To illustrate how baking powder behaves in the pressure cooker, we need three cooks to bake a cake. One lives at sea level, the other in a high-altitude location, and the last one in a low-altitude location – we’ll get to them in a second.
If all three chefs, follow the same cake recipe, the chef at sea level will get a perfect cake. The high-altitude chef’s cake is going to over-expand, and the low-altitude chef’s cake will remain a solid disk. That’s because the atmospheric pressure is different for each location. As the altitude rises, the pressure decreases, and as the altitude lowers the pressure increases. And, just in case you haven’t already guessed, the low-altitude chef represents the high-pressure conditions inside a pressure cooker!
High-altitude cooks already know that they need to decrease the amount of baking powder in a dessert recipe to get the same results as a cook at sea level. That’s because there is less resistance for the cake to rise.
So, following this logic, and testing pressure cooker desserts over, and over and over… I found that giving the baking powder a boost, by increasing it, for desserts cooked under pressure will turn the solid, rubbery-brick of a cake batter into a fluffy, spongy dessert.
And, you’re going to see this in action in the Lava Cake recipe later in this lesson.
But first, let’s get to the cheesecake!