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Fresh trends: hot honey

Hot honey

Tangy, spicy hot honey is the recipe trend of the minute. Here’s how to make it for yourself

Welcome to Fresh Trends, where our Fresh Ideas experts break down the latest viral food sensations. This time around, our Food Director Tamara Graffen gives us the lowdown on the spicy-sweet condiment of the moment: hot honey.

Tamara Woolworths Fresh Ideas Expert

“Hot honey, or spicy honey, is brilliant because you can customise the level of heat to your taste. I’m a chilli addict, so I use plenty of chilli flakes, but if you only want to dip your toe in the water you can start off with a little bit less. Use the basic recipe and try adding other dried herbs and spices too, such as thyme or star anise!”

- Tamara

A condiment can lift a dish from good to great. I have elevated many sandwiches, salads or soups in my time with a drizzle of the right sauce.

The spectacular rise of sriracha (and social media) in the late ’00s put a spotlight on the well-loved spicy sauce and its versatile application across cultures. And it only continued from there.

Pesto had a moment in 2021, when the simple pesto-fried egg rose to internet stardom. 2022 was the year of “animal fries”: crispy chips smothered in vinegary burger sauce. And 2023 is off to a good start, because the sweet, spicy goodness of hot honey is tingling our tongues and making its mark on our plates.

The brilliance of hot honey is its versatility: you can drizzle it over grilled haloumi or pepperoni pizza, toss it through your fried chicken, or – my favourite – splash a spoonful over your egg-and-avocado toast for a stellar breakfast.

It’s super easy to make, too. You just need three ingredients: honey, chilli flakes and apple cider vinegar. You simply combine honey and chilli flakes in a pan and gently heat. My top tip is to keep the mixture’s temperature consistent: you’re only looking for a simmer. Be careful not to let the honey boil as it will thicken, burn, and result in a bitter taste. 

Letting the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes off the heat will allow the chilli flavour to infuse. Once it's rested, add a splash of vinegar. If you like a smoother honey, you can strain the mixture to remove the chilli flakes.

I love a chilli kick; if you also love your honey extra hot, leave in the chilli flakes, which will result in a hotter sauce over time.

Are you ready? Get the recipe here.

Looking for spicy and sweet inspiration? Try your hot honey on these recipes:

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