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Old 02-20-2002, 02:20 AM   #1
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Alternatives to alcohol?

Hi,

What can you use to substitute alcohol in recipes? Is there anything non-alcoholic that tastes like rum? I've got a really good recipe for a chocolate pudding but don't want to use alcohol.

Any help would be great.

Thanks.

Jenny

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Old 02-21-2002, 04:40 AM   #2
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Jenny, the alcohol evaporates with cooking.....and the extracts you would use in place of certain Liquors also contain alcohol. Depends on what is called for what you would substitute.
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Old 02-21-2002, 05:28 AM   #3
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Basically one of my friends is an alcoholic and can't really have any drink, not even in his food. I heard that cooking doesn't actually evaporate alcohol - it's a highly debated topic.

What makes you think it does? If it evaporates, then how come you can still taste it?

J.
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Old 02-21-2002, 08:40 AM   #4
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alcohol in cooking

The only time I use alcohol is in a rum cake and it can be a problem otherwise in some recipes. The extracts can be very useful and I use them all the time. Wish I could have helped more.
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Old 02-21-2002, 03:56 PM   #5
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Jenny,

To be totally fair to this person, if his tolerance is that low, I would find a recipe that does not call for alcohol. I don't think that 1 tsp. of vanilla extract in a whole recipe will hurt anything. But, if in doubt, these will substitute for the vanilla flavoring:

Almond extract: use less than required amount of vanilla extract.

Vanilla bean: extract the flavour by scraping out the seeds and putting them along with the vanilla pod into a liquid that is used in the recipe. Let it simmer for a while. When the liquid has been infused with vanilla flavour, remove the pod. One inch of fresh vanilla bean is equivalent to one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use a longer piece of vanilla if it is not fresh.

Vanilla powder: use half the amount of vanilla extract required in the recipe.

You can also substitute the rum with orange juice or pineapple juice.

Not that I've ever looked, but can you buy alcohol-free extracts??
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Old 02-22-2002, 01:38 AM   #6
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Alcohol in cooking

I thought your reply was excellent. I don't very frequently use any alcohol in my recipes except, as I said earlier, in rum cakes (once a year); I love vanilla powder too and I thought the idea of juice an excellent one.
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Old 02-27-2002, 11:13 AM   #7
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The alchole doesn't evaporate. In fact, if you leave the lid off a bottle of booz, the water will evaporate leaving behind a beverage that is even more powerful. The alchole is disipated by heat. Wheathe you bake it or cook it on top of the stove, heat makes the alchole go away. Hay, that's how an internal combustion enjun works.

I have been associated with many recovering alcholics in my life. Most of them can tollorate a smidge with out getting re-hooked. The amount of booz in a cake that is cooked with it is usually a very safe bet. However, not so with a cake, like my Sherry Cakes, that are saturated with the booz after the cake is made.

With someone who has a very severe problem, it is usually sort of"guilt by association." It's not the actual minute traces of alchole that may be present, but the flavor that triggers all the old responses.

Like someone else in this thread said, I'd go with another cake.

And, while still on the subject: when people are entertaining non drinkers they are almost always thoughtful enough to provide a non alcholic drink, however, it is usually sweet: a punch, juice or soda of some sort. Try offering a non sweet alternative. Seltzer or club soda over ice and fruited with a twist of lemon or lime is very frefreshing and looks lovely and special as well. Try seltzer with a splash of tomato juice, v8 or snappy tom. Fruit it with a sprig of freshdill weed and a slice of cucumber.

Your non drinking friend will be most appreciative.
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Old 02-27-2002, 02:12 PM   #8
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geraldine,

What a great idea to use club soda instead of something sweet. And a twist of some fruit or the dill and cucumber - excellent ideas for future reference!
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Old 02-28-2002, 09:29 PM   #9
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Bloody Virgins (Bloody Mary without the booze and perhaps an extra touch of worstershire, bitters or Louisianna hot sauce) are also great....and wonderful for a brunch. Don't forget the lemon slice and celery stalk!
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Old 03-22-2002, 03:19 PM   #10
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Cooking w/ Alcohol

OK! Time for a lesson in chemistry. Alcohol boils off at a temperature of 140 degrees F. Therefore, If you add an alochol based ingredient to a recipe and bring the product to a boil (212 degrees F) the alcohol will be boil off. There are two variables here: time vs. quanityadded and the amount of alcohol in the addition. Add a teaspoon of alcohol and it will boil off in something less than 2 minutes. Add a cup and you are looking at over 10 minutes. Regardless of the time, alcohol used in cooking is boiled off when the temperature is raised above 140 degrees F. If this were not true, everything that you used vanilla extract in would have a bitter taste to it and you would get that sharp alcohol bloom in your mouth when you ate it. Which brings us to the second variable: the type of alcohol product you are using will make a difference. Vermouth (wine) has about 12% alcohol by volume (about 55 gal) while 100 proof vodka has 50% alcohol in that bottle. (If you make your own vanilla extract (or flavoring) you start with a bottle of vodka, add vanilla bean pods, and let it stand for a month.) I hope that this will put your mind at easy when it comes to using alcohol in cooking.
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Old 03-23-2002, 08:19 AM   #11
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cooking with alcohol

I have absolutely no problem with cooking with alcohol as I only cook for myself and have a glass or two of wine occasionally. I usually make a rum cake for my grandson's birthday as he likes the taste, so will use the real McCoy.

