That Viral Honey-Whipping Trend Is So, So Silly

It's easy, they said! It's cost-effective, they said! So we tested. Skeptically.

<p><a href="">Javier Zayas Photography</a> / Getty Images</p>

Recently, I’ve been coming across Instagram videos of whipped honey. In these videos, cool food influencers put loads of honey into stand mixers and let it rip while waxing poetic about how revolutionary a one-ingredient recipe this is. I didn’t think much of it until senior culinary editor Leah Colins mentioned that she’s been seeing the same. Two people coming across more than one video of a recipe on their respective feeds is not merely a coincidence, my friends. It’s something we like to call a trend that has gone viral. The claims across the internet were far and wide: Whipped honey is delicious, they said. Whipped honey is easy to make, they said. You can even double the volume of your honey, making your dollar go further, they said. But was all the hubbub worth the effort? Naturally, we grabbed our honey to put it to the test.

Test #1: Whipping With a Handheld Frother

Leah and I stepped into our respective kitchens to get started. While most attempts at whipping honey online seem to rely on a stand mixer for whipping, we wanted to first test with a small individual portion that, in theory, could whip up quickly with a handheld frother. Also, we know y’all love frothing stuff.

The set-up: We each poured two tablespoons into a jar and got to frothing—or at least attempted to.

The result: The thickness of the honey made it difficult for our wee little frothers to do their jobs.  After that first disappointing show, we decided to microwave our honey for a few seconds so that it was more fluid before we went back to frothing. My handheld device kept slowing once it was submerged in the honey, so I didn’t get very far. Leah managed to make it to seven minutes of frothing before her motor overheated and she stopped. The consensus? Frothing was simply not the way to go.

Test #2: Whipping With a Stand Mixer

The set-up: We decided the next test was to whip honey in a stand mixer for at least 20 minutes (as is actually instructed by many of these videos). I tested with ¼ cup of honey, and Leah started with one full cup to get the whisk attachment to “catch” the honey (the difference between a culinary editor and a regular schmegular editor, I suppose!). We both started off on low speed and gradually increased the speed of the stand mixer in increments up to medium-high.

The result: At about seven minutes for Leah and ten minutes for me, we started to notice the color of the honey changing around the edges and some small bubbles forming. The honey became lighter in color without much texture change about 15 minutes in. From there, the honey I was testing became a tad lighter but didn’t change in texture between the 15- and 30-minute mark. Leah’s, however, did manage to turn lighter than mine in color with a bit of a fluid texture, but ultimately did not reach the whipped and aerated honey consistency we were looking for, nor did it increase in volume. Had we found a flaw in this viral trend?

<p>Leah Colins / Serious Eats</p>

Leah Colins / Serious Eats

So...Should You Whip Honey At Home?

This trend proved to not be worth the sticky mess. Even after 30 minutes in the stand mixer, though the honey was more viscous, it didn't aerate or whip up the way we had seen promised in videos. Another discrepancy we noted between our tests and the videos we’d seen circulating is the amount of honey being whipped. We saw creators pull out TUBS of honey and dump it into their stand mixer bowls in order to whip up a rather large batch of whipped honey and keep it on hand at all times. This is all fine and great, but who’s got that much honey lying around? Certainly not us, that’s for sure. But if you have a need for a large amount of honey (and an accompanying honey budget) then, hey, this might be the trick for you.

It’s likely the popularity of whipped honey may have begun as a trend to bring life back to crystallized honey, and then just turned into a different way to use honey. (One video noted that once crystallized honey is whipped into this consistency, it will stay whipped).

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention there are two other (small) draws to whipped honey: It makes a wonderful homemade gift that, yes, we would both actually give to people! It’s also just a great way to incorporate some flavor into your honey (think vanilla or cinnamon). However, Leah noted that including or swapping in whipped honey in recipes wouldn't make any noticeable difference. “Since the texture didn't change much, I don't see the value of using whipped honey over regular honey in baking applications,” she says. “But I could see the value of whipped honey on its own as a condiment to serve with a recipe, such as vanilla- and orange-scented whipped honey to drizzle over pancakes.”

Finally, I will say it’s a bit mesmerizing to watch in the stand mixer, the ribbons in the honey resembling the sticky-stretchy candy you see candy makers pulling before forming it into shapes. So I guess you could also make it if you’re in need of some entertainment? Besides that, unless you’re expecting a visit from Winnie the Pooh himself, the effort doesn’t outweigh the reward here.

Read the original article on Serious Eats.