The Christmas Culinary Corner

By Donna Dunne

HAM Horizontal Culinary Corner p. 35

Christmas Baked Ham in Cola

If you don’t have children to wake you up on Christmas day, then I hope your Christmas dinner will! Some of us must be up early to prepare for the family to arrive for the festive feast while others, like me, still live at home with their parents with no children to enlighten the day. The only thing that I get excited about on Christmas Day is the back-to-back episodes of Only Fools and Horses and the smell of my mother’s home-baked cooking. My mum is a fabulous cook and it’s no wonder I don’t want to leave home with dishes like this being served to me. Here’s one of her recipes to cook a scrumptious ham.


2kg gammon, mild cure
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 litres of cola, not diet
For the Glaze
15 cloves (optional)
1 tablespoon of maple syrup or golden syrup
2 tablespoons Dalkey mustard
2 tablespoons of golden sugar

Place the gammon in a large pot of cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiled, pour off water and repeat the process. Skim off any impurities. Once drained, put the gammon back into the pot with the skin facing down. Add the onion and cola, soaking the gammon with the cola.

Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer. Put the lid loosely on the pot. Cook for approx. 2½ hours, one hour per kilo. If the meat came straight from the fridge it will need another 15 minutes to ensure the inside is cooked. Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 240C / Gas mark 9.
Remove from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid. Allow ham to cool a little before handling.

When cooled enough to handle, remove skin but leave a thin layer of fat. Score fat with a sharp knife, making large diamond shapes. Place a clove in each diamond if using. Then cover the skin with the cooking liquid which should have a syrupy consistency. Then gently cover the skin with the Dalkey mustard and sugar.

Cook in a foil-lined roasting tin for 10 minutes or until the glaze is browned and bubbling!

The Culinary Corner

Chocolate Roulade

This is another great recipe that my mother bakes on special occasions. She has a collection of old and new recipes that I have rummaged through. The recipe book doesn’t even have a front cover, it’s torn, has phone numbers written everywhere and it looks as though it has been through a lot of meal times. It’s called Sister Ann’s Recipes. Jamie Oliver’s book hasn’t got a patch on it! This chocolate roulade is without a doubt in a world of its own. Not only is it delicious but it is also suitable for coeliacs.


3 eggs separated
3ozs (75g) castor sugar
1oz (25g) Gluten free Cocoa powder
4ozs (110g) plain chocolate (gluten free)
2 tbsp. Water
1 egg separated
½ pt (275mls) fresh cream
Icing sugar

Make the chocolate filling first: melt the chocolate and water either in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. When melted remove from the heat and beat well. Beat the egg yolk and mix into the warm chocolate mixture. Cover and chill until semi-solid and spreadable.

Make the cake by whisking the egg yolks, sugar and cocoa until mixture thickens and is shiny and smooth. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites to a soft peak. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until fully absorbed. Pour the mixture onto a swiss roll tin lined with greaseproof paper. Preheat oven 180C / Gas Mark 4

Bake the roulade for 15-20 mins until springy and well-risen. Leave to cool in the tin. It will shrink as it cools then whip the cream. When cool turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper dusted with icing sugar to prevent sticking. Spread the chocolate filling over the roulade, then spread the whipped cream over the mousse. Finally, roll the cake bringing the greaseproof paper with you as you roll to keep the roulade together. Delicious served on its own, with ice-cream or fresh strawberries.