Most cooks know that the secret to a tasty meat sauce is a cup of red table wine; but, did you know that alcohol can also enhance the taste and texture of your baked goods, too? Get creative with cake batter or kick it up a notch with tipsy toppings. You can even add a blast of flavor by soaking your fruit ingredients in a cold vodka or sweet liqueur.
Tips for Spiked Sweets
Now, baking with spirits doesn’t mean you can just go and pour a bottle of whipped cream vodka into your brownie batter and expect a miracle. Alcohol affects texture, moisture and flavor. It’s mixology at a whole new level. Here are seven handy tips and tricks to keep in mind when baking with liquor.
- Vodka makes a great flake. Add a couple tablespoons of cold vodka to your pie crust recipe for a dough that’s easier to roll out. The vodka keeps the dough from developing too much gluten, leaving you with a light, flaky crust.
- Alcohol alters flavor. Bourbon packs smoky and honey flavors, easy for the palate to notice right away. Vodka is subtler, better used as a wet ingredient than for taste.
- Bourbon makes vanilla bloom. Bourbon is the key to a smooth, oak flavored homemade vanilla extract.
- Better bottle means better baking. Avoid the cheap stuff and go for the gold. The better quality alcohol, the better impact it will have on your baked goods.
- Cream curdling cooking? No thanks. Alcohol can curdle cream, so it’s immensely important that you use a carrier when adding booze to creamy baked goods. Soaking raisins in rum, cherries in vodka and apples in brandy will result in all flavor and no curdle.
- Put the rum in the coconut and whip it all up. Add dark and smoky spiced rum along with savory coconut to heavy cream as you whip up soft, white peaks.
- Test before serving the kiddos. Worried about alcoholic baked goods around the kids? These recipes have a high burn-off ratio, but it’s always better to double check before serving up a slice to anyone under 21. Typically, after an hour or so in the oven, more than 80 percent of the alcohol has evaporated.
Baking with alcohol can be as much fun as drinking it! Try any one of these dishes out on your friends, and you’re sure to come home with an empty cake tray and a plateful of recipe requests.
Bundts are time-honored crowd pleasers, and this one will have your friends and family begging for the recipe.
These brownies call for a cup of stout beer and are frosted with a buttercream icing. They a great for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
Heading to a potluck party and not sure of any dietary restrictions? You can be a hit with this sweet and savory flourless cake, packed with a subtle rum punch.