Sunday, March 22, 2009

7,349 ft Chocolate Cake

I studied Chemistry in college, and even I can't figure out the nuances of high-altitude cooking. There are too many competing factors here at 7000 feet--flour, leavening agents, sugars, and liquids all trying to do their jobs in thinner air. In general, it's more flour, less leavening agent, less sugar, more liquids, higher temperatures and longer baking times. And then, that all varies depending on the exact altitude and climate. And don't forget your own factors like the type of pan and oven you own. If you're a novice baker like myself, baking at high altitudes might be better left to the professionals. 

However, finally, I've found a recipe from Hershey's that not only gives you a moist and delicious chocolate cake but one that's suitable to the climate and elevation of Mexico City. For those of you at 5,000 feet in places like Guadalajara, I honestly don't know what would happen if you used this recipe. It's possible this recipe works for the range of 5000-7000 feet. Try it out, and let me know!

 7,349 ft Chocolate Cake
(Courtesy of Hershey's)

1 3/4 c sugar
1 3/4 c + 2 TBSP flour
3/4 c cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c + 2 TBSP milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c boiling water
Buttercream frosting

Preheat oven to 190 Celsius. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round pans or 1 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool and frost.

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