A couple months ago, M and I went on a wine tour of the Swan Valley which is about an hour drive Northeast of where we live. I had never been on a proper day long tour before of any wine region and I loved it as much as I always figured I would. We were chauffeured around wine country, passing by row after symmetrical row of grapes, learning about the local varietals and tasting an abundant amount of wine. There was such overwhelming natural beauty there. I found myself standing under a grape arbor, glass of wine in one hand, reaching up to pluck a grape with the other hand, and thinking that nothing could be better than that.
Amongst the many things I learned that day was that wine tours equal all sorts of other culinary indulgences: chocolates and nougats, locally sourced olive oils, rich tawny ports, jams, and cheeses. At one winery they had sparkling jars of canned chutneys, relishes, and jams using different wines. I noticed a jar of honey with hazelnuts suspended at the top. The ingredients just said honey, hazelnut liqueur, and hazelnuts. Easy enough. I set the jar back down and have finally gotten around to making a batch of it myself.
This required buying a bottle of Frangelico which I was hesitant to do because of the hefty price tag. I figured that it would last forever like so many specialty liqueurs do. However, after perusing the Frangelico website and seeing a cocktail that was simply Frangelico, soda and lime my bottle is now half empty. It is delicious - make one now if you can.
But back to the honey...this is officially my new favorite homemade gift. Although simple, it's quite special. I drizzled it over some roasted pears for a quick dessert and imagine that it would shine on a cheese platter, perhaps alongside some pungent blue cheese.
For 1 cup:
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico
- 10-15 hazelnuts
In a small saucepan, combine the honey and the Frangelico over medium-low heat. When the honey is warmed through, turn up the heat until it just starts to boil, stirring constantly. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly.
Carefully pour the hot honey into a sealable glass jar. Set aside, uncovered, while toasting the hazelnuts.
Heat the oven to 350f (180c). Place the hazelnuts on a rimmed sheet and bake until just golden, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven, place in the center of a kitchen towel, and rub together until their skins come off. Put the hazelnuts in the jar with the honey and seal.