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Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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To obtain maximum flare, alcohol with a percentage volume of 40 or over is usually recommended for flambéing, selected according to the ingredients in the dish. Fruit liqueurs and strong alcohols like cognac, gin, vodka, bourbon, or whiskey are generally specified, using classic pairings like rum for bananas, kirsch for pineapple or cherries, curaçao for orange, brandy for coffee desserts, and so on. See liqueur. There is disagreement on how much of the alcohol is actually reduced or “burned off” during the flaming process, and how much flavor the flambé imparts, but it seems safe to assume that part of the thrill of a flambéed dessert lies in its scent of almost-burned caramel and retained alcoholic content.