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I'm always trying new things. Some "flop" and some are really successful. to date I only pan - an enrober is on my "wish list".

I'd like to experiment to see if I can incorporate honey into chocolate. I mean, actually combine these two really popular natural products.

Of course honey contains water which make chocolate seize. So I have not even tried that. Best I can source at the moment is 15% water content - that might be low enough for me to experiment. Any comments? Am thinking it is too high and would be sticky and would not polish.

I have tried some "dried honey" but so far it's not been wonderful as there are around 70% honey solids and 30% glucose. This makes it grainy and has a poor "mouth feel" when incororated into the chocolate itself. It IS "real honey" from bees - not from a plant.

Has anyone tried combining chocolate and honey in this way?

Thanks

Colin

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Tags: honey, panning

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Comment by Colin Green on March 10, 2013 at 10:28pm

Thought that it could be helpful to report back on the honey project now that there is some time on the project.
I panned some dark and also some milk chocolate ginger and added liquid honey to the chocolate.
The dark was not really very "honey flavoured" so I increased for the milk - and it DOES taste of honey. Rather nice if a bit sweet for some palates.
Now with some four weeks or so packed in bags and offering in various markets I am finding that the honey seems to make the seal (shellac) bond and it binds between the pieces and rips off making "scuff marks" which look unsightly.
The whole bag goes quite solid with this binding and although it's easy enough to loosen them up you DO get the damage.
People seem to like the idea of "honey chocolate" as a point of differentiation and it sells quite well. Although there is an awful lot of "chocolate coated ginger" out there which depresses pricing somewhat.
Colin :-)

Comment by Colin Green on February 22, 2013 at 4:19pm

That is a REALLY interesting link Adriana! As you say it's not exactly making your own chocolate from scratch - but it is well on the way and a wonderful use of honey! Will be really interested to know how you go when you DO make that final step and roast your own cacao beans too.

Colin :-)

Comment by dri on February 22, 2013 at 2:10pm

I am not sure if you guys would consider this making chocolate from scratch, but I have been successful in making an 84% dark chocolate using honey as sweetener, cacao powder, cocoa butter and vanilla extract. The chocolate came out with a snappy consistency. I tempered the chocolate also and let it harden at room temperature. Here is the exact ration I used:

http://livinghealthywithchocolate.com/desserts/how-to-make-84-dark-...

Comment by Colin Green on February 19, 2013 at 7:14pm

Mark,

If you are contemplating importing honey into the USA do check your quarantine and importing regulations.

I was a bee keeper in New Zealand for some years and honey could NOT be imported - or at least, not without special expensive treatment. This is because honey can transmit various diseases between countries such as foul brood. 

I have NO idea as to the regulations bewteen Australia and the USA.

Can't help but feel that you'd have everything in the USA that you'd need to experiment and produce...

Good luck!

Colin :-)

Comment by Colin Green on February 19, 2013 at 6:39pm

Hi Mark,

I believe it came from Super Bee in Australia Their web site is http://www.superbee.com.au/

I take no offense to your explaining where New Mexico is - or that it exists! I am however pleased to tell you that I did know of it and that Santa Fe was in NM. I believe the captical is Albaquerque? Although that is probably it how it is spelt! I have traveled the USA extensively. We have the same problem with geography here in Australia.

Small typo in my last post. Honey has about 15-18% water. It can be rather higher though as it is hygroscopic (absorbs water - as does chocolate of course).

All the best

Colin :-)

Comment by Mark J Sciscenti on February 19, 2013 at 4:59pm

Hi Colin, Thanks. I was asking about the dried honey that you have used - what is the manufacturer of that.

I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico (the state right next door to the right of Arizona and to the left of Texas - don't take offense, no joke, quite a lot of people, at least here in the US, have no clue that there is a state in the US called 'New Mexico'). So, here in Northern NM there are a lot of local honey producers that make some outrageous honey as well. I will be using a local source as I try to have at least some of my ingredients from local farmers. Thanks for the tips on creamed and liquid honey.

Linda, as to the cocoa butter, whose are you using? And thank you for your experimentation and letting us know that honey can be used in tempered chocolate.

Comment by Colin Green on February 17, 2013 at 8:55pm

Hi Linda and Mark,

Linda, sorry for my slow response. I get totally SQUASHED here at times! :-)

I use Sicao milk chocolate - I don't try to make it myself. I am in awe of people that do that sort of thing but I need to get product made up and sold as soon as possible. So I buy it in, melt & temper and get it bagged and sold. Sicao is actually made in Singapore and is owned by Barry Callebaut so quality is very high.

