Nine Ladies dancing
Party time is fast approaching, whether you are entertaining a large crowd, a select few, or just a quiet night in, the food choices for the season are vast and varied. Gone are the days of pineapple and cheese on sticks (although this still goes remarkably well with prosecco !).
The capacity for cooking large quantities of food on all levels of your oven, to come out all looking exactly the same, at the same time is now a given when it comes to most quality ovens.
For an effort free, buffet style spread, the steam oven with it's steam combination programmes can assist you with the task of producing tray after tray of canapes.
Puff pastry really is transformed when you use either a burst of steam or a low percentage steam combination programme( 25% or Quarter steam) Try your favourite cheese straws or sausage rolls with a little steam to really see the difference.
Below I have included a few recipes we have used in the showroom to demonstrate the versatility of the ovens, these are quite basic and you must put your own favourite flavours to work in tailoring them to your tastes. But they are most suitable for cooking in large amounts, all at once.
Combination Steam Oven Jaffa Buttermilk Cupcakes
375 grams Self Raising flour, 165 grams caster sugar, 1 egg, whisked, 1 tsp vanilla essence
160 grams butter, softened., 180ml Buttermilk, orange zest, 1 tbsp orange juice, Ganache
250 grams dark chocolate chips, 1/3 cup (80 ml) cream
- Heat the combination steam oven to 200oC using quarter steam and heat/ 25% humidity.
- Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray
- Measure the buttermilk, and stand aside (this will prevent the butter hardening up later).
- Cream together, butter, sugar, vanilla and orange zest, add egg and orange juice and stir to combine, add flour and Buttermilk, mixture should appear slightly lumpy.
- Divide mixture evenly into 12 hole muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes or until evenly browned. ( do 3 or 4 batches of these at once)
- Whilst cooking prepare ganache, by heating cream and pouring over chocolate until chocolate has melted.
- Once cupcakes are cool to touch, individually dip into ganache and sprinkle with orange zest.
Steam Oven Lime Cheesecake cups
200g sweet biscuits, 100g butter, melted, 750g cream cheese, softened, 225g caster sugar
4 eggs, Grated rind of 4 limes, 150 ml of lime juice ( approx. 4 limes) makes 12 small cheesecakes.
- Crush biscuits and combine with melted butter
- Press base mix firmly into the bottom of small ramekins or espresso cups
- Soften cream cheese, combine with sugar, eggs, lime juice and rind until smooth
- Pour into ramekins or espresso cups filling 2/3 full, cover with foil
- Set the steam oven to 100c/ full steam for 15-20 minutes
- Chill before serving
- Garnish with a little lime twist or mint leaves and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
Another programme I use far more than I ever thought I would is Fan-grill, Where I can achieve a crispy top on my lasagne as well as cooking the rest of the dish, the grill element helps to brown the surface but not burn it as the heat generated is circulated around the oven, this was also very successful in helping to create amazing cracking on a joint of pork, the roast probe was used to ensure that the internal temperature of the meat had reached the desired temperature, but as the Grill was the main source of heat the fat had rendered and baked to the most glorious colour and perfect crackling texture.
Get your dishwasher ready for the extra workload by giving it a clean with some dishwasher cleaner. Failing that , fish out some paper plates and disposable glasses, no-one should be washing up!!