Your Recipe for Convection Cooking
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Pavlova Style Meringues
Pavlova, made in the Australian style, renders a crisp meringue shell with a slightly soft center.
Topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit it’s an easy delicious dessert, a little added passionfruit (not always easy to find) adds a wonderful pop of flavor.
For best results when baking meringues in your Convection oven I recommend you choose the traditional Bake Mode. This is definitely one time when the moisture retention mode characteristic to Convection cooking wont benefit the results, for perfect meringues the dry slow heat of traditional Bake is ideal. You will have to rotate the pans once during the baking process to ensure both pans cook evenly.
Remember to let the eggs come to room temperature for best results and also plan ahead because these meringues will need to dry out in the oven for a couple of hours before you can enjoy them.
6 - large room temperature egg whites
1 ¼ - cups superfine or Bakers sugar
2 - tsp cornstarch
1 - tsp distilled white vinegar
1 - tsp vanilla extract (vanilla gives the meringues a slight beige tint but adds lots of flavor)
Organize two racks in the oven and heat the oven in the Bake mode 300 degrees. Line two large cooking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed with the whisk attachment to combine.
Increase the speed to medium and whisk until soft peaks form, approximately 4 minutes. Now increase the speed to medium high and gradually add the sugar, continue to whisk until the meringue is smooth and glossy, approximately 12 - 14 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and vanilla.
Secure the parchment paper to the pan with a dab of meringue in each corner and, using a ⅓ cup measure spoon the mixture in mounds onto the baking sheets, you can fit approximately 12 mounds on each sheet. Make a well in the center of each meringue with the back of a large spoon to hold the cream and fruit.
Place the trays in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer has elapsed change the positions of the pan and if you notice the meringues on the top rack were beginning to brown then reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees. Set the timer for another 20 minutes then turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to dry out for 2 hours.
Makes 12 individual Pavlova style meringues.
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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.
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