Christmas recipes: Try these recipes for honeyed ham with cider and a white chocolate Christmas cake

Bored of fruit cake? Want to do something different with the turkey? Why not try these recipes.

If you are thinking about the big day and what to cook, here are some recipes created by Rowse Honey for you to enjoy.

Honeyed ham with cider

Prep time: 25 minutes

Honey ham

Cooking time: 160 minutes

Serves 8


For the Ham

Honey roast turkey

1.5kg/3lb 2oz smoked gammon joint, soaked overnight in cold water, drained

1 carrot, quartered

1 onion, quartered

2 bay leaves

White chocolate Christmas cake

¼ tsp peppercorns

500ml bottle dry cider

450-600ml/ ¾-1 pint boiling water

To glaze

Few whole cloves

2 tablespoons Rowse honey

2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Pickled Plums

400ml/14 fl oz white wine vinegar

150g/5oz Rowse honey

75g/3oz caster sugar

3 garlic cloves, halved

1 red chilli, halved with seeds, optional

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon multi coloured peppercorns

4 sprigs rosemary

4 bay leaves

450g/1lb firm ripe red plums


For the Ham

Put the gammon joint into a flameproof casserole a little larger than the joint, add the carrot, onion, bay leaves and peppercorns, the cider and enough water to just cover the joint. Bring to the boil then add the lid and transfer to a preheated oven set to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and cook for 35 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz.

Lift the joint out of the pan and transfer to a small roasting tin, allow to cool for a few minutes then cut away the rind. Score the fat underneath in criss cross lines with a knife then insert a few cloves into the squares of fat.

Mix the honey, mustard and ground cloves then spread this over the fat. Add two ladlefuls of the cooking liquid to the base of the roasting tin then return the joint to the oven, uncovered for 30-35 minutes, basting once or twice with the cooking juices until a deep brown.

If serving hot, transfer the joint to a serving plate, carve into slices and serve with spoonfuls of the honied cider pan juices. If serving cold, leave the ham to cool and serve sliced with salad and pickled plums, see below.

For the Pickled Plums

Pour the vinegar into a medium sized saucepan, add the honey, sugar, garlic, chilli, salt, peppercorns and half the herbs and bring to the boil. Simmer over a medium heat for five minutes until syrupy.

Meanwhile, wash, dry and prick the plums with a fork then pack into a warmed dry 750ml/1 ¼ pint jar with the remaining herbs, pressing the plums together tightly.

Lift the cooked herbs from the vinegar with a fork and discard then pour the hot vinegar mixture quickly over the plums making sure the fruit are covered by the vinegar. Close and seal the lid.

Leave to cool then store in the fridge, ideally leave for two weeks so that the flavours can develop before eating with cold sliced ham.

Turkey with honeyed onion and fennel stuffing

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours

Serves 8



100g (3½oz) butter

2 small onions about 175g (6 oz), finely chopped

1 fennel bulb about 250g (9 oz), finely chopped

4 teaspoons Rowse Clear Honey

1 lemon

Bunch fresh rosemary

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

175 g (6 oz) fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 kg (9¼lb) turkey, wishbone removed, defrosted thoroughly if frozen

For roasting

100 g (4 oz) butter

150 g (5 oz) smoked streaky bacon

2 tablespoons Rowse Pure & Natural clear honey

For turkey gravy

Turkey giblets

1 onion quartered

1 carrot quartered


For the Stuffing (can be made in advance)

To make the stuffing, heat the butter in a frying pan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the fennel and fry gently for 5 minutes then add the honey and fry for 5 more minutes, stirring more frequently until the onion and fennel are pale golden then take off the heat.

Grate the rind from the lemon, add to the frying pan. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice from one half and add to the pan. Reserve the other half.

Strip some of the leaves from 3 stems of rosemary and chop to give about 3 tablespoons. Stir the chopped rosemary, parsley, breadcrumbs, beaten egg and lots of salt and pepper into the honied fennel mixture. Cool. This can be made the day before it is needed, pack into a plastic box, cool and chill in the fridge.

For the Turkey

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan oven 160°C), Gas Mark 4. Remove the bag of giblets from the turkey. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water. Drain well and add the remaining half lemon and three stems of rosemary to the cavity. Spoon the stuffing into the neck cavity, press firmly until tightly packed. Fold the neck flap back over the stuffing and truss with string if needed. Shape any remaining stuffing into balls and add to the roasting tin for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Weigh the turkey on the bathroom scales and calculate the cooking time allowing 20 minutes per 1 kg (2 ¼ lb) plus 90 minutes. Place in a roasting tin, melt the butter in a saucepan then brush generously all over the turkey, season the breast with salt and pepper and cover with bacon. Wrap loosely with foil then roast for calculated cooking time, brushing at intervals with extra butter and removing the foil and bacon for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

To test if the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer through the thickest part of the leg through to the breast, if the juices run clear it is ready, if not return to the oven and test at 15 minute intervals, recovering with foil if needed.

