Honey icing is a thick mixture that includes honey as a main ingredient and is applied to a variety of foods to create a layer of flavor on the surface. Glaze can be sweetened to be used on foods such as candy, cakes or cookies. It can also be mixed with a variety of ingredients so it tastes more salty or sweet and sour when used in meats, vegetables or fish. You can use honey frosting as an uncooked topping, as a sauce for drizzling on toasted foods, as a topping for a barbecue, or as a surface browning agent for breads or pastries. Depending on the cooking method, the honey glaze can form a sticky, sweet layer, or caramelize and become crispy and charred.
Honey icing is commonly applied to a baked ham.
Honey is a popular choice for making a glaze because it has a number of desirable properties. It’s thick enough to be able to adhere to the surface of food and also suspend other ingredients so they stick to the coating instead of falling off the food during cooking. It also has a much more subtle sweetness than most refined sugars, allowing it to accentuate and blend easily with other flavors. Honey can also be caramelized to different degrees, so it can provide anything from a light, glossy coating to a rich, dark rind.
Honey is the main ingredient in a honey glaze, which is applied to a variety of foods as a flavorful coating.
When honey frosting is used for classic dishes such as honey-covered ham, it is often mixed with other ingredients. Mustard is a common addition, providing a spicy counterpoint to the sweetness. An acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice or cider vinegar, is used to give the honey a spicy kick that cuts through. In many cases, brown sugar is also added to help the honey caramelize faster and develop a different kind of sweet flavor that honey could not achieve on its own.
Cakes or sweet breads can use honey on its own as a glaze that will bake in a slightly sweet, fluffy layer on top. It can also be mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit jellies, to make a colorful, flavored coating that can be used to glaze a finished product. In some cases, honey icing can be cooked and diluted with liqueur or other liquids and then poured over food, after which it will crystallize on cooling and form a sweet, sticky layer.