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Hazelnut Chocolate Pear Cake

This cake is prepared in a food processor since the first step is to grind the nuts, once the batter is formed transfer it to a bowl to fold in the pears and chocolate.  The cake has a nice light batter and is a winning combination of flavors.

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1 - cup all purpose flour

1 ½ - teaspoons baking powder

½  - teaspoon salt

½ - cup hazelnuts (or substitute pecans or walnuts)

6 - ounces cold unsalted butter cut into small chunks

⅔ - cup light brown sugar

2 - eggs

¼ - cup dark chocolate chopped into small pieces

4 - small pears, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces


Heat the oven to 300 degrees Convection.

Butter an 8” cake pan and line the bottom with paper.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor to a fine meal.

Add the flour mixture and pulse to combine.

Add the butter and pulse until fine crumbs form.

Add the sugar and eggs and mix briefly to combine.

Transfer the batter to a bowl and fold in the  chocolate and half of the pears. Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan and top with the remaining pears. Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.



Almond Orange Olive Oil Cake

One of the great mysteries of the the appliance industry is that most ovens sold nowadays feature Convetion cooking modes; however, recipes rarely reference cooking with Convection.


Larissa Taboryski

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1 - cup whole raw almonds lightly toasted and cooled

¾ - cup twice-sifted cake flour

1 ½ - teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of kosher or sea salt

4 - large eggs

1 - cup sugar

1 - teaspoon vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of one small orange or Meyer lemon

⅔ - cup extra virgin olive oil

Toast the almonds in the Convection Mode 325 degrees until golden brown inside, set aside to cool completely. 

Leave the oven set at 325 or change to 350 degrees if using standard Bake Mode.

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

Place the almonds in a food processor with one third of the cake flour and process until almost as fine as sand.  

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the remaining cake flour, baking powder and salt then whisk in the ground almond mixture.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until well-blended. Add the sugar gradually then add the vanilla and orange zest. Continue whipping on high speed until the mixture triples in volume, about 3 minutes.

On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with the olive oil and beating just until the batter is blended. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until firm to the touch in the center.  Cook in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack.

Recipe from “Wine Country Table ” author Janet Fletcher

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