I started this business in some desparation after there was a LOT less demand for my training services (I train people in the art of Exhibition Marketing - website is at http://www.bestofshow.com for anyone interested). So I am a product of the GFC. And it's working out OK.

Like you, I like to experiment and do a bit of R&D although I am VERY focussed on making it pay. I knew nothing of chocolate not so long ago and it's probably that that encouarges me to do stuff that any sane person would KNOW is impossible. Like panning chocolate covered coffee beans and adding real cranberries or cherries or Australian bush Peach (quandong) into the chocolate. These are on my new website http://www.captainchocolate.com.au  in case anyone is tempted to see what a shunned Expo Trainer dreams about! :-)  The Chocolate Life is simply wonderful for this!

I would LOVE to catch up if I get back to your beautiful Arizona! I used to subscribe to "Arizona Highways" after I visited and became enchanted with your home state. If you get "down under" to Sydney DO contact me and came and say "Hi!".

Mark - I can answer some of your questions. Creamed honey is simply liquid honey that has been seeded so that crystals form. You will get very coarse crystals if you simply leave liquid honey for a few weeks/months. But you can attain nice fine crystals by adding in nice finely crystalized honey to your liquid honey. So, bottom line, it's basically tha same thing and liquid is easier to use.

I am in Australia so I use local product. But you can do the same no matter where you are. Dried honey has additives to make it stay powder and this makes it grainy and has a bad mouth feel. Check up Wikipedia - it's GREAT! I got some in and could not make it work and after a long caht with the manufacturer found that no-one here is using it (that they know of).

Clay made the rather radical comment that larger amounts of water won't make chocolate seize - which really surprised me. Only small amounts do. Honey is 15-15% water so I tried it out and it worked a treat!  I HAVE used Mycryo (Barry Callebaut's dried cocoa butter) to thin the chocolate but wonder if I need to - more experimenting coming...

I used local "Yellow Box" honey but you could use anything you have. I got mine from the supermarket as I saw no reason to get complicated. It really IS quite good. I used a fair amount in my second batch as the chocolate rather overpowers the honey.

Take some care with your honey selection. My wife is a teacher and is VERY aware of allergens. One of our honeys - Manuka - causes allergies in some people. Ask around in case some of yours do the same. Check Google.  Maybe even get a doctor's appointment and pay your doctor for the information and/or ask teachers if you know any.

Hope this is helpful :-)

Colin

Comment by Mark J Sciscenti on February 15, 2013 at 9:47am

Hi Colin, Hi everyone - This is a great post on how to use honey in chocolate. I've been under the assumption that you can't use it with tempered chocolate as well. This post has changed my mind - which is a GREAT thing as I am about to embark on my idea of making my historic drinking chocolates in a bar form. My Mesoamerican drinking chocolates cannot be sweetened with anything other then honey or agave (has anyone tried agave). These drinks have a lot of spices and some with ground nuts so I would hazard a guess and say that these additional ingredients would take up the water content in the honey.

How about using creamed honey?

Colin, what brand was your "dried honey?" or where did you get that? I am also looking at using a dried honey but have has a hell of a time finding a good source (Clay remembers my question on that).

Linda, your idea of adding cocoa butter to the mix to help the viscosity. BTW - what is Mycryo? Have not heard of that company - any suggestions as to a good quality cocoa butter at a decent price, and preferably "organic?"

Dang, this makes me quite happy!

Thanks for this! - Mark

Comment by Linda Crawford on February 7, 2013 at 8:50am

Awesome so glad it worked for you.  Glad you reported back on your experiment. Now back at you with a question.  How are you making your milk chocolate?  My mother loves milk chocolate and caramel and mother's day will be upon us soon.  Oh, also, if we every get to your neck of the world we would be more than happy to drop by and see what you have going on.  The invitation is also extended to you and yours as well..if ever in our area of southern Arizona you are more than welcome to drop on by.

Comment by Colin Green on February 6, 2013 at 10:18pm

Just reporting back as to how this worked out...

I have now made two batches of chocolate coated ginger with honey. One dark (70%) and the other milk (36%).

Linda and Clay's advice was spot on! Although there is water in the honey adding a decent dollop does not seize it! I am still experimenting to get the right amount but you can certainly pop a good amount in without anything seemingly going wrong.

The dark has come out beatifully tempered and has polished very well indeed. The milk seems to be excellent too but I am letting it settle before polishing later today.

Thanks so very much for your help guys!

Colin :-)

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