One of the greatest benefits of Convection cooking is the ability to cook an entire meal at one time with no transference of flavor. I am not suggesting you have to cook a cake at the same time but it’s good to know if you are cooking something like a lamb shoulder roast that will be in the oven for quite some time that you can cook a dessert at the same time.
My cooking plan is to cook the lamb shoulder roast at 300 degrees Convection for about 1 ½ hours. The cake also cooks at 300 degrees and takes approximately 50 minutes to bake so I will cook that during the first hour the roast is in the oven. Once it’s out of the oven I will increase the temperature to 375 to make sure the lamb renders any fat and gets nice and crisp. The vegetables will only take about 12 - 15 minutes to cook so they go in at the very end.
1 - 2lb lamb shoulder roast
1 - tablespoon olive oil
1 - teaspoon herb’s de Provence OR
1 - tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 - cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt & pepper
Combine the oil and seasonings and rub into the lamb, a few hours or even overnight in advance of cooking and let the lamb sit outside of the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees, Convection, place the roast on a rack in a shallow pan and roast for 1 hour 15 mins. Increase the heat to 375 and cook for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and check the internal temperature, it should be 145 degrees, and set aside to rest before carving.
Roasted Greens Chickpeas and Feta Cheese
1 - bunch Dino or red kale, stems removed, leaves cut into 2” pieces
3 - cloves garlic, minced
1 - tablespoon olive oil
1 - bunch broccolini, stems trimmed
1 - 14oz can chickpeas drained and slightly dried out
Dash of dried red chili (optional)
4 - oz Feta cheese, sliced
Combine the kale & minced garlic with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves, add the chickpeas and toss well then fold in the broccolini and chili if using. Sprinkle with kosher salt and spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes then add the Feta cheese slices to the pan and cook for another few minutes until the cheese begins to melt.
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.
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.