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Alternative Alcohol for Orange Cake


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#1 Shel_B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:58 PM

Toots is going to be making this cake  http://www.nytimes.c...cona-style.html for an event this weekend.  The recipe calls for the addition of some ouzo.  She has no ouzo, and is not particularly interested in buying some for this one time use.

 

She does, however, have triple sec, vodka, brandy, rum, sweet vermouth and some sweetish white wine in the fridge.  Oh, she may also have some advocaat. Which of those choices might work best with the recipe.  I suggested brandy, but was thinking the rum might also work.  Am I even close?  Which would you suggest?  Would leaving out the alcohol altogether be an acceptable solution?  Thanks!


Edited by Shel_B, 23 January 2014 - 02:02 PM.

.... Shel


#2 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:24 PM

Personally, I would do the rum - what kind of rum is it?  We are only talking about 2 tablespoons, so I think you could reasonably replace it with a nice spiced rum -- I think that would be good -- rum and orange juice definitely go well together...


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#3 jmacnaughtan

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:29 PM

Any of your high-alcohol ones would work well.  I'd go for the Triple Sec or the brandy: Triple Sec will boost the orange and brandy is a very underused booze.  Avoid the advocaat, unless you want to use it for dipping.

 

And most definitely put some booze in the soaking syrup.  


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#4 djyee100

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:08 PM

I vote for the triple sec to emphasize the orange flavor. As a rule of thumb, you can exchange one kind of liquid for another in a recipe like this. The problem might occur if you omit it altogether. Sub milk or orange juice if you like.


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#5 Dave the Cook

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 04:47 PM

While any of these suggestions will work, none of them will replace the flavor of ouzo, for which Hazan must have chosen it specifically. If you want to replicate the intended anise accent (well, way closer than brandy, triple sec or rum, anyway), buy a miniature of Pernod or Sambuca. Two-thirds of it will be used for the recipe, and the remaining tablespoon can be sipped or otherwise disposed of pretty easily.


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#6 judiu

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:01 PM

Or the vodka, after soaking anise seeds in it overnight. I wouldn 't use too many, maybe a scant 1/4 tsp. to the 2 oz vodka, and maybe a little sugar. Just sayin' ... Maybe bash them up in a mortar, first, though.

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Edited by judiu, 23 January 2014 - 05:03 PM.

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#7 Blether

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:04 PM

Truer-to-the-original subs would be Ricard / Pernod / Sambuca / Rak.  Anise-flavoured booze.  That said, if you think "an alcoholic drink" is fine, the only other main flavour is orange - orange & rum works.  Orange & orange (Triple Sec) is a no-brainer, but you now have a plain old orange cake, not Marcella's Ancona orange cake (which is an orange & anise cake).

 

Can you get anise flavour in another way ?  Star anise, say, or fennel seeds ground up or anise oil ?

 

ETA: you got there first, Dave.


Edited by Blether, 23 January 2014 - 05:06 PM.

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#8 Shel_B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:30 PM

Truer-to-the-original subs would be Ricard / Pernod / Sambuca / Rak.  Anise-flavoured booze.  That said, if you think "an alcoholic drink" is fine, the only other main flavour is orange - orange & rum works.  Orange & orange (Triple Sec) is a no-brainer, but you now have a plain old orange cake, not Marcella's Ancona orange cake (which is an orange & anise cake).

 

Can you get anise flavour in another way ?  Star anise, say, or fennel seeds ground up or anise oil ?

 

ETA: you got there first, Dave.

 

Rum and triple sec, both of which have been mentioned more than once, seems like good choices for the intended purpose.


Edited by Shel_B, 24 January 2014 - 10:43 PM.

.... Shel


#9 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:31 PM

Or do you have a Latin American grocery nearby?  Aguardiente Anisado is another anise-flavoured liqueur and it's not usually all that spendy.  And it makes lovely cocktails….


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#10 Shel_B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 05:32 PM

While any of these suggestions will work, none of them will replace the flavor of ouzo, for which Hazan must have chosen it specifically. If you want to replicate the intended anise accent (well, way closer than brandy, triple sec or rum, anyway), buy a miniature of Pernod or Sambuca. Two-thirds of it will be used for the recipe, and the remaining tablespoon can be sipped or otherwise disposed of pretty easily.

 

The choices are the ones mentioned in the original post. 


.... Shel


#11 cdh

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:52 PM

None of the above.  If you won't get a minibottle of sambuca or such like, it won't be the same cake. Might be a fine cake with rum or whisky... but quantities needed  and end result are not going to be predictable.


