Interested in cooking with mead, mead cooking recipes, and baking recipes? Whether its to show off at that ren faire, a birthday cake for your nerdy dad, or just snacks for your DND session, mead can be a wonderful way to bring people together over a dish.
I mean, even without acknowledging the flavor – it makes a great talking point! So, lets learn a little more about mead, and what exactly you can do with it – recipe links and my own recipes included!
Table of Contents
- Some More About Mead
- Is Mead Good For Cooking?
- Can You Bake With Mead?
- Top 5 Dish Ideas And Recipes For Cooking With Mead
- Top 5 Dish Ideas And Recipes For Baking With Mead
- Cooking With Mead: Mead Beer Cheese
- Chocolate Cherry Cake With Honeyed Mead Glaze
- Mead, Cooking, And Baking – Is It Possible?
Some More About Mead
Mead – also called ’honey wine’- is an alcoholic beverage made from fermenting honey in water. It is sweet tasting and has a lowish alcohol content (between 6-20%), being one of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages.
At its core, mead is just honey fermented in water. It was sometimes left to ferment by itself, with the addition of yeast being optional.
Some brewers used recipes that called for adding more honey halfway through the brewing process. This would result in a stronger drink, both in terms of alcohol level and in terms of flavor.
has been very popular all throughout history, up until the 18th century where ales and beers started to take over.
I’ve added in this video in case you’re interested in the history of this long-lived drink! Nowadays, mead is more often associated with ren-faires and fancy castle visits. Still, its a very pleasant tasting drink whose potential shouldn’t be overlooked!
So, lets get into that. How can we use mead’s flavor in cooking and baking, and if it’s even possible?
Is Mead Good For Cooking?
While not often used, mead can be an excellent addition to your cooking.
Befitting its nickname of honey-wine, mead works well in dishes that call for wine – both red and white! It just depends on what kind of mead you’re using. Anywhere that water, beer, or wine are used, mead can usually be used just as well, so long as it suits the palette.
However, one very important thing to keep in mind is that you MUST cook the carbonation out of mead before adding it to your dish.
Well, your kitchen won’t explode or anything like that, but your food will end up a little… strange. What about baking though? That’s more of an exact science than cooking, so how does mead and all it’s carbonation fair in bread-making?
Can You Bake With Mead?
Whether youre interested in baking up some mean mead dessert recipes or you just want to expand your sourdough knowledge, you’ll be glad to hear that mead can also be used for baking!
There are many ’ye olde’ style desserts that call for mead as a star ingredient, and there are plenty of pandemic mead-bread recipes out there.
While it’s not quite as easy as substituting some wine for mead instead, there are still many, many opportunities to cook with this wonderful beverage.
Top 5 Dish Ideas And Recipes For Cooking With Mead
- Any Dish With White Wine
- Many dishes which call for white wine can be made with light craft mead for a subtle honey aroma in the final dish. White pyment – also known as white mead – can also be used. Pyment is a type of mead made with fermented honey and grapes, and is often called ‘honeyed wine’ or ‘grape mead’. Try this flavorful Moroccan mead-spiced chicken recipe to test it out, or substitute the white wine sauce in this mussel recipe for mead.
- Red Wine Meat Dishes
- Heavy beef dishes which call for bold reds can be made with spiced or fruit meads to dramatically influence the final flavor. Again here, pyment can be used – but you want to use a red pyment in this situation. For a truly medieval dish, swap out the red wine in this slow-cooked braised venison recipe for some rich, red pyment. Alternatively, sub the red wine for half red wine and half mead!
- Mead Pies And Tarts
- Mead is wonderful for making rich, medieval-style meat pies. Whether you use mead in the dough or the fillings, its always going to be a welcome surprise. To make a mead pie, use a red pyment mead instead of wine in this beef pie recipe. If you want to go that extra mile, use some of that slow braised venison from before instead of beef!
- There are countless possibilities when it comes to making soup with mead. You can try a seafood bisque made with Northeastern mead-baked clams, or try a ginger infused mead for South Asian soups.
- Mead-based Condiments, Sauces, And Marinades
Top 5 Dish Ideas And Recipes For Baking With Mead
- Craving some soft n’ fluffy honeyed bread? Try out this honey mead bread recipe! It’s perfect for bringing a warm little reminder of summer in those cold winter months.
- Honey is a sure fire way to make nostalgic, brown sugar cookies – so why not make them with a little mead instead? If you’re looking for something that tastes like the holidays, try out these spiced ginger mead cookies. In the mood for something a little fruitier? Then you can’t go wrong with this Italian fig mead cookie recipe.
- For the coming summer solstice, nothing could be better than this peach and mead cake. Alternatively, when you’re getting ready for the festive season try making this spiced mead bundt cake, or these mini rosemary-syrup cakes with creamed mead! There is also a guide on how to make chocolate cherry cake, with an accompanying mead glaze at the end of this article.
- Sweet Pastries
- Honeyed Brownies
- Mead brownies, who ever knew those existed? If you want to try your hand at making some, this rich and decadent chocolate mead brownie recipe Is just the place to start. You can also try using a mead-inspired honeyed whiskey to bring some subtle smoke to your brownies. In that case, this whiskey-based brownie recipe is just perfect!
The possibilities for cooking or baking with mead are practically boundless! Try using mead for anything from braising meats to stewing beans to making seafood bisques! You can even use mead to make all manners of breads and dessert foods as it’s honey flavor will accompany almost any sweet treat.
Mead can – and should! – be heated for cooking and baking alike. I say ’should’ because if you don’t boil or slow cook your mead, it’ll end up carbonating your food which is just… Eugh, I don’t even want to think about it.
