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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Using Liqueurs in Your Baking

I love using liqueurs in baking because cakes or pastries spiked with a liqueur are much more complex then their "sober" versions. A flavored liqueur can help you help make your very own signature desserts or simply enhance an old and tired recipe you have already been using. The proper amount will have a note of the liqueur flavor, but it won't overwhelm the dessert. Balance, which is of utmost importance in Italian cooking is the key here. Here are some simple guidelines to help get you started.
Converting a old favorite
Substitute 2 tablespoons of the cake's liquid - milk, with the same amount of a liqueur. Then you can taste and see if it needs a little more next time.
Which flavor liqueur to use?
Start with a liqueur that duplicates or complements the cake flavor such as a coffee liqueur for a chocolate cake. Or, maybe an orange or lemon liqueur for a citrus cake.
More ways to add liqueur to a cake or pastry.
About 15 minutes after pulling your cake or bread from the oven, put the cake onto a plate, punch holes in the top with a toothpick and pour some liqueur over these holes. You want the cake to still be warm.
Add the liqueur to the frosting or glaze in place of the extract it calls for.
Now if you have gone to a liqueur store lately you will notice that liqueurs are quite expensive but don't worry you can make your own!
Here are my favorite liqueur recipes.
Amaretto -almond flavored
Grand Marnier -orange flavored
Limoncello -lemon flavored

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