No Baking At Altitude – No Bake Dessert

Hand blown glass from the glass factory in Bogota.

Hand blown glass from the glass factory in Bogota.

So I used my oven for the first, and last, time. I tried to bake something for a holiday party, a giant meat pie with phyllo pastry. It’s been months since I moved to Bogota, yet I couldn’t find my rolling pin, so I cut the pastry up into squares and placed them on top of the meat filling. My oven is a combination gas and electric oven. I couldn’t figure out which of the knobs I’m supposed to turn as the markings make no sense to me (plus some are worn off). So I turned everything. There was a hiss and then a few minutes later, the blue flames danced along the bottom. I put the pan in the oven. I watched. Eventually, I took it out. None of the pastry had risen. Some of the pastry had turned a dark bark color. At the other end of the pan, the pastry lay like uncooked lasagne sheets. I gave up.

For another holiday party, I made an artsy no-bake dessert. Here’s how I made it:

Marinate some dried cranberries in tequila (or rum) for a few days. Cook them with some sugar. Puree these with softened cream cheese and sour cream. Put in a ziplock bag for ease of transport. In a pan, toast some walnuts. Put aside. Melt some sugar (okay, lots) in a pan. Add a touch of butter to make a caramel. When the sugar is a liquid caramel, add dried cranberries and the walnuts. Put on a silicone sheet (or a greased surface) to cool. Smash the brittle into bits and put into a bag. At the party, assemble by cutting a hole in one corner of the cream cheese bag and pipette (fancy pouring) into hand blown glasses from Colombia (or a glass from anywhere). Add whipped cream if you want, or just put the brittle on top.

From now on, my desserts will all be brittle based.

6 responses to “No Baking At Altitude – No Bake Dessert

  1. go online and check out some tips on high-altitude baking, and then count on everything taking longer and needing to be turned every half and hour or so on account of the skewed temperature inside the oven. it’s crazy how different those darn ovens will make your good turn out.

  2. Funny how altitude works. Here we are at 2100 feet, and it affects some recipes but not others. Go figure.

    We just celebrated Thanksgiving Day today, so Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Karen, that’s strange. I just decided not to bother baking. It’ll all be frying pan or blender desserts. Do you have Immaculate Conception day off?

  3. Yup. Veeeeery catholic country. Well, actually the kids had the day off from school, but since I freelance I work some every single day…

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