“I shouldn’t think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than new bread and real butter and honey for tea.” Dodie Smith
Fossil records show that honeybees have been around for 150 million years or more. No one is sure when the treasure hidden in the hives was discovered, but paintings of beekeepers lining the walls of a cave in Spain prove that we have been practicing the art of beekeeping for at least 7,000 years. Honey is versatile. It has been prized as a sweetener, as medicine, as an offering for the gods, as currency, and as a symbol of love. In Greek mythology, for example, Cupid dips his arrows in honey before aiming them at our hearts. In its natural form, honey is rich in minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and carbohydrates.
Recently researchers reviewed 18 studies on honey performed over the past 60 years. They concluded that the natural sweetener appears to be a viable treatment for surgical infected, not healing wounds. Hydrogen peroxide and other ingredients in honey make it useful for sterilizing. Honey has been shown to have potent antibiotic properties. Scientists have discovered that it naturally produces hydrogen peroxide, a substance capable of killing disease-causing bacteria. While honey’s antibiotic properties help promote faster wound healing, its antifungal properties can provide relief for many common skin conditions, including ringworm, athlete’s foot and yeast infections.As a fungus-fighter, honey appears to be comparable to many over-the-counter antifungal preparations.
Being a powerful natural remedy observed by many of native healers in the olden days, honey became a popular ingredient of the winter months and in the festive preparations it often found its way into many cakes and desserts.
Layered Turkish Honey Cake
For the pastry layers:
70 g lard
200 g sugar
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
8 tbsp milk
600 g flour
For the cream filling:
5 tbsp flour
500 ml milk
300 g butter
200 g sugar
1 small jar of jam
For the glaze:
100 g sugar
100 g butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
To make the pastry layers in a pan heat lard, sugar, eggs, honey, bicarbonate of soda and milk and cook until turns into a caramel colour. When its still warm, mix in flour evenly, divide the dough into four equal parts and roll very thinly. Bake it in a lined tray until golden brown.
To make the cream filling cook flour and milk into a thick paste. Let it cool completely. Whisk butter and sugar until light and fluffy and mix evenly with the paste.
To prepare the glaze heat ingredients together until melted and almost boiling.
When assembling the cake, one can choose how to vary the layers.
“What is happening to me happens to all fruits that grow ripe.
It is the honey in my veins that makes my blood thicker, and my soul quieter.” Friedrich Nietzsche