Top 10 Baking Tips for Colorado

It’s no secret that we love baking! With recipes to get you through almost every day of the year, we’re often busy in the kitchen whipping up a treat of some kind. In Fort Collins, Colorado, our home base, we’re at about 5,000 feet above sea level. Some of our friends up in the mountains live well above 8,500 feet though!

If you have a recipe that you are baking for the first time, there’s a chance that it will come out perfectly baked at altitude. There is also a chance that some adjustments might be necessary to make that recipe a home-run! We recommend trying a recipe as written the first time you make it. If it doesn’t turn out, then you can start experimenting!

With so many great resources online, we’re sharing our top 10 favorite baking tips for Colorado that we’ve pulled from other sites and from our Executive Chef’s notes:

  1. Extra flour helps! Starting at 3,500 feet above sea level, add 1 more tablespoon per recipe – scale that increase up as your altitude increases. Additional flour helps strengthen the structure of baked goods.
  2. Adjust your leavening agents – rising happens quicker at altitude and a lower amount of baking powder or baking soda can help maintain the level you are looking for.
  3. Dipped centers on your quick breads? Try decreasing the fat, leavener, and sugar.
  4. Bake your brownies at a decreased oven temperature (about 25 degrees) to prevent overbaked sides and a soupy middle.
  5. If your pie crusts don’t have the right texture, slightly more liquid could help.
  6. Making a yeast bread (yay!)? Try covering your dough and place it in the refrigerator for the first rise. It will take a little longer, but that will give your dough more flavor and allow the yeast to develop over time.
  7. Cookies on your horizon? Increase oven temperature to keep your cookies from overexpanding and drying out!
  8. Got a cake recipe with shortening? You might have to reduce the shortening by 1-2 tablespoons to prevent the cake from falling.
  9. Angel food cake? Beat your egg whites only to soft-peak stage to keep the texture light and fluffy.
  10. When you’re baking cakes, prevent an overly moist layer by increasing flour.

Happy baking and enjoy!

 

The Not So Perfect Housewife

Double-ChocolateNice-Cream2

A really catchy blog title, and a perfect Rodelle Brand Ambassador! Mikki writes the lifestyle blog, The Not So Perfect Housewife and has some great content! You’ll find healthy recipes for every meal of the day that we can all use in our daily lives. We recommend checking out Mikki’s recipes and staying for the life tips and vacation posts.

Mikki recently shared a couple of recipes with our Organic Baking Cocoa that we are completely smitten with: Double Dark No Bake Cookies and Double Chocolate Nice Cream. Both of Mikki’s latest recipes showcase how important adding quality ingredients to your recipes is. When you use fewer, healthy (and clean) ingredients, each ingredient really impacts the overall flavor of your dish. Double Chocolate Nice Cream is delicious and healthy. Instead of your typical dairy-base ice cream, “Nice Cream” recipes traditionally call for frozen bananas or another frozen fruit to add the substance of the dessert.

Mikki says in her post, “A cocoa powder aficionado I do not consider myself. I have never been particularly picky about my cocoa powders. I didn’t realized that there was really all that different of a taste. That was, until I started cooking with Rodelle’s Baking Cocoa. Oh my! This cocoa powder has such a rich chocolate taste and makes any recipe you add it to just pop with flavor.”

We are so flattered by the high praise from Mikki and hope that you’ll try out her recipe for Double Chocolate Nice Cream or the Double Dark No Bake Cookies – or, better yet, both recipes!

Enjoy the desserts first, life is too short!

Who is Tornadough Alli?

Rugelach1

The question is, who is Tornadough Alli? There are a few ways we can answer this question:

In her words, “Alli is a Midwest mom of 4 amazing kids. Born and raised in Minnesota she grew up a self taught cook, finding her way through the kitchen over the years of trial and error. When shes not baking or cooking she loves movies, shopping, traveling and long romantic walks to the fridge!” We love Alli’s great sense of humor.

One thing we love even more is Alli’s great recipe collection! From sandwiches to desserts and everything in between, Alli has a delightful way of making recipes shine in a way that is approachable to home cooks of all levels. Take her latest cookie, the Rugelach shown here. Rugelach are one of our favorite cookies, but they often times can be intimidating because there are a couple more steps involved than a drop cookie. Alli’s recipe is written carefully and tested to make sure the flavors and steps of the cookie work together to make the baking experience a breeze!

Our most exciting answer to the question posed above, is Alli is our newest Brand Ambassador! We recommend checking out Alli’s blog for family-friendly recipes and show-stopping desserts (like these extra vanilla-y Rugelach)!

You must meet Crystal!

Southern_Red_Velvet_Brownies_Cream_Cheese_Frosting_1

We are so excited to introduce Crystal from Margaritas on the Rocks as our newest Rodelle Brand Ambassador today! Crystal has been using Rodelle for years and we could tell her enthusiasm about our products from the moment she reached out. Crystal wrote to us, “Rodelle is more than just a brand; it’s a product that I not only love but also trust! Its a brand I can depend on in the kitchen time and time again.” – WOW! We love that we can be a small part of Crystal’s kitchen routine, and are so glad that she will be sharing more about how she loves to use Rodelle products. As someone who writes about quality, creative recipes, we couldn’t be happier to align with Crystal!

To kick things off, Crystal made these Southern Red Velvet Brownies – all the Red Velvet flavor you love in a brownie format! We love that this recipe has packed in so much Rodelle flavor in the brownies and the cream cheese frosting! You can read the whole recipe and make up a batch by clicking here, because, sorry, we aren’t sharing these!

And, if Red Velvet isn’t your thing…Crystal’s blog, Margaritas On The Rocks, had us hooked from the very title! Let us tell you that we quickly fell in love with Crystal’s delicious recipes, great energy and creativity. As a lifestyle blog, you’ll find more than just your next favorite food perusing Margaritas On The Rocks.

We hope you’ll check out Crystal’s site and stay for the fabulous desserts. Oh, and get there before Valentine’s Day and enter Crystals’ Rodelle giveaway!

An Update and Pictures from Madagascar

Today we thought it would be fun to share some scenes from Madagascar – the source of ~90% of the world’s vanilla beans are from.

Many people think that saffron is the world’s most labor-intensive crop however vanilla beans are also very complex crops. Of 25,000-30,000 orchid species, vanilla is the only one that produces an edible fruit, and each orchid must be hand pollinated within 24 hours of blossoming. Vanilla farmers are often plighted with weather conditions and complex supply chains. We closely monitor market conditions in the growing regions, and we strive to source consistently priced vanilla products of superior quality.

Vanilla market conditions have deteriorated to their worst levels since 2002 with no natural disasters to blame. Speculation, high demand and low supply have all caused the price of vanilla beans to sharply rise and prices are now approaching 13-year highs with the completion of the Madagascar harvest in 2016. Madagascar represents 90% of the world’s vanilla beans and therefore can easily drive up prices in the marketplace.

Rodelle is working toward the future by inserting ourselves deeper into the vanilla-growing regions by working directly with farmer cooperatives that will eliminate extraneous costs. It is going to take time for conditions in the vanilla market to improve. Rodelle is committed to doing our part to make an impact by becoming fully sustainable in the vanilla growing regions. We are working very hard to lessen the impact of this price surge and are doing what we can to help improve prices. In the meantime, Rodelle will continue our 80-year tradition of creating quality vanilla products.