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#12 annabelle

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:56 PM

Just make a baba au rum and call it a day.  I wouldn't mess around with trying to come up with a substitute for ouzo which has a very specific flavor.


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#13 cdh

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 07:03 PM

yeah... ouzo is such a specific flavor that your question is kind of like asking how to make vanilla ice cream, and then saying you don't have any vanilla, refuse to acquire some,  and want to know if almond extract, or chocolate will be a good substitute.


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#14 Dave the Cook

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 07:32 PM

yeah... ouzo is such a specific flavor that your question is kind of like asking how to make vanilla ice cream, and then saying you don't have any vanilla, refuse to acquire some,  and want to know if almond extract, or chocolate will be a good substitute.

 

This.


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#15 djyee100

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:19 PM

I hesitate to jump in where this thread has been going. I will anyway.

It wasn't obvious to me that the OP wanted to meticulously replicate Marcella's cake, as opposed to putting a cake on the table with the ingredients on hand. If the orange-anise flavor is important to the cook, bloggers have successfully subbed brandy with anise seeds, also pernod.

Here:
http://campariandsof...nge-bundt-cake/

And here:
http://gourmay.net/r...e-ancona-style/

Recipes are meant to be guidelines, folks, adaptable to your tastes and your pocketbook.


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#16 annabelle

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:41 PM

Since this cake is a specialty cake and has never before been baked by the OP, suggesting substitutions for an easily acquired liquor that is a main flavor ingredient is a bit much.

 

Get a small bottle of ouzo, use whatever is required in the cake and drink the rest out of small glasses on ice.  Or neat.  Or save it for next time if the cake is a success.


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#17 Shel_B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:01 PM

I hesitate to jump in where this thread has been going. I will anyway.

It wasn't obvious to me that the OP wanted to meticulously replicate Marcella's cake, as opposed to putting a cake on the table with the ingredients on hand. If the orange-anise flavor is important to the cook, bloggers have successfully subbed brandy with anise seeds, also pernod.

[...]  Recipes are meant to be guidelines, folks, adaptable to your tastes and your pocketbook.

 

Exactly, and thank you.  You said it better, and with far greater diplomacy, than I could have.


.... Shel


#18 Shel_B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:18 PM

Personally, I would do the rum - what kind of rum is it?  We are only talking about 2 tablespoons, so I think you could reasonably replace it with a nice spiced rum -- I think that would be good -- rum and orange juice definitely go well together...

 

Thanks.  We just got back from an event, and discussed this.  She has two kinds of rum, one of which is Baccardi.  If the rum goes well with the other ingredients, maybe she'll use it.  Thanks for your help and direct response to the question.

 

The thing is, neither of us drink much - in fact, you could almost say that we're abstemious - so we're pretty much ignorant of the types of liquor in her closet. 


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.... Shel


#19 Shel_B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:22 PM

Any of your high-alcohol ones would work well.  I'd go for the Triple Sec or the brandy: Triple Sec will boost the orange and brandy is a very underused booze.  Avoid the advocaat, unless you want to use it for dipping.

 

And most definitely put some booze in the soaking syrup.  

 

After talking about this earlier, she's going to taste the Triple Sec and the rum, and see what she might want to go with.  I've never tasted Triple Sec, so I couldn't offer much advice.  Thanks so much for your suggestions.


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.... Shel


#20 Shel_B

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:25 PM

I vote for the triple sec to emphasize the orange flavor. As a rule of thumb, you can exchange one kind of liquid for another in a recipe like this. The problem might occur if you omit it altogether.

 

Thanks so much for your suggestions.  Now that she's gotten the info from this thread, it'll be interesting to see what she decides upon.


.... Shel


#21 Mjx

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:20 AM

 

While any of these suggestions will work, none of them will replace the flavor of ouzo, for which Hazan must have chosen it specifically. If you want to replicate the intended anise accent (well, way closer than brandy, triple sec or rum, anyway), buy a miniature of Pernod or Sambuca. Two-thirds of it will be used for the recipe, and the remaining tablespoon can be sipped or otherwise disposed of pretty easily.

 

The choices are the ones mentioned in the original post. 

 

 

In that case, just use whatever you like that is between 40 and 50% ABV; if the flavour isn't important, no need to over-think this!


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#22 Blether

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:02 AM

Shel, you could have been a bit more specific in your original question, which also wondered if you might leave alcohol out altogether - and didn't explain your unfamiliarity with alcohol.  Then there are flavour substitutes, physico-mechanical substitutes and social substitutes.  No-one's here to tell your lady how to run her parties, but rum & orange are so good together you could save the bother of baking, mix the rum with orange juice and all get a buzz on instead.  But then you maybe don't have orange juice, either.