Drizzle the turkey skin with honey and cook for 5-10 more minutes until burnished and glistening then transfer to a warmed serving plate, cover tightly with foil and keep warm in a very low oven, or if you need the oven space to brown the potatoes, put on a work surface, cover with foil and a thick towel to keep the turkey hot. Leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.

Remove foil and garnish the turkey with rosemary, holly and cranberries, sliced lemon or a fennel seed head, if liked.

To garnish: Fresh rosemary, holly leaves and a few cranberries or sliced lemon and a fennel seed head, optional

For the Gravy

Add the turkey giblets to a saucepan with 1 quartered onion, 1 quartered carrot, 2 stems celery, sliced, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1 chicken stock cube and 1.2 litres (2 pints) water. Bring just to the boil then partially cover with a lid and simmer very gently for 11/2 hours. Strain and reserve. This can be done the day before and then chilled in the fridge.

When the turkey has been transferred to a serving plate to rest, pour the fat from the roasting tin leaving the meat juices behind.

Stir 3 tablespoons plain flour into the meat juices then put the roasting tin on the hob and cook for 2-3 minutes. 4. Gradually mix in the strained stock, 120 ml (4 floz) dry sherry, salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, stirring and cook for 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed then strain into a large jug.

Tips: Weigh the turkey on the bathroom scales and calculate the cooking time allowing 20 minutes per 1 kg (2 ¼ lb) plus 90 minutes. If using a fan oven, lower the temperature down by 20°C to 160°C.

Rowse Honey & White Chocolate Christmas Cake

Credit: Amanda James on behalf of Rowse Honey

Prep time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Serves 16


For the sponges

250g unsalted butter, softened

300g golden caster sugar

150g soft brown sugar

5 large eggs, separated

500g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

150g Greek or natural yogurt

2 tsp vanilla extract

200g white chocolate, melted

5 tbsp Rowse Runny Honey

For the honeycomb

200g golden caster sugar

5 tbsp Rowse Runny Honey

2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting

250g unsalted butter, softened

700g Icing sugar, sifted

2-3 tbsp whole milk

100g Rowse Runny Honey

150g soft cream cheese


If fruit cake isn’t your thing, we’ve created a non-traditional Christmas cake that’s as impressive to look at as it is to taste. Rowse Runny Honey works in perfect partnership with white chocolate and velvety whipped egg whites to create light soft sponges, then covered in creamy Rowse Runny Honey white frosting creating an all-white Christmas effect. We’ve even whipped up some delicious Rowse Runny Honey honeycomb to really impress over the Christmas season! - Amanda James

Preheat the oven to 170C fan/190C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm deep, round cake tins with baking parchment.

In a tabletop mixer or a large mixing bowl with electric whisks, beat together the butter and 200g golden caster sugar for 5 mins until light and fluffy.

In another large bowl add the egg whites and whisk until you have soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 100g of golden caster sugar and whisk until glossy and stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl add the egg yolks with the soft brown sugar and whisk until thickened and doubled in size. Sift the flour into a bowl with the baking powder. Add the egg yolk mixture followed by the flour and baking powder to the butter mixture in 3 stages, and beat to fully combine. Pour in the yogurt, vanilla, white chocolate and Rowse Runny Honey, then whip for 1 more min. Lastly fold through the egg whites until smooth and fully combined.

Evenly transfer to baking tins and level out the tops. Pop in the oven for 30-35 mins until starting to turn golden on top and a skewer inserted through the middle comes out clean. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 15 mins before taking out and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the Rowse Runny Honey honeycomb, butter a 20cm square tin. To a large saucepan over a low heat stir together the sugar and honey until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and carefully simmer to a dark amber and the sugar is bubbling or a sugar thermometer reaches 149C. Once bubbling, add bicarbonate of soda and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Be careful as the mixture will start to quickly rise and become very foamy. Transfer immediately to the prepared tin and leave to cool completely for at least 30 mins to harden.

To make the frosting, beat the butter in a table top mixer or a large mixing bowl with electric whisks for 2-3 mins until creamy and pale. Gradually add the icing sugar ⅓ at a time until fully combined, adding 2-3 tbsp milk to loosen. Add the Rowse Runny Honey and soft cream cheese and whip again for 30 seconds until creamy and thick.

To assemble the cake, trim the tops to level them out. Pop one of the cakes onto a cake board or cake stand and layer with ½ of the frosting, continue with another cake and layer of frosting and finish with the final cake on top. With a thin layer of frosting cover the whole cake in a crumb coat and leave to chill for 30 mins. With the remaining frosting cover the whole cake and smooth out with a palette knife. Leave to chill for a further 30 mins.

Crack and break the honeycomb to sizes you like and decorate the finished cake with the honeycomb, desiccated coconut, white chocolate chips and anything else you like. Serve and enjoy!