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Olive Oil Cake with Almonds and Orange

If you are looking for a recipe for a light flavorful cake that works well for afternoon tea or to serve at a dinner party then I encourage you to give this cake a try. This recipe is loaded with great ingredients including, olive oil, and ground almonds, with some orange zest for added flavor. It is delicious served plain or with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche. In addition to the health benefits of baking with olive oil, you will find that using olive oil instead of butter also prevents baked items from going stale as quickly.

How to Choose the Best Mode for Baking in a Convection Oven

It always pays to be organized when cooking and assembling all the necessary ingredients for baking will prevent you from making mistakes such as forgetting to add an ingredient, I speak from experience. Now, the recipe will tell you to heat the oven to a specific temperature but if you have a Convection oven with multiple cooking modes you need first to select a cooking mode before you can heat the oven.

Most recipes for baked items are tested using the Bake mode because the radiant heat in this mode has a drying effect on food. So if you begin with a wet batter the item will bake to a nice dry crumb; however, we have tested this cake using Convection as well as Bake and both turned out really well.

What Adjustments Do I Need to Make When Baking in Convection?

When you bake with radiant heat the heat is coming from the bottom heating element while the top element (in an electric oven) will cycle on and off to provide gentle top browning. Typically it’s best to place the oven rack in the center of the oven when baking in the Bake mode.

Depending on the modes in your oven, when baking in Convection the heat may still be coming from the bottom and top heating elements, but the Convection fan will circulate the heat, cooking the food from the edge to the center for even results. In Convection, foods cook from the edge to the center so the important thing to remember when baking in a Convection mode is to reduce the recipe temperature by 25 degrees, so the food doesn’t overcook on the edge.

Confusion about which mode to use can arise because some ovens have a Convection mode as well as a Convection Bake mode. You can learn all about your oven and the convection modes with the help of my videos. When you understand where the heat is coming from in each mode you will be able to choose the mode most suited to the type of food you are cooking. In the event that the results don't meet your expectations, it is easier to troubleshoot and understand what might have happened.

In my experience baking issues often come down to choosing the right mode; adjusting the temperature for baking in Convection; adjusting the time if needed and choosing the correct rack position

Tips for Baking Olive Oil Cake

This recipe uses only a small amount of cake flour mixed with finely ground toasted almonds then the eggs and flavorings are whipped at high speed until tripled in volume. In order to whip the eggs as directed it’s best to use room-temperature eggs so plan accordingly. Mellow olive oil works best for this cake, we love to use California olive oil and for this recipe, we used Arbequina Extra Virgin olive oil and the flavor was perfect.

I have recently been testing recipes in a Convection Microwave, Speed oven and in my next post I will share a recipe for an easy-to-prepare meal that worked really well using the different cooking modes in the oven.

Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

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