When you are measuring honey or molasses or any sticky substance, lightly oil the measuring cup or spoon with unflavoured oil (sunflower or groundnut oil are perfect) or butter to make it easier to pour out.
+ Honey tips
– Buy single origin honey from one supplier, rather than a blend of honey – if you check the label on the jar and it says that the honey is sourced from more than one supplier in the European Union, then it is a blend of honey from different countries so there is no way to check its quality.
– You’ll also find that a honey that comes from bees who visit many different flowers is less expensive that a single-varietal honey. For a single variety of honey, where the bees only pollinate one type of flower, try the Polish or Moldovan shops (they tend to offer better value than buying this type of honey in a deli). They usually have a shelf of honey harvested by bees who collect nectar from a single source, for example from lavender or buckwheat flowers which have a distinctive flavour. Lavender honey goes well with salty cheese like feta or Percorino or any soft cream cheese (it’s delicious with Brillat-Savarin). Buckwheat honey suits a mild nutty cheese such as Comté, Gruyère or Emmenthal.
– If you want the health benefits you get from natural unblended honey, try buying a jar from an Irish honey producer and you’ll find there’s a good reason that it costs a little more and tastes so much better.
+ Molasses tips
– Use good quality molasses when baking: dark molasses which is slightly bitter works well in gingerbread and dark cakes while the lighter molasses (it is the best quality) is good for lighter coloured pound cakes and sauces.
– Blackstrap molasses which is dark, thick and bitter is cheaper and of poorer quality. Avoid it unless you can’t find better quality molasses.
See how honey is made: