bad…but then again, I’ve never had a jar sit idle for longer than 6 months, tops.
Eat by the spoonful, or drizzle on ice cream. Frost a cake with it. Add to tea or hot milk for a quick cocoa. Add to cocoa or coffee if you are a serious chocolate addict!