My Xmas Cake 2014

Christmas cake with rudolph and christmas tree design around the side

Hello Rudolph!   This is my Christmas cake.   It’s only the second year I’ve made a Christmas cake.   Last year was the first and I’ve played safe by sticking with the same cake recipe as it worked so well.   It was just what I wanted from a rich fruit cake – moist, fruity and just a bit gooey from all that dried fruit.   If that’s how you like your Christmas cake then look no further.

Most Christmas cakes are fortified with sherry, rum or some other rather strong spirit. The only alcohol in this cake is cider.   You may think that’s a bit unusual for a Christmas cake but it goes perfectly with all the dried fruit.   Well, maybe I shouldn’t say it goes perfectly as you can’t actually taste it, but the cake  is good and if the cake is good then all that goes into it must be good too.

Actually I hope this cake is good.   I haven’t properly tasted it yet, not the cooked cake anyway.  Eating the cake has to wait until Christmas, but I’m posting it now because if I wait to eat it and then blog, everyone will be so full up of their own Christmas cakes no-one will want to read about mine.

As I said at the start, this is the second time I’ve made this Christmas cake.   It was so good last year and I’m confident it will be this year too.  After all, I’ve stuck to the same recipe, with just one or two small changes.   Maybe next year I’ll try the hard alcohol route but for now I’m sticking with what I know.

The recipe is slightly adapted from Step-by-Step Baking by Caroline Bretherton.

Ingredients

200g sultanas

400g raisins

250g prunes

100g dates

150g dried apricots

200g glace cherries

2 dessert apples, peeled and diced

600ml cider

4 tsp mixed spice

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature

175g soft dark brown sugar

3 eggs, beaten

150g ground almonds

280g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

To Decorate

400g marzipan

3 tbsp jam (I used raspberry)

500g royal icing sugar

Tubes of designer icing (black/brown, red, green, yellow and blue)

How to Make My Christmas Cake

1. Put all the dried fruit, mixed spice and cider in a large saucepan.   Simmer for 20 minutes.    Leave in the pan overnight and the fruit will absorb the rest of the liquid.

2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

3. Put the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.   Use an electric whisk if possible.    Beat in the eggs, one at  a time.

4. Fold in the fruit and the ground almonds.   Sift in the flour and baking powder and then fold in too.

5. Put the cake batter into the cake tin and bake in the oven at 160C for 2.5 hours.  Test the cake with skewer and if it comes out with sticky batter still on it then return it to the oven.   My cake needed 3 hours.

6. Let the cake cool a little in the tin and then turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

7. If you want to keep the cake for a while before eating it then wrap it up well in foil and keep it in an airtight container.   You can keep it for up to 8 weeks.

8. When you are ready to decorate the cake, put the jam in a small bowl and  heat in the microwave or a small saucepan until runny.  Brush it over the cake.

9. Roll out the marzipan and cover the cake with it.

10. Make the royal icing according to the pack instructions.   I just needed to whisk mine with a little water.   When it begins to form stiff peaks then spread it over the cake with a palette knife.   I chose a rough snow effect for the top by tapping the palette knife up and down on the icing.   I smoothed the sides carefully with the knife so I could draw on them

11. I used the designer icing to draw reindeer and Christmas trees on the sides of the cake but of course you could draw anything you wanted.

I am linking this to Alphabakes, hosted by Caroline Makes and on alternate months by The More Than Occasional Baker. The letter this month is X. It is also linked to the Christmas Foodie Friday link on Casa Costello and Romanian Mum.  I am also linking to Bookmarked Recipes hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and to Love Cake December Delights, hosted by Jibberjabber UK. Finally I am linking to Festive Family Foodies hosted by Banger and Mash and on alternate months by Eat your Veg.

alphabakesBookmarked RecipesFamily Foodiesfoodie fridays

 

 

 

Lemon Butter Cookies

Lemon butter cookies

I love to make biscuits.   They are usually so quick and easy to make and the best thing about them is that my little girl loves to make them with me.   So, when I found out that this December there was going to be a Secret Recipe Club Cookie Carnival I definitely wanted to be involved.   I was assigned a blog, Things I Make (for Dinner) and my task was to find a cookie recipe to make.

My first choice was cherry cheesecake cookies but there were 2 obstacles.  Firstly I’ve never seen graham crackers for sale here so I was planning to use digestive biscuits which we always use for cheesecakes instead.   Secondly, I couldn’t find any cherry pie filling.  Or even any cherries to make it with first.  I was forced to accept that the final result would be too far removed from the original recipe and to look again.

