Thursday, 30 December 2010

Cupcakes, Cookbooks and Coca Cola Ham!

I hope everybody had a lovely Christmas and are now planning for the New Year! 

First of all, I must blog Nigella's Coca Cola Ham. Not sure if anybody follows India Knight on twitter but she had a ham and there was a lot of debate about whether to do it in coca cola or not, everybody who has cooked it says do it but if you haven't then it probably sounds very strange. And I remember watching Nigella do it on one of her show's a while ago and thinking how weird it seemed. But true to her word, it does really work and I will definitely be cooking all my ham's like this in the future. We cooked this on Boxing Day ready for some family coming the following day and it went down really well (unfortunately not much was left!) The coke doesn't make it too sweet like I thought it would, it just adds a great depth of flavour and colour. Then you add the glaze which tastes really great.  The photo below doesn't really do it justice. 
Ingredients -
2kg mild cure gammon
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
2 litre bottle of coca cola (plus extra to make sure it's covered if your pan is too big like mine was)
For the glaze -
Handful of cloves (optional, I was a bit cloved out from Christmas so left them out)
1 heaped tablespoon of black treacle
2 tsp english mustard powder
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
One spoonful of the cooking water to loosen it up a little.

1. Nigella doesn't bother to soak the ham but I did just in case it was too salty. So if you feel it will be salty, put it in a pan covered with cold water and bring to the boil then tip into a colander in the sink.
2. Then put the gammon in a pan, skin side down if it fits like that, add the onion and then pour over the Coke.
3.Bring to the boil then reduce to a good simmer. Put the lid on but not too tightly and cook for just under 2 1/2 hours. If your joint is bigger or smaller then work out the timing by about an hour per kilo remembering that it will go into an oven later (but add an extra 15mins if it's been in the fridge right up until the moment you cook it)
4. Preheat the oven to 240c.
5. When the ham's had it's time, take it out of the pan but don't throw away the cooking liquid yet. Let it cool for a little bit to make it easier to handle or let it cool completely and finish cooking later if you need to. Then remove the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with a sharp knife to make large diamond shapes then if using cloves, stud each diamond with a clove.
6. Mix the sugar and mustard powder into the treacle with a little cooking water and spread onto the ham.
7. Then cook in a foil-lined roasting tin for approx 10 mins or until the glaze is burnished and bubbling. 
Then slice when ready and serve! 
I got lots of cookbooks for Christmas so I shall be sharing many recipes over the next few months. Here are a photo of some of my favourites. I can't wait to get stuck in to some new recipes, especially from Leon and Green&Blacks. But some others I'd really recommend and not pictured are: Jamie's 30minute meals, Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book, Delia, any by Ottolenghi and Nigella Express. 
And finally, some photos of some food over Christmas including the cupcakes (I just used the Hummingbird vanilla recipe as everyone was a bit too flavoured out) and Turkey!


Over January, I'll be posting lots of fresh and healthy recipes and lots from the new cookbooks. Happy New Year!

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