Baking With Alcohol

Baking By LouisNutri Updated 30 Aug 2015 , 8:21am by Shockolata

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LouisNutri Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 5:15am
post #1 of 11

Good day. I just bought a huge bottle of Amaretto Liqueur and am wondering how I can use this in baking; esp. cupcakes, cakes, and buttercreams, I tried one recipe online but it turned out more like a muffin than a cupcake and became almost rock-hard the next day. The recipe used 1/2c buttermilk and 1/4c amaretto. Any tips in baking with alcohol in general? Thanks!

*Last edited by LouisNutri on 29 Aug 2015 , 5:16am
10 replies
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karenamr95 Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 6:06am
post #2 of 11

I think it depends on the recipe at The old bakery i used to work at we substitued some water for alcohol. and  maybe if you use recipe with milk substitue some milk and also put the liquer in the normal buttercream 

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Norcalhiker Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 7:49am
post #3 of 11

For cake, make a simple syrup and add the liqueur.  I like to add it when the simple syrup is still hot to burn off some of the alcohol.  Sponge cakes are good for simple syrups.

replacing amaretto for almond extract in recipes work very well. 

I think the key is finding complementary flavors  amaretto and chocolate is classic: amaretto chocolate cake; amaretto brownies (goes good with brownies with nuts.  Pound cake topped with amaretto simple syrup and sliced almonds.  Amaretto peach pie is another classic combination; macerate the peaches in it.  Orange biscotti dipped in chocolate.  

Amaretto is one of the most commonly used liquors in desserts  

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LouisNutri Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 8:21am
post #4 of 11

Would McCormick Almond Extract be enough for an Amaretto substitute? It lists "natural almond flavor" in its ingredients list. 

How do you use the simple syrup? Do you pour/drizzle it onto the baked cake or do you add it to the batter? 

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Norcalhiker Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 4:41pm
post #5 of 11

Yes and no.  

Yes, natural almond extract is a substitute for amaretto when you just want an almond flavored product.

No, the flavor profiles are different, so if you are trying to achieve the distinct flavor of say of those crunchy amaretto cookies, extract will not give you that flavor.

Amaretto is actually an apricot kernnel based liqueur. Some cheaper brands add almond, hence the scent.  DIsaronno, considered to be an excellent amaretto, uses no almond.  It's the apricot that gives their amaretto its distinct flavor.

Many lower priced amarettos contain a lot if sugar as well as almond.  

Nature almond extract is bitter almond and alcohol, a completely different product from amaretto.

If you want that distinct amaretto flavor, then a quality amaretto is needed.

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Norcalhiker Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 4:52pm
post #6 of 11

regarding simple syrup: just brushed on with a pastry brush.  Simple syrups are generally used on cakes like sponge, genoises, and pound cakes to enhance flavor and add some moisture.

An acquaintance makes this fabulous gluten free lemon pound cake and I believe the key to her delectable cake is her lovely simply syrup and toasted sliced almond.  I told her I can't have her lemon cake in my house because I will eat the whole cake in one day.

if you want to incorporate the amaretto flavor into the batter, then you use it straight, like an extract.

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Shockolata Posted 29 Aug 2015 , 8:15pm
post #7 of 11

Oh what you reminded me! Bitter almond is found inside the pip of the apricot. We used to eat them in Greece and Mum used to yell at us that we are going to get poisoned. She often cooked the inside of the pip with apricot or peach compote to add an extra layer of flavour. It is safe once cooked. I don't know how I survived my childhood. I even remember drinking nectar straight from our honeysuckle flowers and picking roses at dusk to make jam. It is such a pity that most people will not have such experiences...

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craftybanana2 Posted 30 Aug 2015 , 3:07am
post #8 of 11

@Shockolata I heard that the other day about fruit pits and apple seeds. Apparently you need to eat a whole bushel of the seeds (fruit not included in that bushel) to even get poisoned. That's a whole lotta apple seeds! Learn something new everyday!

As for alcohol in cakes, I substituted 1/4 cup of water in my choclate cake recipe with 1/4 cup of creme de cacao, was pretty good. Depending on how strong Amaretto is you may need more or less. I use 3 tablespoons of Creme Sherry in my canoli shells, anymore than that is way to much because it has a strong flavor. Amaretto cookies sound pretty good though with coffee though...

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Norcalhiker Posted 30 Aug 2015 , 3:08am
post #9 of 11

Yes you are correct, the pit is toxic.  My mother and grandmother warned time and time again to never never break open the pit.  As a child I was terrified whenever I found a split apricot pit--I was sure the apricot I just ate would be my last!

Oh what memories you bring:). The fence around out front yard was covered in honeysuckle.  Every spring all the neighborhood kids stood at the fence picking the flowers and eating the nectar, dreaming of the summer that still felt a lifetime away.

my summers were spent in the country where my grandmother had a garden, orchard, and beehives.  Her basement was filled with homemade jams, honey harvested from her hives, fruits from the trees.  On her kitchen widowsill was a set of rattlers from a rattlesnake who dared to wander in her garden.  In the summer she gave us bowls to take to the blackberry brier, and warned to never pick the berries until we looked to make sure no rattlers were hiding under the prickly bush.  

It is sad that life is such, children no longer run barefoot in the meadows.

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Shockolata Posted 30 Aug 2015 , 8:19am
post #10 of 11

@Norcalhiker  your story about rattlesnakes beats mine. I have never ever seen a snake in the wild though my grandma said there once was a slim, non-poisonous snake that came every morning to drink milk that she put out for him. She had even given him a name. I never saw that snake. Seems everything fun happened before my arrival!


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Shockolata Posted 30 Aug 2015 , 8:21am
post #11 of 11

@craftybanana2  apple seeds? Here in the UK, they give the entire apple to kids, seeds and core and stalk... they throw nothing away. I found it quite bizarre to say the least but it is standard practice in nurseries. 

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