My second choice was these lemon cookies.   They were called lemon sugar cookies but as you will see, I messed up and so changed the name to lemon butter cookies.  They were in cup measurements and the quantities were quite large so I converted to metric and halved everything.   How difficult could that be?  I do it all the time.

Well, I made the cookies and the mixture was quite soft.    I put spoonfuls onto the baking trays with space around them and when they came out of the oven I just had one big flat cookie on each sheet.    I thought maybe I should just throw it away and choose another recipe but after they had cooled a little I got my cookie cutters out.  After all, why waste something that might taste good.

It was definitely the right decision.  When they had cooled they were thin, crispy, lemony and buttery.   Lovely lovely cookies.  We kept them for quite a few days and they went a little softer and chewier but were still just as morish.

As I was about to write this post I had a look back at the original.   I noticed something odd.  The recipe contained less butter than flour.   I looked at my recipe.   It contained more butter than flour.   Ooops.   It seemed I had remembered to halve all the ingredients except the butter.    No wonder these cookies were so lovely and buttery!

So, I apologise for not following the recipe exactly, but at the same time, I’m not sorry to have discovered a lovely new cookie recipe.  If you’d like to make Lemon Sugar Cookies, as these were intended to be, then head over to Things I Make for Dinner to find out the right recipe.   If you rather fancy Lemon Butter Cookies, then the recipe is below.

Ingredients

190g plain white flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch salt

225g butter, softened

175g caster sugar

25g brown sugar

2 tsp lemon extract

1 large egg

How to Make Lemon Butter Cookies

1. Turn on the oven to preheat to 180c

2. Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl.

3. In another bowl cream together the butter and sugar.   Add the egg and mix in then the lemon extract.   Finally stir in the flour until it is just mixed together.

4. Use a spoon to put golf ball sized pieces of cookie dough onto a baking tray.

5. Put in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes.   When they are ready, let them cool on the tray for a few minutes, cut them into whatever shapes you want and then transfer them to a wire rack.

Jasmine Tea Marinated Pork

Jasmine Tea Marinated Pork Loin

I’m not really a tea drinker.   If there was no tea in the world it would not affect my mood in the slightest.   No coffee?  Well, I don’t want to even contemplate that.

I may not be a tea drinker but I don’t mind tea in other forms.  I’ll quite happily have a slice of fruity tea loaf or another helping of this jasmine tea marinated pork.  Just as long as I don’t have to drink it, I’m happy.

Tea?  No thanks.   Plain pork chop?  That’s also a no but put them together and you get quite a different response.   Admittedly the flavour’s not just tea.   There’s sugar for sweetness, balsamic vinegar to add a bit of a zing and garlic because well, garlic goes well in everything.  Well, everything savoury.

But, back to talking about pork and jasmine tea.  I was curious about how much you would be able to taste the tea in the marinade.   After all, tea is not such a strong flavour compared to balsamic vinegar.    Luckily you could still taste it.   It wasn’t overpowering but it was enough to know it was there.  That’s what I wanted of course.   Otherwise it would just be a balsamic vinegar and garlic marinade and that doesn’t sound half as interesting flavourwise.  Ok, I know I said I didn’t like tea but just a hint of tea flavour is good and not everyone likes tea.   It’s good to know you can make this for the non tea drinkers you know too.

As it isn’t a strong marinade,  I do think it would be interesting to add a little bit of fresh chilli next time to give a bit of heat and an extra dimension to the whole dish.   Maybe even a little ginger too to bring out the oriental side of the dish.   After all, Jasmine tea does come from China.

The recipe is from Tea Chef but the quantities have been altered a little.

Ingredients – Serves 2 (but you could serve more people by adding more pork but the same amount of marinade up to 4 people)

1 cup water

2 tsp jasmine tea (I used Adagio Jasmine Chun Hao)

25ml olive oil

25g caster sugar

1 clove of garlic, crushed

Pinch of black pepper

1 tsp cornflour mixed with a tbsp water

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 pieces of pork loin or pork chops

How to Make Jasmine Tea Marinated Pork

1. Make a cup of tea with the tea and the water.  Leave it to cool with the tea still in the water.

2. Strain the tea leaves out and put 100ml of the tea in a saucepan with the sugar.   Boil it until the sugar dissolves.

3. Add the garlic and black pepper and lower the heat to a simmer.  Simmer for just a couple of minutes then add the cornflour slowly, a little at a time and stir it to thicken.

