by Rachelle Ferneau, Dear Coco Chocolate
Honey is a staple at all of our Rosh Hashana tables, traditionally eaten together with apples as a symbol of our hope for a sweet and prosperous new year.
Our family loves experiencing different varieties of honey with our guests during Rosh Hashana meals. We sample the honeys straight out of the jars and eat them with challah (a neutral delivery mechanism), exploring the differences in their diverse colors, textures, aromas and flavors. The kids around the table especially love to do this, as they are often tasting certain varieties for the first time. We try to have six or more different kinds of honey adorning our yom tov table each year, with at least one new variety. Some of the interesting ones we have sampled already are:
• Dark, bitter buckwheat honey
• Mild, sweet tupelo honey
• Fruity, aromatic blueberry honey
• Complex, mildly herby sage honey
• Delicate, subtle alfalfa honey
• And of course the mainstays of clover, wildflower and orange blossom honeys
Honeycomb makes an annual appearance, as the kids love to suck out the sweet honey and then chew on the wax left behind. Mild, spreadable creamed honey is always a favorite too.
With so much honey on hand at this time of year I have done my fair share of experimenting with it in my desserts. Not surprisingly, a favorite pairing of mine is honey with bittersweet chocolate, which balance each other beautifully. I created this gooey, rich holiday tart as a play on salted chocolate caramels, showcasing the honey in a honey-based caramel layer topped with chocolate honey glaze and sea salt. Any mild-flavored honey will work in this tart. The tart is best completed a day or two in advance and refrigerated, making it a great dessert choice to prepare ahead.
Enjoy the sweetness of this delicious tart with your loved ones this Rosh Hashana, and may you be blessed with a very happy and sweet new year!
2 sleeves (about 18 whole) pareve graham crackers, processed into fine crumbs
1/2 cup natural pareve margarine, melted
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup natural pareve margarine, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream substitute of choice (mimicreme, rich’s whip, etc.)/p>
Chocolate Honey Glaze:
1/2 cup honey
½ cup heavy cream substitute of choice
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (you can also use semisweet)
Sea salt (I like Australian Murray River Pink Flake Salt – a beautiful finishing salt)
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted margarine and mix well. Press mixture firmly into an 11” tart pan with removable bottom, covering the bottom and sides of the tart pan evenly. Freeze crust for 15 minutes, then bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Make the Honey Caramel: In a heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepot, combine sugar, water, honey and salt. Bring to a boil and stir gently until sugar and honey are dissolved. Allow to cook undisturbed on medium high heat until the mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. Watch mixture carefully so it does not burn. Using oven mitts on both hands for protection, remove pot from heat and use a large whisk to slowly whisk margarine cubes into honey mixture until completely melted. Then slowly stream in heavy cream substitute while whisking continuously, until bubbling completely subsides. Be extremely cautious during these steps as the mixture will steam and sputter vigorously! Pour honey caramel into cooled crust and transfer to refrigerator. Cool completely before proceeding with next step, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Make Chocolate Honey Glaze: Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepot, combine honey with heavy cream substitute and bring just to a boil. Pour mixture over chopped chocolate and allow to sit undisturbed for 1 minute. Using a whisk, slowly stir glaze mixture until completely combined. The finished glaze should be thick and shiny. Pour glaze over chilled honey caramel in an even layer and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Return to refrigerator to set glaze. Store finished tart in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature.
Yield: Serves 12-16
Desserts: Tart, Honey, Chocolate, Parve, Kosher