Interesting info though. Thanx.

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Old 04-05-2002, 07:43 PM   #12
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Alcohol Alternatives

I don't know if this would work in a chocolate pudding, but it does work when I'm baking chocolate cake or banana and pumpkin bread; try using dark or light brown sugar instead of white sugar in your recipe if you want some rum flavor.

Rum is made from molasses and most brown sugar is is white sugar with molasses sprayed on it to give it color and flavor. If you can imagine the flavor of rum without the alcohol kick you'll notice the flavor is similar to brown sugar.

I hope this helps.

By the way if you want a good reference book for subsituting ingredients in a recipe, Look for the 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking. It has a great section called Equivalents and Substitutions. I've found it very useful.
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Old 04-24-2002, 10:12 AM   #13
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Wow - That was a wopping lesson, Chef, and very true. I'd like to add: the taste that remains when using alcohol in cooking, does not come from the alcoholic content, but from the flavourings of the fruit/grain/whatever used and others which may be added.

In wine the flavour comes from the grape. If the wine is matured in oak, this will lend an added flavour, etc. In products such as brandy, the flavour comes from wood, aging and even additions of such things as caramel.

On the other hand pure alcohol is tasteless, therefore the making of vanilla essence with vodka (almost tasteless).

There really should not be any worry if you are cooking or baking at a high enough temperature. The alcohol really does evaporate.

Maws.:)
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Old 04-24-2002, 11:34 AM   #14
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actually the alcohol does not ALL evaporate or boil off and what is left is usually enough to knock someone off the wagon. The possibility is serrious enough I will offer this advice to you, caterers can get sued for big money for not disclosing the fact they cook with alcohol and that residual traces may be found in their food.
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Old 04-24-2002, 11:49 AM   #15
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If I just use flavorings in my recipes, i.e., one half tsp. of rum or vanilla flavoring, I can't see that it poses a problem. The rum cake I make once a year for my grandson's birthday doesn't cause any problems either. I'm a real fan of wine so I wouldn't touch that line of talk with a ten foot pole. LOL.
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Old 04-25-2002, 06:12 AM   #16
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I am a alcoholic and the fact is that you make a choice not to
use alcohol. So you do that. You can't avoid it, its everywhere
restraunts, parties, the store - hello. Make whatever kind of
cake you want and your friend can choose not to have any
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Old 04-25-2002, 07:22 AM   #17
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Thank you Tammi...that was a very sensible answer. My hat is off to you!
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Old 04-25-2002, 08:48 AM   #18
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Alternatives to alcohol

Way to go, Tammi! What a great sense of achievement you must experience. Choice is really the answer.
I agree that alcohol is everywhere - you even (or especially) have to read the labelling on medicines very carefully.
Strange, though, products such as rum or vanilla essence are made with an artificial flavour but alcohol is added as the base. One would think that with modern technology a preservative base can be found that is alcohol free!
Brad, thanks for drawing my attention to the fact that traces of alcohol may be left in food after cooking and the fact that restaurants have to specify when alcohol is used. I don't think they do it here.
On that thought: if all alcohol has evaporated but the taste lingers, it could also be dangerous for alcoholics. I have a friend, an alcoholic, who was treated and then never touched alcohol for several years. Till he popped into his supermarket, saw a bottle of non-alcoholic beer and thought that was good idea on a hot day.
He finished the bottle, but after once again getting the taste of beer, rushed off to a pub and hit the low road again. So sad.
Good luck to all. :) Maws.
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Old 04-25-2002, 09:26 AM   #19
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while it is not a law every where that alcohol use be disclosed most restaurants are very proud of the fact it is in a dish they tell you. Even if thre isn't a disclosure law it doesn't limit liability should someone sue.
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Old 04-25-2002, 09:45 AM   #20
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Brad, I still think it's great that there is a movement towards this - something I would like to advocate in my country. I have worked in the wine-industry and know all the benefits of the civilised use of wine, but am very much aware ot the devastating effects it can have on people.

We have an enormous jobless rate and great poverty amongst many people. Unfortunately this is often either caused by alcohol abuse or leads to it. It's a vicious circle. But now I'm way off a food topic.

Regards. :) Maws.
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