There never seems enough time to prepare building up to Christmas! That’s why Happy Valley is here to help. Supplying you with tasty recipes and tasty honey to make your Christmas a standout this year! Preparing early is easy!
First we start with a New Zealand Christmas Classic, Glazed Ham!
Free-range ham half a leg
Whole cloves about 1/4 cup
Water 1½ cups
Brown sugar ½ cup
Happy Valley liquid honey ¼ cup
Wholegrain mustard 1 tablespoon
Brandy, rum or pineapple juice ½ cup
Pre heat oven to 175 deg C/350 Fahrenheit
Take a small sharp knife and cut a zig zag shape into the skin at the base of the ham hock – this is just for decoration more than anything. This is where you will remove the skin to.
Using the small knife, loosen the skin away from the white fat along the cut edge. You want to keep the white fat on the ham, as this keeps the ham moist (and very tasty!). Loosen the skin by slipping your fingertips underneath, then pull the skin away, back to the zig zag at base of hock.
Use a knife to score the white fat diagonally at about 2cm intervals. Push a whole clove into the criss crossor centre of each diamond.
Wrap tinfoil around the end of the hock to stop it burning (this is if your ham has a hock, i.e. the bone end. If you have the chump end, i.e. no bone, then you don’t need to do anything). Place ham in a roasting dish, add water to the base of the dish and place in the oven for 20 minutes (the water helps prevent it from drying out).
Meanwhile make the glaze; place brown sugar, honey and mustard into a saucepan and heat for a few minutes over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in brandy, rum or pineapple juice.
After ham has cooked for 20 minutes remove from oven and brush well with the glaze. Return to oven for another 20 minutes. Re-glaze, remove the foil from the hock and bake for another 20 minutes. You may need to add a little extra water to the dish towards the end of cooking if it has completely evaporated.
Re-glaze and cook for a final 20- 30 minutes. The ham should be caramelised and golden.
Once ham is cooked, remove from oven, cover with foil and set aside to rest for about 15 minutes until ready serve.
Collect the ham juices and glaze from the base of the roasting dish and give the ham one final glaze with this just before serving.
2 red onions, peeled
3 medium beetroots, peeled, or 10-12 baby beetroots, scrubbed
200g pumpkin, skin and seeds removed
6 small or 3 medium carrots, peeled
2 kumara / sweet potato, peeled (optional)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Happy Valley Honey
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups couscous
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
2 cups boiling water
½ packed cup mint leaves (about 50 leaves), chopped or torn
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Halve the onions lengthwise and cut into 2cm wedges. Cut the medium beetroot into 2cm chunks or the baby beets into quarters. Cut the pumpkin, carrots and kumara / sweet potato, if using, into 2cm chunks.
Place the prepared vegetables in a very large roasting dish or two and spread out to a single layer. Drizzle with oil and honey, season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and starting to caramelise.
In a large bowl, mix the couscous, lemon zest, salt and boiling water. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes, then fluff up with a fork.
Add the roasted vegetables, mint and lemon juice to the couscous and toss gently to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped pistachios.
2 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit (I used apricots & cranberries)
1-2 cups Galliano or liqueur of your choice – brandy, kahlua etc. (If you don’t like liqueur, soak them in orange juice warmed with 1 tbsp Happy Valley Honey).
Zest of 2 oranges and 1/4 cup juice
Zest of 1 lemon and a squeeze of juice
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp mace (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
5 free-range eggs
1 cup caster sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup rice bran or grape seed oil
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp natural vanilla essence
2 cups peeled & grated beetroot
1 1/2 cups peeled & grated carrot
Cream cheese icing
25g butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
Squeeze of lemon juice
Add the apricots and cranberries to a non-metallic bowl with the Galliano (or whatever liqueur you choose), orange juice and zest, and lemon juice and zest.
All the fruit should be covered.
Cover and leave at least overnight, or a couple of days in the fridge.
Line the base and sides of a 25-28cm cake tin with baking paper – have the paper coming up past the sides.
Set the rack just in the lower half of the oven.
Sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt into your largest mixing bowl and whisk to combine evenly.
Drain the soaked fruit through a sieve, reserving the syrupy liqueur juice in a bowl for later.
Crack the eggs into another large bowl. Add the sugars, oils and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Add the soaked fruit with a 1/3 cup of the syrupy liquid, and the grated carrot and beetroot. Fold to combine. (Note – if using gluten-free flour, add 1/2 cup of the liqueur).
Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and fold until well combined – I use a rubber spatula for this to get everything off the sides and bottom.
Scrape into the greased tin.
Bake in the oven for about 1 hour 40 minutes (a skewer inserted should come out clean). Cool slightly, then turn out on to a rack to cool completely. Seal in an airtight container for a few days until ready to ice.
To make the icing, beat the ingredients together until smooth. Add a little more lemon juice if necessary to thin it out or more icing sugar to thicken. Ice the cooled cake using a knife or spatula dipped in hot water.
Top with toffee nut crunch (recipe below). Serve slices of the cake with some whipped cream or ice cream (or both) and a drizzle of the remaining liqueur syrup.
Toffee nut crunch (for serving on top of cake)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1 cup mixed nuts
Preheat the oven to 150c conventional bake. Heat the butter, sugar and spices in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is melted. Stir in the nuts and salt and pepper. Pour into an even layer in a roasting dish lined with baking paper and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes – the nuts should be golden brown but not burnt – keep an eye on it if your oven tends to run hot. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Break into pieces and pulse in a food processor to a coarse crumb (or bash in a bag with a rolling pin). Sprinkle on top of the cake before serving.
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