4. When it thickens take it off the heat and stir in the olive oil.   Let it cool a little then add the balsamic vinegar.   Taste it and add a little more if you want a stronger vinegar taste.

5. Leave the marinade in the fridge overnight if you have time although you can use it straightaway.

6. The next morning I put the pork into the sauce to marinate.

7. When you are ready to cook the pork, take it out of the marinade and cook under the grill for about 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the pork.

8. Put the rest of the marinade in a small sauce pan and heat it up thoroughly.   Serve the marinade as a sauce with the pork.

As this is my first attempt at cooking with tea I am linking it to Our Growing Edge, run by Bunny Eats Design and hosted this month by Garden Eats.

Disclosure: I was sent a free sample of Adagio Jasmine Chun Hao tea.

 

Pull Apart Pizza Bread Rolls

Pull apart stuffed pizza bread rolls filled with cheese and chorizo

I always enjoy the hunt for a great new recipe and that’s one of the reasons I love to take part in the Secret Recipe Club every month.   Each month we are assigned another blog and our task is to chose a recipe to make from it and then blog about.  If possible I like to find something a little different or something I’ve never made before.   After all, it wouldn’t be a challenge if I just made a slight variation on an already favourite recipe.

This month I was assigned, Hun… What’s for Dinner?  Like me, Cindy is a stay at home mum of 2 and got into cooking when she got married and wanted to be able to eat good food.  Unlike me, Cindy has won a few awards for her cooking so I knew there would be some good recipes for me to find.  Even so, I didn’t spend long looking.   I soon saw these pizza pull aparts and I knew straightaway that I wanted to make them.  The hunt was over.  I just knew and I was right.

I made just a few small changes.   I used chorizo instead of pepperoni and cheddar instead of mozzarella.   I would have added a little basil to the garlic butter but I discovered/remembered too late that I’d run out.   I’m sure it would have been lovely but the garlic butter was fantastic brushed over the top of the rolls and I really didn’t feel anything was missing as I ate them.   They are yummy – all the flavours of a pizza but in a bread roll.   There are so many filling variations that could be made too.   Whatever you like in your pizza I challenge you to put inside some of these rolls!

I served the rolls with my favourite simple tomato soup – a recipe that I just keep coming back to.  It was suggested to serve them with pizza sauce but I felt like having more tomato than that and I think a tomato soup is the perfect accompaniment.

Ingredients – Serves 4

250g strong bread flour

7g sachet fast action yeast

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

150-200ml warm water

Slices of chorizo or pepperoni (I used 8 but it depend on how many rolls you make)

Cubes of cheese (the same amount as the slices of cured meat)

20g butter, melted

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

How to Make Pull Apart Pizza Bread Rolls

1. Put the flour, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl with a dough hook.    Add the oil and start the mixer.   Pour in about 2/3 of the water slowly.   Keep adding a little more until a smooth dough forms.  Then continue to knead it in the mixer with the dough hook for 5 minutes.

2. Put the dough in a lightly oiled basin and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel.   Leave for about 30 minutes.

3. Cut the dough into equal sized pieces about golf ball sized.

4. Flatten each piece of dough.   Put a slice of chorizo in the middle witha  piece of cheese on the top and then fold the dough around it.   Place the rolls in a lightly oiled oven-proof dish with the seam underneath.  Leave a small gap between each ball of dough – they will rise in the oven and join together again.

5. Mix the crushed garlic into the melted butter and then brush the top of the rolls with the melted butter and sprinkle with the grated parmesan.

6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180C.

7. Serve with tomato soup.

Pull apart stuffed pizza bread rolls filled with cheese and chorizo

To see what other Secret Recipe Club participants have made, click on the link below:

 

I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

Tasty Tuesdays

 

Banana and Blueberry Pancakes and the #EarlyBirdChallenge

banana blueberry pancakes

Do you make the most of your mornings?   Do you jump out of bed and cook a delicious breakfast for you and your family?  Do you fit in half an hour of exercise in the park?   How about an early morning meditation or reading that book you’ve always been meaning to? What’s that?   Did I hear someone laughing?

I have to say, I’m naturally a morning person but even I fall into the trap of having exactly the same breakfast every day.   I’d happily get up at 6 o’clock and enjoy the first hour of the day if that hour was just for me.  Instead, I’m often forced to get up at 5:00 or even 4:00 if I’m unlucky.  Even for me that is way way too early!

