…is like driving without my glasses. I just don’t know what I’m doing, and someone is going to get hurt. My first attempt at a cake measured well under two inches high; it was two layers “tall” with lots of frosting and clementines on top (included in the two-inch measurement, unfortunately). I had followed the baking directions exactly, only vaguely aware I was supposed to adjust the recipe because I live in the Rocky Mountain Foothills. It was a jarring shock to open the oven and find this sad, sloppy pile. Shamefaced, I brought it to dinner at my mentor’s house anyway. He and his wife said it tasted fine, but, really it was like a stack of burnt toast with frosting. Here’s a picture taken from above:
Not long after this failure, I attempted to bake a loaf of apple raisin bread. This time I researched baking at high altitude, reading through several articles with advice on changing amounts of certain ingredients, lowering the temperature, et cetera. I followed all the advice and, after an hour in the oven, I found the bread had fallen in upon itself, resembling a mud patch after a good rain. The texture, however, was a solid mass of starch, capable of breaking a car window. I regret that I did not take a picture, as all the raisins had migrated to the center of the brick, looking a little like a flock of crows gathered around a good kill.
Following this disaster (which took two full days of soaking in the sink to clean from the pan), I tried again with a blueberry coffee cake. Again I tried to adjust the recipe, and again, I failed. Out came a sad pile of juice and crust, weighing in around fifteen pounds. If anyone reading this also lives above 5,000 feet and has figured out how the hell to bake up here, please, please share your wisdom with me. I’m just about to sell my rolling pins and baking pans and use the proceeds to buy a fluffy, moist chocolate cake; it’s my greatest food love, and my new arch nemesis.