Black Bee Honey: Honey and roasted almond panna cotta Recipe
Platinum-grade leaf gelatine is used here to ensure a super-smooth texture.
Serves 4 Total Time 45 mins, plus infusing and setting time
- sunflower oil (or other unflavoured oil), for greasing
- 50g caster sugar
- 125g Black Bee British Summer Honey
- 100g flaked almonds, toasted
- 400ml double cream
- 150ml whole milk
- 1⁄4 tsp almond extract
- 2 1⁄2 platinum-grade gelatine leaves
- 300g raspberries, to serve
- To make the praline, brush a baking sheet with a little oil and set aside. Heat the caster sugar and 25g honey in a heavy-based saucepan over a low-medium heat. Swirl the pan gently to encourage the sugar to melt – do not stir until it has completely dissolved. Once the mixture reaches a golden caramel colour, add 25g toasted almonds, stir to coat, then quickly pour onto the prepared baking tray. Set aside to cool and set.
- For the panna cotta, lightly oil 4 dariole moulds or ramekins. Pour the cream, milk and remaining honey and almonds into a pan and bring up to a simmer. Add the almond extract, remove from the heat and set aside for 1 hr to infuse.
- Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 mins, to soften. Meanwhile, break the fully cooled praline into shards and keep in an airtight container until needed .
- Strain the cream mixture through a fine sieve then warm gently over a low heat. When just below simmering point, remove from the heat.
- Squeeze the water from the gelatine and add to the cream mixture. Stir until completely dissolved, divide between the moulds and refrigerate overnight.
- Serve the panna cotta with shards of praline and a handful of raspberries.
PAUL WEBB, Black Bee Honey
Black Bee Honey produce their own honey and work with select honey producers in the UK to offer the best of British, supporting both our bees and beekeepers. We caught up with co-founder, Paul Webb to find out more.
I think my favourite is our Summer Honey, which comes from Exmoor. The beekeeper moves his hives during the season so the bees feast on the very best wild flowers and heather,” says Paul Webb, co- founder of Black Bee Honey. “It’s dark and rich and tastes like you’re rolling around in a summer meadow.”
He founded Black Bee Honey with Chris Barnes, who he met 15 years ago. “We did a beekeeping course together and fell in love with it. Bees are so incredible.” After Chris came back from travelling in New Zealand, where he’d worked on a bee farm for a season, they had the idea of putting beehives in their friends’ gardens in London. “That grew to 50 hives over three or four years, including hives on the roofs of ITV’s South Bank studios and London Metropolitan University,” says Paul. “Before we knew it, we were looking after a million bees.”
They realised the impact of the local environment on their honey from the outset. Bees tend to forage pollen within a one-mile radius, and the flavour of the honey depends on the plants and trees found in that area. Such were the differences from hive to hive, the honey was originally called Postcode Honey. “We had 50 hives over about 15 locations and each honey would have a different colour and flavour.” As the honey grew in popularity, the pair began to look beyond London. “We wanted to showcase the different flavours that beekeepers were producing around the country,” Paul explains.
They kept their London Honey sourced from within an acre, then added a seasonal range, from Exmoor, alongside a Seaside Honey and an Orchard Honey. “Seaside Honey is taken from the salt marshes of the north Norfolk coast and has an incredible salted caramel flavour. Orchard Honey comes from hives in Wales, near the River Wye. The bees collect nectar and pollen from pear and apple trees to create a runny honey with a mildly fruity flavour and light, golden colour.”
The UK has a long history of beekeeping, and honey bees have been domesticated for centuries, so it’s rare to find wild colonies. That, combined with the use of pesticides and the loss of wild flower meadows and other natural bee habitats, means it’s especially important that we look after them. “That’s why we chose the name Black Bee Honey,” says Paul. “The black bee, or Apis mellifera mellifera, is the native British honey bee, and it’s almost extinct. You can help in your own garden by growing plants that are beneficial – they tend to love purple flowering things like lilac and lavender.”