The folks at FN Dish presented me with an opportunity to blog about all things sweet…yep, a very sweet offer! This is one of my favorites:
I’m a bourbon girl, straight up. Neat or on the rocks, it doesn’t matter just as long as the vanilla, oak, caramel and spice notes work their magic. It’s pure craftsmanship at its best and only gets better with age.
But I’m also a pastry chef and one who loves to have fun exploring new flavor combinations. To limit a fine spirit to the bar alone would be criminal; at least, that’s what I think. Incorporating liquors into desserts reveals a whole new horizon of possibilities.
I love a good Manhattan. I also love the fact that bourbon works so well with chocolate, toasted nuts, peaches and even candied bacon. Two other spirits that round out my top three favorites when I bake are rum and Campari. Dark rum works well with tropical fruit and is a favorite of mine to use at our restaurant in Grand Cayman. Since there are so many great rums, taste a couple and use the one you like best. And Campari is a tad bitter, but it adds great balance to a dessert.
Baking with spirits can be a bit tricky since many recipes don’t call for the alcohol to be burned off. But trust me on this one — when used correctly, it will be your best friend and definitely help you make new ones. Now that’s the spirit!
— Cherries, apples, pears, peaches, pecans and peanuts work well with the maple-like characteristics of bourbon.
— Coconut, pineapple, banana, mango, mint, lychees, macadamia nuts and cashews are awesome with the brown sugar flavor of dark rum.
— Tangerines, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, peaches and nectarines add great balance to the flavor-forward bitterness of Campari.
Try one of my recipes:
Plum Upside-Down Cake With Thyme, Lemon, and Fennel (pictured above)