Cooking with honey, as an alternative to traditional white grain sugar, brown sugar, or other high calorie alternatives is a simple way to reduce caloric intake and still attain the desired levels of sweetness in baked goods.
It provides the antioxidant boost (without the sugar crash) in your dishes. So, if you opt to substitute honey for sugar in certain dishes, these are a few simple tips to ensure the same levels of sweetness (avoid over-sweetening dishes), and to ensure a balanced, moist texture in the foods you bake.
Honey is going to heat up quicker than sugar. So, whether you are cooking with honey in a savory dish or baking, you are going to want to reduce the temperature of the dishes you are making.
Do so by approximately 25 degrees F, and cook/bake those foods for the same duration as you would, if you were cooking with sugar.
Quality (color) of the honey
Want to attain a richer, darker, sweeter, moister flavor and texture? If so, go with a darker honey when you are going to substitute honey for sugar in your dishes.
For a lighter, more subtle flavor in the cooked or baked goods, go with a lighter colored honey to produce a milder flavor and less dense texture.
Do you use the same amount of honey as you would sugar in the dishes you are cooking or baking?
For anything up to one cup (if the recipe calls for one cup of sugar and you are substituting honey) the answer is yes.
However, anything above one cup in a recipe will require you to make adjustments in quantity. For all quantities above one cup in a recipe, use 2/3 to 3/4 the amount of honey as you would sugar to attain the desired level of sweetness.
Other Liquids in the Mix
It is also advised to reduce the other liquids in a recipe (milk, water, etc) in the dish by up to 1/4 the quantity you would use with traditional sugar.
Due to the fact that honey is a natural lubricant (and wet ingredient) it will make up for the 1/4 loss in moisture from other wet ingredients.
Although this is not an exact guide when you choose to cook with honey or bake with it, it is a simple base for dishes you are going to be creating.
It is going to allow you to attain the same levels of sweetness, desired texture, and provides the additional antioxidant benefit, along with lower calorie dishes when you substitute honey for sugar as well.