Cooking With Mead: Mead Beer Cheese
Serves: 6-8 people
|Prep Time:||Cooking Time:|
|5 – 10 mins||10 – 15 mins|
|– 1/2 cup chopped smoked bacon (applewood is best)|
|– 2-4 red or green jalapeños, seeded and minced|
|– 1/4 cup minced garlic|
|– 1 bottle (12 ounces) Lagrimas De Oro by Superstition Meadery, divided|
|– 1 & 1/4 cups grated aged white cheddar|
|– 1 & 1/4 cups grated smoked Gouda cheese|
|– 1 & 1/4 cups cubed Velveeta|
|– 3 cups heavy whipping cream|
How to Make Mead Cheese
In a pot with a heavy, thick base, cook your bacon over medium heat. Let the fat render out until it begins to turn crisp. Then, add in your jalapeños – while red peppers are best to bring out the sweetness in your mead, if they’re too spicy you can use green. Quickly add in your minced garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Don’t stand or breathe over the pot if you want to keep breathing! Heating jalapeños is no joke.
- Add and simmer mead
Afterwards, add half of the mead and bring it all to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer until it has reduced by roughly half. Then, carefully add in your cheeses. Do this a little at a time, stirring all throughout.
- Add cheese
Once all of your cheese has been added, slowly pour the heavy cream in while whisking. Keep stirring or whisking gently constantly until the cheese is completely melted.
- Simmer more
After your cheese is melted, pour in the remaining mead and let it simmer for about another 30 minutes. The mixture shouldn’t be viscous, but it shouldn’t be overly thin either – basically, you’re looking for something ‘pourable’. If it’s looking too thin, try thickening it with a roux or a little more shredded cheddar or Gouda.
Once the cheese is to your liking, you’re done! Try serving it with some nachos or pretzels, or you could even use it in one of my tried and true stovetop quesadillas. Not only that, but if you have leftover beans from the quesadillas you can mix them together! This results in wonderful cheesy bean dip that’s also perfect for nachos.
Chocolate Cherry Cake With Honeyed Mead Glaze
Serves: 10 – 20 people
|Prep Time:||Cooking Time:|
|15||1 hr 5 mins|
|– 2x 400g boxes of chocolate cake mix|
|– A few slices of melted better and flour to grease the cake pan(s)|
|– 120ml honey|
|– ½ a tsp of ground ginger|
|– ¾ of a lemon’s zest|
|– ¾ tsp ground cinnamon|
|– ½ tsp ground nutmeg|
|– 400g unsalted butter|
|– 3 tbsp mead|
|– 1 can pitted cherries|
Chocolate Cherry Cake
- Preheat your oven to 150 °C/300 °F (fan setting) and thoroughly grease your pan(s), preferably without using spray. Once you’ve finished tapping out any excess flour, place your pan(s) in the fridge and let the butter cool. Now we can start making the batter!
- Take a large bowl and cream the butter with a hand mixer until fluffy. Make sure to use butter that’s at the right temperature – it shouldn’t be squishy, but it also shouldn’t be cold to the touch. Basically, when you press it, it should have a little give but that’s all.
- After the butter is creamed, add the eggs in one at a time and mix. Then, in a medium-sized bowl, thoroughly mix the two boxes of cake mix with the assorted spices.
- Now slowly add the cake mix to the butter and eggs, carefully folding it in with a spatula. Once the ingredients have been halfway mixed, use a hand mixer and beat until the batter is fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl in between mixing to make sure you get all the batter. Then, add your canned cherries to the mix and fold them until incorporated.
- Place the batter into the fridge and allow it to cool for a few minutes. After the batter has chilled, pour the mix into your pans and place them on the lower rack of the oven. Make sure that the pan is in the center of the oven.
- Bake the cake for around 50 minutes, checking in halfway. If by the end of the 50 minutes the cake is still raw, leave it in and monitor until done.
Honeyed Mead Glaze
- Whilst your cake is baking, work on that honey mead glaze. Start this by adding your honey to a small saucepan over low heat. Stir it continuously as it heats, waiting until it gets to a very runny consistency. Then, add the mead and stir until combined. Once you’ve mixed them, remove the pan off the heat and let it cool.
- Once the cake is fully baked, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool for 15-20 minutes. Make sure to shut the oven door. After this, remove your cake from the pan by flipping it onto another (flat) oven-safe pan. Place it back in the oven for another 15 minutes – this will allow it to crisp up a little from the remaining heat.
- After crisping, allow the cake to cool for yet another (yes, i know) 15 minutes. Then place the cake back into it’s original pan and carefully prick it with a fork – make sure to get all over the cake. Drizzle on half your honey syrup and let it sit for another ten minutes, or until you’re sure the glaze has sunken well into the cake.
- Now, invert the cake for the final time – this time onto the platter you mean to serve it on. Prick the top and sides of the cake, then slowly pour over the rest of the honey syrup. And thats (finally) it!
Mead, Cooking, And Baking – Is It Possible?
As explored in this article, it is indeed possible to cook with mead!
There are all sorts of recipes to try out, both baking and cooking included, but it works best in heavy meat dishes or stewed broths and sauces. Mead also makes an excellent addition to cakes – especially the frosting, as they help bring a lovely, crisp, summer-sweet honey flavor to baked treats.
However, not every type of mead goes with every dish, so it’s important to think about the palette of the dish and whether mead would suit it.
On top of that, be sure to consider what kind of mead goes best – for example, red pyments are better for slow cooking meats, whereas crisper light meads or melomels might be used for a salad dressing. A wintery dish may use a mulled spiced berry mead to bring some warmth in the cold months – it all depends on what you want from your dish!
So next time you experiment with mead cooking, be sure to give these different flavors a thought.