Friday, July 11, 2008

The High Altitude Baking Challenge!

I guess I haven't really done much baking since we moved here. Well, that's not totally true. The truth is that I haven't had to deal with any high altitude issues since moving here.

I am notorious for forgetting to make the suggested adjustments on the box (when I use boxes - hey, I have the Cake Mix Doctor books and they're wonderful!). Anywho, for my birthday, my other bought me a cookbook called Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski, yep, I was already planning on buying some at the bakery and here I was feigning for them early!

When we got home that night, we invited our friends over to eat gumbo (using our frozen cajun items procured while on vacation!). I chose to make Black Forest Cupcakes. Really they weren't that hard, a Devil's Food base with a chocolate glaze and a kirsch infused whipped cream with fresh cherries. The only problem is this, my cupcakes suffered from altitude sickness. My very first time.

The book doesn't have any suggested adjustments for this. My cupcakes rose too quickly causing this disc of batter to bake on the pan around the cupcake itself and then the center of the cupcakes fell creating this pit that actually fit the cherries nicely. They just weren't very pretty. So, I dragged out our High Altitude Baking Book and fortunately they do have a table of suggested adjustments. The only problem is that our baker friend says even the weather here can affect how much of an adjustment you need to make. This means that your baked goods, even with careful attention to baking soda ratios, may still fail. And, the HABB says you can't even assume that you'll need to make the adjustment. Ugh! How do bakers do it out here?

I've not given up, though. Once we're all over the sugar rush induced by Tee & Cakes' wonderful goodies, I will be trying again. I have my eye on the Tres Leches cupcakes and the Salted Caramel ones!


Jennifer said...

Mmmmmm...cupcakes.... I remember having to use the high altitude box for brownies while in El Paso. But, who knew it was that frickin complicated?

Cheryl said...

I have not had a cupcake in a long time. You are making me hungry. I understand what you are talking about with the High Altitude.