50 Shades of CVap

Have you ever had one of those experiences where your chance encounter far exceeded your expectation?

Recently I was asked by the corporate chef of a chain restaurant for a CVap® solution to increase their yield on prime rib. Their current yield ranged from 75% to 82%, and the increase in beef prices had them pretty concerned about profit loss – not to mention the impact on their customers if they had to raise prices.

The chef wanted to cook and hold the prime rib overnight because that created their lowest yield. While the chef seasoned the prime rib, I set our CVap CAC507 Cook & Hold Oven to 135 F Doneness, 7 on the Browning, High Yield ON and set the cook time to 5 ½ hours. Once the oven preheated, we placed the prime rib in, hit start and left for the evening. The next morning we pulled the prime rib and did the weigh in. After a 5 ½ hour cook and 11 hours of hold the pre-purged yield was 93.32%!

He invited The Boss to the cutting and after some delicate inspection it was time to give it a try. The first comment: “Wow, it’s almost too tender…wait I don’t think I meant to say that”. Needless to say we had a good laugh.

During our rather long meat eating season they began talking about how they needed to find a way around water bathing, doming and rotating their cheesecake half way through the cook cycle in their convection oven. It was really an operational headache. Having had my fill of tender beef I was ready for dessert so I said, “Let’s make some cheesecake.”

We spent a little time making two of their cheesecakes. One, as usual, was placed in their convection oven (water bathed, domed and rotated) and the other was placed in the CVap CAC507 Cook & Hold Oven at a setting of 200°F Doneness, 0 Browning, Constant Cook ON and set the cook time for three hours.

The result:

The CVap cheesecake used no water bath, no doming, and did not need to be rotated half way through the cook cycle like the convection oven cheesecake. By their words, the CVap cheesecake was: “Very creamy; silky; a quarter taller; crust is better; cuts cleaner.”

I expected them to be happy with the labor and operational savings, but I was not looking to create a better cheesecake for them. The convection oven cheesecake was great but was “Drier on the tongue” and “a pain to make.”

Over the next few days we just got lost in the CAC507 oven. The chef prepared the items and I got the CVap ready. The days just seemed to fly by while we were comparing CVap to their current items and eating, and eating, and eating.

Cvap-Staged-Steaks---Bill-Wright-Post-2CVap Staged Steaks

(Setting: 135°F Doneness, 0 Browning, Constant Cook ON for 1 hour)

Time of their charbroiler:              2 minutes 45 seconds

Cooked from RawRaw-Steaks---Bill-Wright-Post-2

(39°F from refrigerator)

Time on their charbroiler:             8 minutes (5 minutes and 15 seconds longer)

Carrot CakeCarrott-Cake---Bill-Wright-Post-2

(Setting: 170°F Doneness and 0 Browning, Constant Cook ON for 1 hour)

“you can taste the individual ingredients”

Chocolate CakeChocolate-Cake---Bill-Wright-Post-2

(Setting: 170°F Doneness and 0 Browning, Constant Cook ON for 1 hour)

“It’s just more like cake”


(Setting: 135°F Doneness and 5 Browning, High Yield ON for 5 ½ hours)

“…Can cut it with a fork”

How many shades of uses can you create with one oven – CVap?

Chocolate Cake Smackdown: CVap Oven vs. Conventional Oven

From my childhood, I remember making the most decadent, delicious, and RICH flourless chocolate cake recipe.  I can still picture in my mind helping my grandmother put ganache on the top of the cake and sneaking a little off the top with my finger when she wasn’t looking.  We always called that kind of sampling “quality control tasting.”

Now that I am an adult, I still find this type of confection universally appealing – I mean, who doesn’t like a rich chocolate cake? For me, a great go-to dessert for guests is a flourless cake – similar to my grandmother’s – topped with a side of homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberries. And there’s the added bonus of it being a super quick and easy recipe, plus it is gluten free.

Instead of just baking the cake in a traditional oven like grandma used to, I wanted to see what kind of results I would get baking it in a CVap® Cook & Hold Oven. So I devised a challenge for myself in order to compare the two.

flourless cake ingredientsI made a double batch of flourless chocolate cake and placed equal amounts of the batter in individual, fluted removable-bottom tart pans. I set the CVap at 160 +10 browning and the conventional oven at 350°F.

side by side chocolate cakesThe results were very interesting! The cake in the CVap oven baked in 16 minutes, while the cake in the conventional oven took almost 20 minutes. More importantly, when I had three adults conduct a blind taste test, they all preferred the cake baked in the CVap oven! Some of the comments about CVap flourless cake were that it “had a chocolatier taste,” “the texture was lighter and smoother,” and “the top exterior top was more eye appealing.”

side-by-sidefeature1I found that the conventional cake rose, and then dropped once out of the oven. This is a normal occurrence with flourless chocolate cakes. What I liked about the CVap version was that the top had a better texture and the cake did not drop, giving it better eye appeal. It certainly makes a good case for baking in a CVap Cook & Hold Oven.

cake with ganache wholeAnd when you add the ganache…calling it icing on the cake doesn’t do it justice!

Email me at adkirby@winstonind.com if you’d like the recipe.