Tag Archives: Honey

Perfect Christmas snacks

Taking a break from wrapping gifts and enjoy these scrumptious festive treats


Goat’s Cheese, Honey & Walnut Toastie

Goat’s Cheese, Honey & Walnut Toastie

This may be just a toastie but it tastes SO good – warm creamy goat’s cheese, sweet honey and crunchy walnuts. What’s not to like?

It’s just one of many delicious triple-tested recipes in the 2019 Dairy Diary.




Christmas Flapjacks

Christmas Flapjack

With pecan nuts, ginger and cherries, these flapjacks are really special. Pop in a tin, wrap in ribbon and give as a gift.

This recipe is taken from Dairy Diary Favouritescookbook.





Bramley Apple Week | Recipe: Spiced Apple Cake

Spiced apple cake recipe


Bramley Apple Week

The Most Requested Dairy Diary Apple Recipe

Ever since childhood, when summer seemed sunnier, the grass seemed greener and those apples plucked from the boughs of my Grandad’s tree tasted like the most delicious fruit in the world, I’ve loved apples.

Needless to say, I don’t need much encouragement to eat or cook with them. And as it’s Bramley Apple Week this week I am using it as an excuse to bake a recipe that’s been requested on numerous occasions by customers who have lost the original.

Printed decades ago in a very eighties Dairy Diary, the original photograph of this apple cake doesn’t really make you want to dash in the kitchen and don your apron. However, after so many requests, it must be a good ‘un, so I’m going to give it a go.

Recipe: Spiced Apple Cake

Spiced apple cake recipeServes 12
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

Self-raising flour 350g (12oz)
Mixed spice 2 tsp
Butter 175g (6oz)
Soft brown sugar 175g (6oz)
Raisins 225g (8oz)
Egg 1, beaten
Milk 200ml (7fl oz)
Bramley apples 2, peeled and sliced
Demerara sugar 25g (1oz)
Clear honey to glaze


Spiced apple cake recipe


1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Lightly grease and line a 20.5cm (8in) diameter deep cake tin.

2 Sift the flour and spice into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the soft brown sugar and raisins, than add the beaten egg and milk and mix to a soft consistency.

Spiced apple cake recipe3 Spoon half the mixture into the tin, cover with half the apples and then top with the remaining mixture. Decorate with the rest of the apple slices and sprinkle with demerara.

4 Bake for 1¾ hours (cover with foil if the apples are browning too much) until browned and firm to touch.

5 Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove lining paper and glaze with warmed honey.


Spiced apple cake recipe






10 ways to help honeybees

10 ways to help honeybees

This week is National Honey Week. And what a wonderful thing honey is.

Sweet and sticky and delicious; evocative of childhood days spent reading Winnie the Pooh!

It’s so comforting, spread onto freshly made buttered toast. Mmmm.

We have all heard in the media that honeybees are under threat. According to Dr I Davis, President of the Beekeepers’ Association (reported in the Guardian) there are ways we can help:

10 ways to help honeybees

1. Become a beekeeper
Beekeeping is a most enjoyable, fascinating and interesting hobby – and you get to eat your own honey too. Every year local beekeeping associations run courses to help new people to take up beekeeping and even help them find the equipment they need and a colony of bees. Training programmes continue to allow enthusiasts to become Master Beekeepers. For information on courses visit the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) website

2. Help to protect swarms
Swarming is a natural process when colonies of honeybees can increase their numbers. If you see a swarm contact the local authority or the police who will contact a local beekeeper who will collect the swarm and take it away. Honeybees in a swarm are usually very gentle and present very little danger. They can be made aggressive if disturbed or sprayed with water. Just leave them alone and wait for a competent beekeeper to arrive.

3. Plant your garden with bee friendly plants
In areas of the country where there are few agricultural crops, honeybees rely upon garden flowers to ensure they have a diverse diet and to provide nectar and pollen. Encourage honeybees to visit your garden by planting single flowering plants and vegetables. Go for all the allium family, all the mints, all beans except French beans and flowering herbs. Bees like daisy-shaped flowers – asters and sunflowers, also tall plants like hollyhocks, larkspur and foxgloves. Bees need a lot of pollen and trees are a good source of food. Willows and lime trees are exceptionally good. the BBKA has leaflets on bee friendly trees and shrubs.

4. Buy local honey
Local honey will be prepared by local beekeepers. This keeps food miles down and helps the beekeeper to cover the costs of beekeeping. Local honey complies with all food standards requirements but is not mistreated to give it a long shelf life. It tastes quite different to foreign supermarket honey and has a flavour that reflects local flora.