 

What's the other Rum ?  I'd choose a dark one over Bacardi for this cake, or a golden rum and a teaspoon of cocoa to give it more depth.

 

If it were me, before I did that I would leave out the alcohol and use one of the other anise flavours listed above, and make up the volume of liquid with water (75% of the specified alcohol volume) - or use the anise flavour again and use vodka for the liquid.

 

I don't think the alcohol amount that the recipe quantities give, means that the alcohol makes a significant contribution to the structure (physico-mechanical properties) of the cake.


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#23 cdh

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:25 PM

Sorry if I came off as undiplomatic, but your question was equivalent to asking what could replace a flavor extract, and presenting nothing that could as options.  Then emphatically refusing to go beyond your stated possibilities.   Sorry if you didn't know that Ouzo is essentially anise extract... but is it, and none of the booze you've got handy would replace any part of ouzo other than the ethanol, which is clearly not the point of the addition. 

 

And getting your back up and refusing to go shopping when a bunch of people suggest it is never going to help you get a decent result, particularly when it is baking.  Recipes for cooked stuff are suggestions.  Recipes for baked goods are magic formulas that you do not deviate from if you want anything like the desired result.


Edited by cdh, 24 January 2014 - 06:28 PM.

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#24 Shel_B

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:44 PM

Sorry if I came off as undiplomatic, but your question was equivalent to asking what could replace a flavor extract, and presenting nothing that could as options.  Then emphatically refusing to go beyond your stated possibilities.   Sorry if you didn't know that Ouzo is essentially anise extract... but is it, and none of the booze you've got handy would replace any part of ouzo other than the ethanol, which is clearly not the point of the addition. 

 

And getting your back up and refusing to go shopping when a bunch of people suggest it is never going to help you get a decent result, particularly when it is baking.  Recipes for cooked stuff are suggestions.  Recipes for baked goods are magic formulas that you do not deviate from if you want anything like the desired result.

 

My bad ... and it should be noted that a bunch of people answered the question I posed and offered suggestions, one of which worked beautifully.  Hmmm ...


Edited by Shel_B, 24 January 2014 - 11:50 PM.

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#25 cdh

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:55 PM

If you're going to think like that, there's no point in asking for help from someplace people might actually know something... knowledge tends to elevate the horses.


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#26 annabelle

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 07:16 PM

Oh c'mon, Shel.  You do this all the time.  "I have this recipe for X but I want to make it with Y.  How do I do this?"  It's not a great idea to come on a forum of very knowledgeable home  and professional cooks and argue with them about why you want to do it your way despite asking for help and receiving a large amount of advice about why this most likely won't work as expected. 

 

And a bottle of ouzo can't cost more than $15.  Tops.


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#27 Tri2Cook

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 07:33 PM

In the initial post you said "going to be making this cake" and mentioned you don't have or wish to purchase one of the specified ingredients. Then, after listing available substitutes, asked "Am I even close?". For making that cake, without knowing you didn't care if it tasted different (which is fine but something you didn't mention until later), the answer to "Am I even close?", without something to add an anise-like flavor, would be "no". There is no high horse, it was just people trying to help.


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#28 Jaymes

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

I'm with the folks that think you should just buy a small bottle of Ouzo. Or at least search out another anise-flavored liqueur.  Of course, if you're going to do that, you might just as well buy the Ouzo. 

 

That's my suggestion.  Buy the Ouzo, and then find a few more intriguing recipes to make with it.  Ought to be interesting and fun, and certainly educational.

 

Here are some recipes (including in salad dressings, meat & fish marinades, cookies and piecrusts, etc.):  http://greekfood.abo...ookwithouzo.htm

 

Hell, maybe I'll buy you some.

 

 

 

.


Edited by Jaymes, 25 January 2014 - 02:50 PM.

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#29 MikeHartnett

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 03:22 PM

Seems like the real solution is to tell Toots to get up and buy herself some ouzo, since she's making the cake. Plus, who said you can only use the ouzo once? Just think - you and Toots can yell "opa!" and do some shots.
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#30 Jaymes

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 03:27 PM

Seems like the real solution is to tell Toots to get up and buy herself some ouzo, since she's making the cake. Plus, who said you can only use the ouzo once? Just think - you and Toots can yell "opa!" and do some shots.

 

Actually, that sounds like a lot of fun.

 

Hell, maybe I'll buy myself some.

 

 

.


Edited by Jaymes, 25 January 2014 - 03:29 PM.

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