I spend my early mornings looking after children and even if I’ve been up for hours I still end up just grabbing a bowl of muesli for breakfast once it gets to 7 o’clock.   I’m sure there are some mums who really make the most of these early morning hours when it feels like the whole world is still snoozing but unfortunately I’m not one of them.  Or at least I’m not most mornings.

Recently I’ve teamed up with Free Office Finder to take part in their Early Bird Challenge and resolved to make some changes.   Just once a week I will try and make an interesting and child-friendly breakfast that the whole family can enjoy.

For my first breakfast challenge I made these lovely banana and blueberry pancakes adapted from this recipe on BBC Good Food.   I always think of American style pancakes as being quite heavy but these were surprisingly light and I loved the fruit in them.  My lovely husband was very pleased to get pancakes for breakfast too but unfortunately Little Miss Spice did not and all the fruit got picked out of her pancake.   Never mind, at least I’ve discovered she likes plain pancakes.   I’ve also made the recipe with just banana and I’m sure you could adapt it to use almost any fruit you wanted to use up.

Over the next few weeks I hope to make French Toast, poached eggs and maybe, just once, a full English breakfast.  Not for lunch.  For breakfast.

So, if you were to take the Early Bird Challenge, tell me, how would you make the most of your early mornings?

Ingredients for Blueberry and Banana Pancakes

100g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp (45g) soft brown sugar

1 egg

1 banana, sliced

100g blueberries, fresh or frozen

100ml milk

Honey, golden syrup, yoghurt to serve (optional)

How to Make Blueberry and Banana Pancakes

1. Put the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.   Stir together and make a well in the centre.

2. Add the egg and beat it in with a fork.   Then gradually add the milk to make a smooth thick batter.

3. Stir the fruit into the batter.

4. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add a few tablespoons of the batter to the pan with a space around each one.

5. Cook the pancakes for a couple of minutes.  They are ready to turn over when you can see bubbles appearing on the surface.   Cook for another couple of minutes on the other side and then serve drizzled with honey or golden syrup and maybe with a dollop of yoghurt on the side too.

 

Dulce De Leche Cake

Dulce de Leche cake

Would you like a piece of cake?  No, I’m afraid it’s not a healthy cake.  No, it’s not recommended for dieters.   It’s just cake.  Sometimes a good piece of cake is all you need to make you happy.  That’s what this cake is like. It’s soft, moist and fairly dense with a lovely caramel flavour from both the brown sugar and the dulce de leche.  I’d love to say it’s light but I’m afraid it’s not.  Even so, you could just have a small slice.   Why deprive yourself?

The icing is also rich, sweet and caramelly from the dulce de leche.   It was a little runny and we did lose some that ran off the sides and onto the plate but we weren’t shy of scooping it up on spoons to eat afterwards.  In fact, I could have happily eaten it off the spoon for a dessert on its own.   Maybe next time I’d add just a little bit more icing sugar so it would be a bit thicker.   I wouldn’t want to dilute any of the lovely caramel flavour though.

Like the Cake Pops I made last month, the recipe was from Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes by Rachel Allen.   I hadn’t made any of her recipes or read any of her books until recently and I am most definitely a convert now – at least to her sweet recipes, but I’m sure it won’t be long before I investigate something savoury.

Ingredients – Serves 12

175g room-temperature butter

100g soft brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g dulce de leche

2 eggs

100g ground almonds

175g self raising flour, sifted

Ingredients for the icing

50g room-temperature butter

175g dulce de leche

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g icing sugar

How to Make Dulce de Leche Cake

1. Line and grease a 20cm cake tin. Turn the oven on to 160 to heat up.

2. Beat the butter and the sugar together and then add the vanilla and dulce de leche.   Beat together then add the eggs and beat again.

3. Fold in the ground almonds and the flour.   Pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes.

4. Let the cake cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Make the icing by beating the butter and dulce de leche together followed by the vanilla. Sift in the icing sugar and then beat until smooth.

6. Slice the cake in half horizontally.   Spread about a third of the icing over the bottom layer and then pour the rest of the icing onto the top of the cake and let it dribble down the sides.  Smooth it around the sides and make it look nice if you want or just leave it with the drizzling down look.

dulce de leche cake 3I am linking this to Bake of the Week at Casa Costello and Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

Bake of the WeekTasty Tuesdays

 

Nut and Cranberry Biscuits

cranberry and nut cookies

Some recipes are made after days, weeks even, of  thinking and planning.  You get it into your head you want to try something and you think about the flavours and textures you want to create.  You imagine how it’s going to taste, you buy the ingredients and choose a suitable time to make it – a day when you have the right amount of time the recipe requires, a day when above all, you are prepared.

