YOUR RECIPE FOR CONVECTION COOKING!
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Chocolate Almond Cake - The Queen of Sheba
This is one of those recipes that requires good choreography to move smoothly through the steps so you definitely want to begin by preparing the cake pan and assembling all the ingredients. The chocolate mixture needs to be warm in order to smoothly incorporate the whipped egg whites and at that point, you will also be adding other ingredients so there are few intense minutes when a lot happens at once.
The chocolate can be melted in the microwave or over simmering water and be sure the coffee is warmed before stirring it into the chocolate to avoid the chocolate from seizing up.
The cake bakes well in either the Convection Bake mode with a temperature reduction of 25 degrees or in the Bake mode with no temperature reduction.
Convection Bake or Bake Mode
3 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tbs warm black coffee
4 oz unsalted butter cubed, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
3 (large) egg yolks
3 (large) egg whites, room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
2 tbs extra fine sugar (Bakers sugar works well)
⅓ cup blanched almonds ground with 2 tbs sugar or almond meal
¼ tsp almond extract
½ cup plain cake flour scooped, leveled, and sifted
Arrange the oven racks to bake the cake on rack position 2 counting up from the bottom. Heat the oven, Convection 300F, (148C) or Bake 325F (163C).
Lightly butter an 8” cake pan and sprinkle with a light dusting of flour, tapping out the excess.
Beat the butter for a minute then add the sugar and beat for a few minutes then beat in the egg yolks. Set the mixture aside and clean the bowl and beaters if also needed to whip the egg whites.
Beat the egg whites until they are foamy then beat in the cream of tartar and salt. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the 2 tbs of sugar and continue beating until stiff shining peaks are formed this will take approximately 8 minutes.
While the eggs are beating melt the chocolate and combine it with the warm coffee, egg yolk mixture, ground almonds, and almond extract. The chocolate needs to be warm to smoothly incorporate the whipped egg whites.
Stir a quarter of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it. Scoop the rest of the whites over the chocolate and, alternating with sprinkles of flour, rapidly and with a light hand fold in the egg whites.
Turn the batter into the prepared pan and place it in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. The cake should be slightly puffed and set around the edges but still moist in the center. The recipe notes state the cake should not be baked dry.
Cool the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before unmolding the cake onto the rack and cooling it to room temperature before serving.
(Note: 25 minutes of baking time was too long in my 24” oven but should be fine in a 30” or larger oven).
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Baked Ham with Tangerine Glaze and Roasted Carrots
Since ham is already cooked by smoking it is most often eaten cold, however heated through and brushed with a fruity glaze it makes a great centerpiece for celebration meals.
In order to heat the ham through it usually needs a fair bit of time in a slow oven and to avoid drying out the meat it is covered until the final stage when the glaze is added. However, if you bake your unsliced ham in Convection you will not need to cover the ham and the heating through time will take approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours, depending on the weight of the ham. If you are heating a sliced ham then it must remain covered in foil to avoid drying out.
1 - smoked ham, bone-in, skin on 7 - 9 lbs
1 - bunch fresh sage leaves
¾ - cup olive oil
1 - cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 - cups tangerine juice
2 - tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed
2 - cups, packed light brown sugar
1 - cup water
½ - teaspoon whole cloves
2 - cinnamon sticks
1 ½ - lbs baby carrots
Preheat the oven in the Convection Mode 300 degrees.
Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan.
Score the ham with cuts in a diamond pattern about 2 inches apart and ½ deep.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Chop 8 of the sage leaves and mix with the olive oil to make a paste, rub all of the ham getting into the slits.
Bake for 2 hours.
Combine the butter, tangerine juice, tangerines, brown sugar, water and spices in a heavy medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze, 30 - 40 minutes.
Brush the glaze over the ham when it has completed its initial heating phase. Add the baby carrots and another 8 chopped sage leaves and continue baking for another 40 - 50 minutes until the carrots are tender and the internal temperature of the ham is 150 degrees.