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A glazed gammon, ultimate nut roast and a chocolate chestnut tree trunk cake

 

I am taking part in the waitrose #christmastogether campaign to bring you these three recipes, Waitrose are running a Christmas together competition where you can win lots of prizes, for more info go here. some of the prizes include a kitchenaid stand mixer, a luxury Christmas hamper and a beautiful nordman fir tree. Christmas is my favourite time of the year. Maybe because of the food or maybe because of all the family coming together. I still get the excited feeling in my tummy in the weeks leading up to it as I did when I was a child counting down to farther Christmas. I hope that I never grow out of that excitement. My family roll their eyes at me when I tell them how many days to Christmas it is in October lol. They say no please don’t bring it up yet, I don’t understand why? Who wouldnt be excited for Christmas,, The tree, the Christmas songs, the chocolate and also the cold weather (weirdly I quite like that too). For this blog post of three delicious Christmas recipes I asked My family what they loved the most for Christmas dinner and they said gammon so I created this one glazed with marmalade. It was so tasty and was a real show stopper. I also created a nut roast, I wanted it to be a bit special so I cooked it in a bundt style pan so it looked like a wreath and decorated it with goats cheese and pomegranate seeds and herbs, you can adapt it to make it vegan by swapping the eggs for flax eggs and leaving out the cheese. I wanted it to be the best nut roast ever created and I felt it was quite close, the ingredients list is quite big but don’t let that put you off. I am not a vegetarian but if there is a nut roast on offer I will always opt for that as I just love the texture of it. This one was packed with flavour. And for Dessert I created a yule log with a bit of a difference, I made it into a tree stump. In side it is filled with chestnut mascarpone cream and outside a rich chocolate ganache it was so delicious and went down so well with my family. I bring you these recipes in collaboration with waitrose.

Marmalade glazed gammon

channeling my inner Paddington bear and my love for marmalade I decided to use it to glaze my gammon. I got the biggest gammon I could find and it was delicious (for 4 days after we where still eating left overs I may have got a bit carried away with the size of it)

  • one smoked gammon skin on
  • jar of marmalade as it’s Christmas get a fancy one with lots of rind
  • one navel orange
  • sage

in the biggest pot you can find place the gammon In it and fill up with water, boil for 1 hour and a half then remove from the water and place on a chopping board and carefully peel the skin off revealing the fat underneath. With a sharp knife score the fat in a diamond pattern. This is where you normally add the cloves but it was a unanimous vote not to use them so I didn’t. Place On a baking tray and roast covered in fold for 1 hour at 180c turn up heat to 200 and roast for 45 minutes uncovered, melt the marmalade with a bit of water and brush all over and place back In the oven for 10 minutes. This is for a huge 3k gammon for one that is of a more sensitive size you can boil for 1.15 minutes and roast for 45 uncovered.

The nut roast.

this is jam packed with so much that it really is a special treat.

  • 1 red onion
  • 375g grated parsnips and carrots (about 3 of each)
  • 75g skin on almonds
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms really finely chopped
  • 150g bread crumbs
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 100g cooked chestnuts
  • 45g pumpkin seeds
  • 6 large sage leaves, leaves from two sprigs of rosemary and 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 350g butter nut squash
  • 6g porcini dried mushrooms about 5
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 500ml boiling water
  • 100ml white wine
  • 220g cooked rice or whole grains
  • 2 heaped tbsp of miso paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 100g cheddar
  • 3 eggs
  • herbs, goats cheese and pomegranate to decorate

first cut the butternut squash into small cutes toss over a little olive oil and bake for 25 minutes at 180c mean while, grate the carrot and parsnip I used a grater attachment of my food processor for quickness. Chop the onion and sautée and chop the chestnut mushrooms and then pulse and few times in a food processor with the herbs to chop really finely. Once the onion has softened add the mushrooms and chopped herbs and sautée then remove from the heat add the grated carrot/parsnip. Then add the nuts into the food processor and chop up and add that to the pan with the pumpkin seeds, bread crumbs and then add the cooked rice, squash and cheddar and mix. Then add the eggs. In a bowl add the water, stock cubes, wine, miso, mustard and dried porcini, let stand for 5 minutes then remove the mushrooms and chop up then add back in and pour this into the pan and mix (you can use your hands if it’s easier) line a large angel food cake style tin that has a removeable base and press in the mixture then bake for 50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes then gently remove from the tin on to a plate, you can put it back in for 10 minutes to brown the outside if you wish but I found it best to slice it before serving and baking it on a baking tray for 15 minutes to make it nice and crispy.

the tree trunk cake.

 

the sponge

  • 8 eggs
  • 130g self raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder

filling

  • 200g chestnut purée
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 200ml double cream

for ganach

  • 300ml double cream
  • 350g dark chocolate   (60g milk chocolate for decoration)
  • in the bowl of a stand mixer add the eggs and sugar and mix at high speed for 5 minutes until they have become thick then sift in the flour and cocoa powder and gently fold in then pour onto two lined Swiss roll tins and gently tip trays to spread the batter. preheat the oven to 180c. bake for 10 to 12 minutes then let cool for two minutes before turning out onto two damp tea towels and peeling off the baking paper. roll up into a log and let cool.
    make ganache by melted the chocolate with the cream In a bowl over a pan of boiling water then mix and let cool a little before chilling in the fridge.
    make filling mix the chestnut puree, sugars and mascarpone then add the cream and whisk until thick.
    once the sponge has cooled unroll it and place the two sponges in a landscape position, spread the filling all over and smooth out then cut off a strip about 4 inches wide from the top of both. roll one up then roll the second one around that one and place on a cake stand facing up like a trunk then add the two strips one above the over around cake. to make the top part lighter like the inside of a chopped tree truck I whisked 100ml cream, 3 tbsp. brown sugar until thick then I added two tbsp. of the chocolate ganache. spread this on the top and use the back of a spoon to make rings. then spread on the ganache around the edge and smooth up. melt 60g chocolate and spread onto a sheet of baking paper and let cool just enough to score it and roll it up, once set break into bark like bits and add around the edge of the cake. dish with cocoa powder and icing sugar.

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