Christmas has well and truly passed now but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice glazed ham or a festive cheesecake anytime you want. I spent my Christmas at home surrounded by my loving family and lots of delicious food. Two items on our Christmas menu included a glazed ham from Donna Hay and a gleaming maple cheesecake from Nigella Lawson. To see what other food was on offer that day, check out this post!
My cheesecake was well received, although being my fiercest critic I knew it was overbaked and not as light and creamy as it should be. I’m not sure whether to blame my oven or not but I checked it after half the supposed baking time and it already looked done. I took it out about 10 minutes after that and I knew that it had been in the oven for too long since it was missing the wobbly centre.
Despite my mistakes in making this cheesecake, I would definitely make it again. The maple syrup smells fantastic and permeates through the whole cake. And of course, the gleaming layer of maple syrup on top of the cheesecake is a definite crowd-pleaser.
I’ve also included in this post (just for you, Trissa!) the orange glazed ham that my Mum made. The glaze was delicious except there simply wasn’t enough of it, both when it was being glazed and in taste. The recipe below is straight out of the book but I would suggest perhaps making double quantities of the glaze since most of the glaze was already used up the first time the ham came out of the oven. Glazing it a few more times would also help impart more of the flavour onto the ham.
from Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson
For the base
8 digestive biscuits
85g butter, softened
For the filling
600g cream cheese, at room temperature (take it out of the fridge about 30 mins – 1 hour before using)
2 tsp cornflour
125ml maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
1/2 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Blitz biscuits in a food processor, add pecans and blitz again until the mixture is crumbled finely. Add butter and blitz until it all comes together. Press into the bottom of a lined 20cm springform tin and place in the fridge to chill.
2. Put a kettleful of water on the boil. In the cleaned food processor, add cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup and corn flour, and process until smooth. With the motor still running, add the eggs one at a time. Add vinegar/lemon juice and mix until you have a smooth batter.
3. Remove the tin from the fridge and line the outside of the tin with a double layer of foil to prevent water getting in. Pour the filling into the tin and place in a large roasting tray. Pour the boiling water in the roasting tray around the cheesecake until it comes halfway up the side of the tin. Bake in the oven for 1 1/4 hours until the cheesecake is set on the outside but wobbles a bit in the middle. I suggest to check every so often so you don’t end up with a dry, hard cheesecake like mine!
4. Remove the foil layers and cool on a wire rack. When the cheesecake has cooled down, chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. To serve, unmould the cheesecake from the springform tin and place on a serving platter. Drizzle extra maple syrup on the top.
from Modern Classics Book 1 by Donna Hay
8kg leg ham
cloves for studding
For the glaze
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup honey
1. Preheat oven to 190ºC. Remove the skin from the ham and score the fat in a diamond pattern. Stud a clove in the middle of each diamond the place the ham in a baking dish lined with several layers of non-stick baking paper.
2. To make the glaze, place the orange juice, sugar, mustard and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until thickened.
3. Brush the ham with the glaze and bake for 10 minutes. Glaze again and bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat and bake for a final 10 minutes. Allow the ham to stand for 5 minutes before carving.