Book review – Cooking with Honey, by Deborah de Long (2012)

I should say that I have met Deborah in real life, I love her blog (Romancing the Bee) and she has dedicated one of her recipes, Honey Lavender Gelato, to Emma and me, on account of one of our past queens being named Lavender. So I am a little biased; still this really is my favourite book of honey recipes I’ve found so far!

Despite being a beekeeper, and often busy making lots of cake for hungry beekeepers, until recently I hadn’t done much cooking with honey. This book looks very likely to change that. It has all sorts of dishes within – salads, main courses, cocktails, cakes, puddings… So far this week I’ve tried out two of Deborah’s recipes, photos below…

Kentucky honey jam cake

Kentucky honey jam cake

So this bouncy beauty is Kentucky honey jam cake – Deborah’s recipe here. I happened to have some home made blackberry jam my manager had given me in the fridge, and was intrigued by the idea of putting the jam in before cooking.

As you can see, my version is much more homely than Deborah’s!  I don’t think it matters as the cake tasted gorgeous. A subtle, warm spice flavour comes through, and every so often you get the nice surprise of a sweet raisin or date.

I used two layers rather than three as I don’t have three pans all the same size. I also didn’t have time to make the caramel icing, so just sandwiched the cake together with strawberry jam. I altered the method slightly too, mixing in the flour and eggs together a bit at a time to cut down the risk of the mixture curdling.

Leicestershire honey

Emma kindly bought me this amazingly creamy white Leicestershire honey at the London Honey Show. It almost looks like butter!

Leicestershire honey 2

Leicestershire honey: white and creamy

Also made this week: courgette fritters (zucchini if you’re American). Deborah’s website recipe does not contain honey, but the book version does. Very tasty, and the recipe made enough to last me and Drew as a side for two meals. I am into fritters and often make a sweetcorn & halloumi version for our annual Ealing Beekeepers Christmas party.

Zucchini (courgette ) fritters

British readers: bear in mind that the recipe ingredients are measured in cups. I happen to have a set of cups given to me as a present by a lovely American friend, but if you don’t, you’ll need to buy some or convert the amounts yourself.

Related posts by Deborah:

By the way, if you choose to buy this book or indeed any other items from Amazon, please consider going through the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s Fundraising page. Each time you access via their link and make a purchase this brilliant charity receives a donation worth 8% of your total purchase, at no extra cost to you.

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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19 Responses to Book review – Cooking with Honey, by Deborah de Long (2012)

  1. Alex Jones says:

    The cake looks yum. Without a doubt beekeepers seem to be great cooks too.


  2. Yum. All the ingredients for yum.


  3. D says:

    I’m so happy you liked the book! You must come visit me soon!!

    xo Deb


  4. Reblogged this on Romancing the Bee and commented:
    It was difficult for me to wait until today to reblog this!!
    A lovely book review by a lovely friend!! 🙂


  5. Beekeeping. Cake. Classic symbiotic relationship, apparently…


  6. Everything looks delicious! Thanks for introducing me to yet another excellent beekeeping blog, too!


  7. Yum. Yum. Yum! I’ll have to get this book!


  8. daveloveless says:

    So how are these recipes for sugar? The primary reason we got into beekeeping is that my wife can’t do sugar, so we’re always looking for recipes that use honey instead of sugar. If this is full of sugar-free recipes, I’ll be buying a copy for Christmas!


    • Emily Heath says:

      Hi Dave, sorry for the delay replying. In some of the recipes Deborah has managed to replace all the sugar with honey, but in others some sugar still remains. Most of the recipes are up on her blog at, if you start following you’ll get an idea of her recipes and also she’s very friendly if you get in touch with her.


  9. Rachel says:

    Book = bought. Thank you for sharing this!


  10. beatingthebounds says:

    Um…sweetcorn and halloumi fritters – sounds like my kids idea of heaven. If I fry them with halloumi, I can even persuade them to eat leeks. (Cumin seeds and lime juice too – very nice.)


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