Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and in my opinion, during this time of year nothing says “I love you” like freshly baked desserts. If you’re like me, baking often takes a back seat to cooking full meals, but lately, I can’t help but be lured by the sights and smells of the delicious treats associated with this holiday. Melting soufflés, heart-shaped cookies, and winter fruit tarts have inspired me to put my baking skills to the test and make some tasty treats for my loved ones. While they say “nothing says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven,” I say “nothing says lovin’ like somethin’ from the Bosch Steam Convection Oven.”
The steam convection oven is a fantastic vehicle for cooking, baking, and even reheating leftovers. And while I could go on for days about all the delicious entrees or side dishes I’ve made in my steam oven, one of my favorite things to do with this unique appliance is bake.
Yes, you read that correctly. I actually use my Bosch Steam Convection Oven to bake. Why? Similar to a standard convection oven, the Bosch Steam Convection oven heats to high temperatures to thoroughly cook a wide range of foods from the inside out, while lightly browning them on the outside. But, the addition of steam penetrating the food helps ensure that even your most crisp cookies or breads retain a pillow-soft inside. Even more impressive, the Bosch Steam Convection Oven cooks food about 25 percent faster than a standard oven, meaning you can prepare your meal in less time, without making any changes to the cooking temperature. With all this functionality, even those who may be intimidated by baking needn’t shy away from giving the steam convection oven a try.
To really show off your new baking prowess, consider a dessert that requires a crispy outer layer and fluffy inside. If you’re looking for a crowd pleaser for an upcoming Valentine’s Day gathering with friends, consider a heart-shaped cookie cake.
Load your favorite cookie dough recipe with chocolate chips or peanut butter chunks for a sweeter treat, or raisins and nuts for a savory flavor. Then, to bake, fill a heart-shaped pan about half way to the top, leaving room for the dough to rise and create a crisp brown outer layer. On the inside, the extra mass required to fill out the heart shape will respond perfectly to a steam infusion, allowing your cookie to rise more evenly.
If a romantic dinner date is on your horizon, consider a delectable, wine-infused treat instead. One of our favorite recipes from the Bosch Cooking with Steam cookbook, Steamed Pears in Red Wine, is just as beautiful as it is delicious.
The wine soaked pears have a mildly sweet flavor, while the jam (we suggest blackberry or cherry) brings out the fruit forward notes of whichever red wine you choose. Baked for just 20 minutes in your Steam Convection Oven, this dessert is so mouthwatering you might not even want to share it! And the best part? The red coloring from the wine will match just perfectly with your Valentine’s Day table setting. To make this recipe, check out the full list of ingredients and directions below.
Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Bosch home appliances-we hope your day is filled with love and laughter around the kitchen table!
Pears in Red Wine (Serves 4)
Steam Convection Oven, 210 – 212°F 20 minutes
2⁄3 cup red wine
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. blackberry or cherry jam
½ tsp. cinnamon Grated zest of an orange
4 medium-sized pears
- Heat the red wine, sugar, jam, cinnamon and orange zest in a saucepan until the sugar and jam have dissolved.
- Peel the pears, halve lengthways and remove the core with a melon baller or knife. Spread out the fruit in the baking pan, immediately pour over the red wine mixture and carefully turn the pear halves in the sauce.
- Cook as indicated until the pears are soft, but not falling apart. Remove the pears and arrange on plates.
- Reduce the red wine mixture in a saucepan over a low heat.
- Pour the red wine sauce over the pears and serve warm.