Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I was warned.....

Baking at sea level is easy. No adjustments necessary. Apparently that is not true at high altitude. Angel Fire, at the village level, is 8,382 ft. The resort is 8,600 ft and the summit ( which we are close to ) is 10,677 ft. Aside from the fact that there is very little oxygen up here ( putting on your shoes causes shortness of breath and activities like mopping make you feel like dialing 911 just to borrow their oxygen tanks ) its a beautiful place to live.

I had no idea cakes had issues with altitude but a friend from Church tried to tell me they did. Cindy is a good cook and baker but she has been here 18 years. She can tell you about exploding pecan pies and flat cakes from experience but basically I ignored this information, thinking my chocolate pound cake would be different. I wanted something yummy when John came home last time and thought this cake....heavy thick batter, lots of eggs and butter....would hold its own when it came to sky-high baking.

Wrongo!!! Things started off well enough....batter looked the same, in the oven it started to rise beautifully, good crust forming....all the hallmarks of success. Cough. When I took it out at the appointed time it looked fabulous. For about 30 seconds. I stood there and watched in horror as my success deflated ( not just ego.....) like a tire with a fast leak. Within minutes what had been a lovely tunnel cake became a dense, flat, heavy crusted pancake with a hole in the center. John, to his credit, did eat it....but I was crushed. This pound cake is my "go to" cake because it never fails. Right.

Google. And a new cookbook ( seriously, just what I need, with close to 100 prior to the new one) that addressed my altitude issues. "Pie in the Sky...Successful Baking at High Altitude" is amazing. I immediately had to try again and this time no cake crash. Yayyyyyyy.

For the next three weeks, till my love comes back, I will be baking. I plan to take goodies to Church for taste testing because I dont want to look like the Goodyear blimp when John returns. Unfortunately people dont deflate at this altitude, only baked goods.

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