Adding Liqueur to Cake Batters

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by 4mylgl6, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. 4mylgl6

    4mylgl6

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    Hi everyone,

    I have a few cake recipes I like, and I want to amp them up by adding some liqueur to them, such as Frangelico, chocolate liqueur or rum. However, I'm not sure what impact this has on the cake batter and how much I should use, so as not to mess up the structure. I want to achieve a noticeable taste, but can't really afford to experiment too much as I will be serving these at an event.

    I'd be happy to learn from your experience - how does alcohol affect cake batter and stucture, and how much is too much?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Tyler520

    Tyler520

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    i usually go with 1-2 ounces depending on the type of alcohol and flavor of cake.

    a lighter more delicate flavored cake should probably stick to around 1 ounce, whereas something heavier like a spice cake can be ramped up to 2 ounces

    not sure what your base recipe is, but i typically find that even 2 ounces is small enough to not impact the recipe. if your recipe does call for liquids, consider omitting an equivalent amount, but shouldn't be necessary.

    i would do a small tester of the base batter recipe cut to a quarter (or even smaller, and make a few cupcakes to check to see if the intensity of the flavor ok, and if it still rises ok, or if it was too wet
     
  3. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Hi 4mylgl6,

    As an alternative to batter experimentation, you can add your desired spark of flavor in a simple syrup. By adding liqueur, extract, or oil, to simple syrup, you can add your flavor and also retard the drying of the cake. Make the syrup, add flavoring agent, taste, adjust potency, and brush or dab on your cake.

    Some "old school" molecular gastronomy. LOL! When a molecule of sugar is bound to a water molecule, the sugar won't let go of the water easily! Exhibit "A" is Honey. There is water in honey, which is why you can pour it, but how long does it take to for honey to dry out? They found 3,000 year old honey in Egypt that is still safe to eat!

    So, even a far less concentrated syrup slows any evaporation if you apply a complete seal/layer. I've done flavored syrups on cakes ever since I was exposed to the technique. (Thank you Ridgewells catering!)

    Good luck and have fun!
     
    drirene likes this.
  4. Patch

    Patch

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    I'm not a baker so I don't know how much this applies, but I learned making hard candy that most liquor is over 50% water. (80 proof vodka is 40% alcohol and 60% water.) The water portion of the 1 fl. oz. of vodka-based flavoring extract I used had a very clear impact on the hard candy. I was able to work around this by following advice I got here in the forums and altering my method just a bit. In a cake I'd perhaps discount the alcohol portion since much of it will evaporate but I'd account for the added water.
     
  5. 4mylgl6

    4mylgl6

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    That's an interesting tip, sgmchef! However, I really want to boozy kick to shine through, which I'm afraid would vanish after the long cooking that's necessary to reach syrup consistency. Of course baking would evaporate a lot of the alcohol anyway, which is why I'm trying to find out how much I need in order for a strong hint to still be left behind.

    I guess I'll start off with 2 ounces, then. Thanks , Tyler520!
     
  6. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Wow, I apologize for not making the technique clearer.

    To make a syrup for brushing on a cake you only apply enough heat to dissolve the sugar crystals, no more.

    I did assume you would know to add the flavoring agent (booze) to a cooled syrup, which is normally about the consistency of water when I do it.

    If I don't want the syrup very sweet because of the sweetness of the cake, I just thin out clear Karo (corn syrup).

    This is a technique, not a recipe! One of the main reason I love to use this technique is because you can vary the potency of the added flavor without any cake recipe modification. Really strong or just a hint is completely in your control!

    Keeping the cake moist is as important to me as adding the flavor. Brushing straight rum, bourbon, etc. on a baked and cooled cake is overpowering for most cakes but if you really want a sledgehammer, just brush on straight alcohol!

    You could just copy this "simple syrup for cake" and do a search and read a little.

    Good luck with your experiments!
     
    drirene and azenjoys like this.
  7. panini

    panini

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    As long as you don't plan on making a shortcut icing, IE:powdered sugar and butter/shortening, etc. You should be able to achieve your desired flavor with the wash. I am not a big fan of liqueur, extracts or oils. After 5 decades, I'm still partial to compounds.
     
  8. drirene

    drirene

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    First, Hi Everyone! Missed y'all!
    I do this all the time. Sometimes with just booze diluted with water, no sweetener. It's a great trick if you forgot the cake in the oven just a tad too long. Lol!