5. Ask your MP to improve research into honey bee health
Beekeepers are very worried that we do not have enough information to combat the diseases that affect honeybees. Pollination by honeybees contributes £165m annually to the agricultural economy. Yet the government only spends £200,000 annually on honeybee research. Beekeepers have costed a five-year, £8m programme to secure the information to save our bees during which time pollination will contribute more than £800m to the government coffers. Even the Defra minister, Lord Rooker, who holds the purse strings to finance this, has said that without this extra research we could lose our honeybees within ten years. Write to MPs in support of the bee health research funding campaign.

6. Find space for a beehive in your garden
Many would-be beekeepers, especially in urban areas, find it difficult to find a safe space for their colony of bees. If you have some space contact your local beekeeping association and they could find a beekeeper in need of a site. It is amazing what a difference a beehive will make to your garden. Crops of peas and beans will be better, fruit trees will crop well with fruit that is not deformed and your garden will be buzzing!

7. Remove jars of foreign honey from outside the back door
Believe it or not but honey brought in from overseas contains bacteria and spores that are very harmful to honeybees. If you leave a honey jar outside it encourages honeybees to feed on the remaining honey. There is a good possibility that this will infect the bee and in turn the bee will infect the rest of the colony resulting in death of the colony. Always wash out honey jars and dispose of them carefully.

8. Encourage local authorities to use bee friendly plants in public spaces
Some of the country’s best gardens and open spaces are managed by local authorities. Recently these authorities have recognised the value of planning gardens, roundabouts and other areas with flowers that attract bees. Encourage your authority to improve the area you live in by adventurous planting schemes. These can often be maintained by local residents if the authority feels they do not have sufficient resources.

9. Learn more about this fascinating insect
Beekeeping is fascinating. Honeybees have been on this earth for about 25 million years and are ideally adapted to their natural environment. Without honeybees the environment would be dramatically diminished. Invite a beekeeper to come and talk to any local group you support and give an illustrated talk about the honeybee and the products of the hive. They might bring a few jars of honey too Honeybees are a part of our folklore and are one of only two insect species that are managed to provide us with essential services.

10. Bee friendly
When kept properly, bees are good neighbours, and only sting when provoked. Beekeepers wear protective clothing when they are handling bees. If a bee hovers inquiringly in front of you when unprotected, do not flap your hands. Stay calm and move slowly away, best into the shade of shed or a tree. The bee will soon lose interest. It is worth remembering that bees do not like the smell of alcohol on people, the “animal” smell of leather clothing, even watchstraps. Bees regard dark clothing as a threat – it could be a bear! Bees are sometimes confused by scented soaps, shampoos and perfumes, best avoided near the hive.


Try this delicious recipe and search for more honey recipes  in the “Recipe Search”.

Honey BlancmangeHoney Blancmange
Honey can be used in many different ways in cooking.
There are five honey recipes in the new edition
The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.

Available to buy online now.

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Honey Blancmange

A childhood favourite; this honey blancmange will be a favourite with grownups too!

Honey BlancmangeServes 4
Preparation 15 mins plus chilling
Cooking 5 mins
Per portion 166 kcals
6g fat (3.5g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

40g (1½oz) cornflour
600ml (1 pint) milk
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
15g (½oz) butter

1 Blend cornflour to a smooth paste with a little milk.

2 Warm remaining milk and combine with cornflour paste, then return to saucepan.

3 Cook, stirring, until mixture comes to the boil and thickens. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes.

4 Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.

5 Pour into a 600ml (1 pint) mould, first rinsed with cold water, then cool. Chill until cold. Turn out on to a plate.

Recipe taken from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.

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Honey Roast Parsnips


Christmas isn’t Christmas without roast parsnips. The honey in this recipe adds a little extra sweetness and turns the humble parsnip into something very special.


Honey Roast Parnips

Honey Roast Parsnips

Serves 4
Time 35 mins
Suitable for vegetarians


Olive oil 2 tbsp
Unsalted butter 50g (2oz)
Parsnips 900g (2lb), peeled and quartered lengthways
Clear honey 2 tbsp

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Heat oil and butter in a roasting tin on top of the stove. Add parsnips and fry until golden on all sides.

2 Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

3 Pour honey over roast parsnips and coat evenly. Season and return to the oven for 5 more minutes, or until tender.

Cook’s tip
Small or medium sized parsnips give the best flavour and texture.

A Dairy Diary recipe.


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