Other recipes are not planned at all and just forced upon you by circumstances almost beyond your control.  That was the case with these biscuits.  Little Miss Spice demanded to make them.   I tried to distract her with dolls houses, drawing and lego.  I hoped it would work.   On this day, it did not.   She could picture those biscuits.  She knew we had cupboards full of ingredients to make them – butter, sugar, plain flour.   Yes, even a 2 year old knows what goes in biscuits.  She also knew that I was trying to distract her and she was not going to let me have the satisfaction.

Luckily I love making biscuits too.  It wasn’t long before I was looking through the cupboards trying to decide what flavours to put in them.  I soon found the cranberries.  I bought them just a few weeks ago with a plan to make florentines. I could see that Little Miss Spice holding her biscuit cutters ready did not have florentines in mind though. Never mind, florentines had waited a few weeks, they could wait a few more.

There followed a hectic 15 minutes, or maybe it was even longer, as I scurried around measuring ingredients and making the dough before throwing it in the fridge to rest a little.

I waited as long as a two year old would allow me and then carefully sliced a chunk of dough off the side and sliced 4 neat biscuits before handing over the rest of the dough to Miss Spice.  We made stars, bells and hearts with the cutters, as well as moulding ducks with our hands.   It was fun.  The biscuits were messy – all different sizes and thicknesses as we threw them on the baking trays.

As we baked them a delicious smell filled the kitchen and as we ate them later I didn’t feel too guilty about giving my daughter biscuits.  Again.   They are not too sweet and it was the perfect afternoon activity for us.

The recipe was adapted from this one for Pistachio and Cranberry Cookies.

Easy biscuits filled with chopped nuts and cranberries

I am linking these to Bake of the week at Casa Costello and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

Bake of the WeekRecipe of the 'Week

Cod and Dukkah Fish Fingers

Cod and Dukkah Fish Fingers

Now, before you say my fish fingers are a little messy and that I haven’t coated them very evenly I want to say that I didn’t actually make the fish fingers.   No no, it’s not just an excuse because they are not quite as pretty as they could be.  I’m actually rather proud of them even though I didn’t make them.

Well, I got out three bowls, one with flour in, one with egg and one with breadcrumbs and dukkah.   I lined them up and put a baking tray next to the last one.   I demonstrated and then I let Little Miss Spice do all the rest

She seemed to think it was a race – dipping each one in each bowl as quickly as possible and then throwing them on the baking tray.  She was like a little whirlwind but she was at least doing exactly what I’d shown her.  I have never seen anyone coat fish fingers quite so quickly.  It would have taken me far longer, although admittedly they might have looked a little neater!   however as she’s just turned 2.5 I think they are rather good.

You could of course adapt these to use any dried herbs or spices and if you make them as quickly a Little Miss Spice did, then they are almost as quick to get on the table as ready-made fish fingers.

Ingredients – Serves 2

300g cod loin

3 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 egg, beaten

4 tbsp breadcrumbs

2 tsp dukkah

How to Make Cod and Dukkah Fish Fingers

1. Slice the cod into strips about 2cm wide.

2. Get three bowls ready to coat the fish in breadcrumbs.   In the first bowl mix the flour and the cayenne.   In the next bowl put the egg.   In the last bowl put the breadcrumbs and dukkah. Lightly oil a baking tray too.

3. Roll the fish fingers in the flour, then dip them in the egg and finally roll them in the breadcrumbs.  Put them on the baking tray.

4. Bake the fish fingers in the oven at 200c for 15 minutes.

5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

I am linking these to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.   They are also my Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

Tasty TuesdaysRecipe of the 'Week

 

Chocolate Cake from the Cake Decorating Store

Chocolate cake made with cake mix from the cake decorating store

Is it cheating to use a cake mix?  Why use one when it’s so easy to make a cake anyway?   After all, with a cake mix you still have to add eggs and oil or butter.

I’ve never been a very confident cake maker and don’t have strong feelings either way.   My mum always made cakes from scratch when I was growing up though and so using a cake mix is not something I’ve often thought about.  About 4 years ago I made a cake for the first time and I didn’t decorate it.   The next few cakes were also plain and weren’t decorated.   It felt like it took enough effort to decide on a cake to make, get the ingredients and then make it that decorating it was just a step too far.   I know lots of people will be telling me how simple a cake is to make and I know that now, but at the time I was lacking in cake-making confidence.

