Monday, June 25, 2012

Honey experiments draws a unexpected crowd

We were working on a recipe for honey candy this weekend. As the honey boiled in a pot on the stove. ... they showed up.  Not one,  not two,  but a handful of curious and perhaps a little angry visitors. They slipped inside our home without notice,  not sure yet  how.  Fortunately no one was hurt, and they left peaceably.
Who were these uninvited guests?  None other than the produced of the golden honey itself.. . Bees!  Somehow they smelled the boiling honey,  slipped into our home and were searching out the source of the aroma.
Nevertheless,  the experiments went well and we produced two batches of lemon honey cough drops,  and two batches of lemon honey taffy,  one quite sour. It will take a bit more experimenting before these are ready for resale, but the results were pleasing.
One thing we learned.. . Be very careful with temperature when boiling honey to the candy stage.  The difference between 280 and 310 degrees is seconds.  At 305 honey scorches,  but you must get to 300 to produce hard candy.  Tight controls are in order, but it can be done!
Hopefully this will lead to our own line of no sugar added honey candies.  We proved to ourselves that it can be done,  now we just need to perfect the recipe. 


  1. Just curious, what are you using to boil the honey? I've no suggestions, just was thinking that it's not unlike roasting coffee where the difference between a good city+ roast and an uninteresting Vienna can be a mere 20 degrees, or 10% (roughly 420 to 440 F). Sounds like honey is even more touchy!

  2. I was using just a pan on the stove, but its a pan with a very thick heavy bottom on a gas stove with very small flame. a double broiler might have been easier but I have bad luck with those things. And yes, it is much too touchy for my liking. The difference between underdone, perfect, and burnt seems to be only a few degrees, and once it reaches near perfect it goes FAST (very little water left). So... in the end.. we decided to NOT use the boiling method. Not only is it difficult, but it destroys many of he health properties of the honey. Instead we are exploring dehydrating honey into candy. Low temp, long time. So far so good!