From rum cake to stout beer chocolate cake to bourbon-infused brown sugar buttercream, it's a food fact that booze plus cake equals a delicious dessert. But, what's the trick to successfully pairing alcohol with cake flavors?
These helpful tips will take the mystery out of combining alcohol and cake. Before you know it, you'll be making spiked sweets that will be the stuff of dinner party legends.
Look to classic cocktails.
According to Craftsy instructor Krystina Castella, "The first place to start is to look at popular cocktails." Popular cocktails can inspire cake flavors directly. For instance, she has a White Russian Cake recipe made with similar ingredients as a White Russian drink: vodka, cream and coffee liqueur.
Look to classic pairings of alcohol flavors.
If two types of alcohol are frequently paired in drinks, chances are, they'll translate well combined in cake. Instructor Castella offers as example the B52 drink, which is made with Coffee liqueur, Irish cream and Triple sec; to make it a dessert, you might try to make a B52 cake with coffee liqueur cake with Irish Cream Buttercream and a Triple Sec soak.
Look at classic pairings of alcohol and non-alcohol flavors.
Rum and Coke. Vodka and orange juice. Tequila and lime. Certain types of alcohol instantly make you think of a complementary flavor. This can translate into a cake flavor. For instance, a coca cola cake could be spiked with rum or perhaps topped with a rum-infused buttercream; a lime pound cake soaked in a tequila mixture could be divine.
Consider food pairings.
Certain types of alcohol pair beautifully with food, and this can help you create creative cake flavors. Instructor Castella advises, "Do you like to snack on cheddar cheese or eat other salty flavors such as salted nuts when you drink beer? Adding them to a beer cake will also taste good."
Consider the alcohol's flavor undertones.
Another place to look for inspiration are the flavor overtones in the alcohol. For instance, brandy is often made with apples, so it makes sense that an apple cake would be a great place to employ brandy as the spirit of choice. Adding other complementary flavors such as chai seasoning will only heighten the flavor experience.
Just because tipsy cakes are for adults doesn't mean they can't be fun. The above cake is like a childhood delight made especially for adults: a bright rainbow ice cream cake made with spiked punch fixings. It's whimsical and packs a punch in more ways than one.
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