A guide to glazes

A guide to glazes

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Glazes are a secret weapon that add another dimension to veggies, meat and even desserts. We truly do eat with our eyes first, and glazing gives food an appealing sheen and gloss that urges you to feel, smell and taste what's on that plate. Think of a baked ham, glowing and caramelised to a beautiful mahogany, and hot cross buns glistening from being brushed with sticky apricot jam.

Glazing also adds flavour - sweetness, acidity, and sometimes spice. From side dishes to baked goods, glazes can transform your cooking with minimal effort. Read on for our tips and tricks on glazing, low effort but high impact ready-to-use glazes, and a few easy glaze recipes you can make yourself.

What and When to Glaze

Toss vegetables in your chosen glaze before roasting or grilling. This works well with root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes and this Pomegranate-Glazed Beetroot Salad. For more tender veggies like green beans, asparagus, and bok choy, drizzle your glaze over the hot vegetables and toss just before serving.

Apply the glaze intermittently in small amounts so it cooks into the surface of the roast, becoming thicker and allowing the next application to cling. Use a brush or spoon to apply the glaze and return the roast to the oven, repeating as necessary to build up a glossy, flavourful coating. If there are pan drippings, you can mix some of this into your glaze if it's too thick or you want to baste the meat as well. This Vincotto Glazed Turkey is a beautiful centrepiece, and this sticky Rose Harissa Roast Chicken is a crowd pleaser.

For grilled and barbecued meat, apply the glaze during the final stages of cooking. This helps to create a caramelised exterior without burning the sugars in the glaze. Make sure your glaze is warm, not hot, so it can be applied evenly and it won't bring down the temperature of the food, and use a brush for an even coating. Avoid using a spoon as it's very easy to use too much glaze that will just dribble off the meat and end up burning on the grill. Try making these Black Garlic Glazed Lamb Burgers.

Glazes can add a beautiful finish and extra flavour to desserts to give them a shiny, professional look. This Easy Apple Tart is glazed with honey, verjuice and butter.

A thin glaze, like a syrup, can inject moisture into a cake, like this Orange Polenta Cake. In this case, apply the glaze while the cake is barely warm. If the glaze is thicker like an icing, such as in  this rose-infused Persian Love Cake, wait until your bake is cool. This will allow the glaze to set with a pretty finish.

A very thick, frosting-like glaze that needs to be spread, like on these Glazed Cinnamon Scrolls, is easier to apply when the bake is still warm.

Ready-to-Use Glazes

Balsamic Glaze
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is cooked gently with grape must for sweetness. Lusciously thick and rich it adds a rich, dark sheen and a burst of complex flavour.

Drizzle over a simple parmesan risotto or add to onions when caramelising and serve in a steak or sausage sanga. Wonderful with meaty fish like tuna and swordfish. Delicious served over berries and ice cream.

Product: Fattorie Giacobazzi Balsamic Glaze

Sherry Vinegar Pedro Ximenez Glaze
Slightly sweet and low in acidity with caramel and raisin notes. Perfect for using as a marinade for pork fillet, in a dressing for a goats cheese salad or for drizzling over chocolate desserts, ice creams and roasted fruit. Use to make a caramel sauce with butter, cream and sugar and serve over roast apples and ice cream for a decadent dessert.

Product: Dona Pepa Sherry Vinegar al Pedro Ximenez Glaze

Sherry Vinegar de Jerez Glaze
Gentle sweetness and a delicate vinegar kick make this glaze so versatile. Rub over lamb shoulder and slow roast, then add a little more glaze to the roasting juices for great gravy! Drizzle over roast vegetable galettes, winter grain salads and strawberries and ice cream.

Dona Pepa Sherry Vinegar de Jerez Glaze

Black Garlic Balsamic Glaze
This unique glaze combines the deep, umami notes of black garlic with the sweet acidity of balsamic vinegar. It's perfect for adding a gourmet touch to steaks, roasted mushrooms, or burgers.

Product: Dona Pepa Black Garlic Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Apple Glaze
Apple glaze is traditionally used for hams, but its sweet and tangy profile also pairs well with roast pork, chicken, or root vegetables. It adds a caramelised coating and a gentle fruity flavour.

Product: The Essential Ingredient Apple Glaze

Apricot Jam
Apricot jam isn’t just for toast. It’s a fantastic glaze for sweet yeasted bread, like this festive Rosca De Pascua or these Hot Cross Buns, adding a beautiful gloss and fruity sweetness. Warm with a few tablespoons of water (or cognac if you feel so inclined) and brush on an apple galette straight from the oven.

Product: The Essential Ingredient Apricot Jam

Some Easy Glaze Recipes

Sweet & Sticky Soy Glaze
Heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger, sautéing until fragrant. Stir in 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, and 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar. Simmer until the glaze thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Use on chicken wings, yakitori or grilled tofu, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Spiced BBQ Glaze
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 brown sugar, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 3 tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes or until thickened. Brush onto ribs, pork chops or chicken thighs.

Miso Honey Glaze
In a bowl, mix together 3/4 cup red miso paste, 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp soy and 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter. Toss with your chosen protein before cooking - we've used bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe

By incorporating these ready-to-use products and easy recipes into your cooking, you can glaze vegetables, roasts, barbecued meats, and even desserts like a pro. Whether you're enhancing the natural flavours of a dish or adding a touch of sweetness and shine, the right glaze can make all the difference.

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