Learning 2 Bake, from Scratch – IX

The collapse is a typical high-altitude thing. If anyone didn’t realize, I’m in Denver at 5,280 feet (hence the “mile high” city – it predates marijuana legalization). King Arthur has a good page about it. It seems fair to use their instructions since it’s their recipe that I murdered in Part VIII.

So, let’s go through the changes one by one:

  • Oven temperature. I don’t think it got fully cooked, which is one reason it stuck so badly, so I was planning on increasing to 350, anyway. I believe – I’ve never tested it – that my oven runs a bit cold, but I didn’t think applied until into the 400s and above (bacon and pizza need an extra 25 degrees, at least).
  • Baking time. I’m going to do nothing here, since I extended it by over 5 minutes, already, just to get a clean toothpick and a non-jiggly surface.
  • Sugar. It is a bit sweet and the slightly browned bits around the edges actually caramelized. So, a decrease it is.
  • Liquid. Drying out was not an issue. It’s very moist – another reason I think it stuck. Removing the egg yolks will reduce the liquid, but I’m not going to try to make it up with something else until I see what happens.
  • Flour. Adding more flour is a typical high-altitude adjustment, but since I’m going to be removing liquid, I’m going to leave the flour amount unchanged.
  • Leavening. Reducing leavening is also a typical high-altitude adjustment (air pressure is lower so one doesn’t need as much “oomph” to rise). I do this with bread and biscuits. The instructions say “halve it”, but 5,280 feet is at the lower range of that band. Let’s go with the 7/8 from the previous band, which would make 2 teaspoons into 14/8, which is 7/4ths, which is 1 3/4 teaspoons.

Since I’m removing the yolks to get a white cake, I’m also going to go old-school and do the “fold in the beaten whites at the end” thing. With a bit of cream of tartar, that might add some body to prevent collapse. Yes, changing too many things at once for a good experiment. We’ve already established that I’m not doing this scientifically.

The frosting turned into taffy, so that needs modification, too. I’m going to remove cornstarch from the recipe, not syrup the jelly, and add any powdered sugar at the end, only if thickening is needed.

It will probably be another day until the cake pieces/parts are consumed (hey, cake is too a breakfast food – it was yummy!) and it’s a nice weekend day in the spring, so yardwork takes priority over cake baking. But, there is now a plan for moving forward.

Oh, and the parchment paper will not arrive until (at least) Monday. I’m lazy, so I ordered them pre-cut from Amazon.

One thought on “Learning 2 Bake, from Scratch – IX

  1. Summarizing a meat-space conversation:

    But baking IS science, you fool!

    Fair point. Before futzing with eggs, I’ll switch from half-and-half back to milk and make the high altitude adjustments.


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