The first cake I made that I really wanted to decorate was the dinosaur cake I made for my daughter’s first birthday a year and a half ago.   The problem was, I was running a marathon the day before and I didn’t have a lot of time.   I opted to use a cake mix just to simplify things.   I could then concentrate on decorating it without having to worry about the cake itself.

It’s only in the last year that I have felt confident enough to attempt cake decorating and I have made the cakes and done the decorating from scratch.  Some of my attempts have not looked especially sophisticated but I’ve felt proud of them nonetheless.

So, going back to the idea of using a cake mix, for me using one to make that dinosaur cake was a stepping stone and in retrospect, the most helpful thing about it was the fact that it made me feel I was doing something easy and so I felt confident enough to be more experimental with the actual decorating.   That has to have been a good thing.

Recently I was sent a Barefoot Baker rich chocolate cake mix to try out from the Cake Decorating Store as well as a cake tin and cake tester.  I considered whether to add my own touch and add a little extra something to the cake mix.   Maybe some chilli or other spices.   But then, why mess with a chocolate cake?   You can’t beat a good chocolate cake and I wanted to find out just how good this one would be.

The cake itself is very very dark and chocolatey.  I spread a layer of blackcherry jam in the middle of the cake because I love jam in a chocolate cake (and that’s what my mum does) and topped it with a dark chocolate gananche – 150ml double cream with 150g dark chocolate melted into it.   I then just sprinkled some grated white chocolate over the top of the cake.   Simple, but what more do you need from a good chocolate cake?

I really can’t complain about it.   The cake was moist and tasty and everyone who tried it enjoyed it.   I’m not a convert to cake mixes.   I still want to mix up my own cakes these days, but they definitely have a place and I’d be quite happy to eat this one again.

And what about you?   How do you feel about using a cake mix?

Chocolate cake made with cake mix from the cake decorating store

 

Disclosure: I was sent a free sample of the cake mix from the Cake Decorating Store but was under no obligation to write a positive review.   The opinions here are my own.

Maple and Mustard Glazed Ham

Maple and Mustard Glazed Ham

Quite often when we visit my mum there’s a huge joint of ham in the fridge.   It lasts for days and we just slice a bit off for sandwiches at lunchtime or to make meals with in the evening.

If you visit my house you are unlikely to find any ham at all and if you do, it’ll probably be a supermarket pack with about 5 identical slices in, and the ham itself will be almost unrecognizable from the lovely ham we enjoy at my mum’s.

I thought it was about time things changed.   It was time I attempted to cook some ham myself.  I had to look up the cooking method and I had to decide on a glaze too. Usually at my mum’s the ham is unglazed but I decided if I was making the effort to cook some ham for the first time I really should go the whole hog.

I had recently bought some maple syrup and we love mustard so this Gordon Ramsey recipe caught my eye and I just adapted it a little.   We ate the ham warm and it was really moist and full of flavour.   The glaze was lovely and sweet and we drizzled some of the glaze from the pan onto the slices of ham on our plates too.   My one complaint was that we could barely taste the mustard but it was so delicious I don’t think I’d change it next time anyway.   However, if you did want a stronger mustard flavour then there’s no reason not to add a bit more to your glaze.

Ingredients 

700g piece of ham

1 tsp black peppercorns

3 cloves

100ml maple syrup

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Worcester sauce

1 tsp mustard

How to Make Maple and Mustard Glazed Ham

1. Put the ham in a large saucepan, peppercorns and cloves in a large saucepan.   Cover with cold water and bring to the boil.  simmer for an hour.  Skim off any scum that gathers on the surface of the water.

2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients to make the glaze.

3. If the ham has skin on then take it off.

4. Put the  ham in an ovenproof dish lined with kitchen foil.    Coat the ham with about 2/3 of the glaze.   Put the ham in the oven at 190C for 20 minutes.   Take it out and coat with the rest of the glaze. Return it to the oven for another 20 minutes.

5. Let the ham rest for 20 minutes before serving.

As cooking ham is a new thing for me I am linking it to Our Growing Edge run by Bunny Eats Design and hosted this month by The Orange Bee.  I am also linking to The Spice Trail at Bangers and Mash.   The spice this month is peppercorns.  Finally I am linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

our-growing-edge-badgeThe spice TrailTasty Tuesdays