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EmmMax

Replacing Liqueurs

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I hope this isnt a dumb question, I'm super new to chocolate work and am I trying really hard to learn. 

I just bought Greweling's book C&C and many of the recipes call for liqueurs. I'm wondering if its possible to replace them without unbalancing them too much. Would extracts work? Thanks in advance.

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Unless it's a recipe where the booze is a large part of the flavor profile, I just leave it out and don't replace it with anything if I'm going for a booze-free result. I suppose there is the possibility I'm sacrificing some shelf-life by doing that but I'm not at a point where that's a major consideration right now. My stuff isn't sitting on shelves in retail locations.

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Replacing them would change taste, texture and shelf life.

Taste will change depending on what you use as substitute, this is totally obvious.

Texture will change depending on what you choose to do (just omitting it or substituting it with something else). Liqueurs contribute to the liquid phase of the ganache, if you lower the water content then you risk to unbalance the fat/water ratio, risking to get a grainy ganache. So better substituting the liqueur with another liquid (better milk than cream, due to the fat content of the cream). Alcohol contribute to get a smooth texture, so you are going to loose a bit on this side (texture wise).

Shelf life will be shortened due to the missing alcohol, it can be a problem if you need the longer shelf life possible.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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I have no answer for you @EmmMax except to say that there are NO dumb questions.  We all had to learn at some point.

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Greweling loves his alcohol ;)  

 

I don’t drink at all, so when I use his recipes (and I honestly don’t very often), I leave out the alcohol and use a different liquid. The liqueur is rarely the primary flavor ingredient—it seems like it’s usually there to complement or boost another flavor in the recipe—and if it is, then that’s not a recipe I’ll probably choose to make. You may just have to play around a bit to get your flavor and texture where you want it. I honestly like Greweling more for the theory than the recipes. I do use him more his confection recipes than, say, ganache recipes. 

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10 hours ago, EmmMax said:

I hope this isnt a dumb question, I'm super new to chocolate work and am I trying really hard to learn. 

I just bought Greweling's book C&C and many of the recipes call for liqueurs. I'm wondering if its possible to replace them without unbalancing them too much. Would extracts work? Thanks in advance.

 

You can, but you have to play the Greweling Drinking Game. For each liqueur you omit, you have to consume ¾ oz of said liqueur, just to make sure you substitute appropriately.

 

Actually, I have no idea what I'm talking about. The closest I ever got to making liqueur-enhanced chocolates was a batch of bourbon balls. But I did sample the bourbon.

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8 hours ago, teonzo said:

Texture will change depending on what you choose to do (just omitting it or substituting it with something else). Liqueurs contribute to the liquid phase of the ganache, if you lower the water content then you risk to unbalance the fat/water ratio, risking to get a grainy ganache.


I will defer to what is almost assuredly greater experience but with the disclaimer that I have not come across any textural issues as a result of simply omitting the very tiny amount of liqueur generally called for in his recipes. Maybe the result is very slightly heavier in a side-by-side as a result but I've definitely never had anything end up grainy or lacking in smooth texture. But I'll try tossing in some milk the next time I have need to omit booze, so thanks for that tip! 

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Thanks guys! This was really helpful. I'll try different things and see what happens 😅. Any suggestions on other books? I was looking at Wybauw but wasnt sure which book was best. Is his gold book just a summary of the other 4 or does it contain all the same info?

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@EmmMax - welcome to eG by the way - what is the reason you want to leave out the liqueurs? If for religious reasons is there any objection to adding alcohol based extracts?

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28 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

@EmmMax - welcome to eG by the way - what is the reason you want to leave out the liqueurs? If for religious reasons is there any objection to adding alcohol based extracts?

Pretty much, but no objection to the alcohol based extracts. I know that might not make sense. 🤷‍♀️

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1 hour ago, Kerry Beal said:

If for religious reasons is there any objection to adding alcohol based extracts?


I feel kinda dumb admitting it but I've never considered that aspect of it, religious reasons people wouldn't want any form of alcohol in the chocolates. The only time I worry about it is when some of the chocolates will be going to my sister-in-law. She's a 20+ year sober recovering alcoholic who takes zero chances even after that much time. I respect that and accommodate it. 

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5 hours ago, EmmMax said:

Any suggestions on other books?

 

The usual suspects:

 

Wybauw Jean-Pierre - "The Fine Chocolates: Gold"

It's a collection of the 4 Fine Chocolates books, so you get the same content for a fraction of the price. I would suggest you to go with this one as the next purchase.


Notter Ewald - "The Art of the Chocolatier: From Classic Confections to Sensational Showpieces"

Good explanations and very good recipes. Personally I prefer the books by Greweling and Wybauw. About half of this book is dedicated to chocolate sculptures.


Curley William - "Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate"

This has some really good ideas for flavours. Ganache recipes are on the "difficult" side (high quantity of cream/liquids). Chocolate bonbons are only a part of the books, there are lots of other recipes with chocolate (cookies, cakes and so on).


Morató Ramon - "Chocolate"

This is on the artistic side and really expensive. It has some great explanations for balancing ganache recipes (plus others, the explanation for balancing chocolate mousses is even better). Bonbons are a fraction of the book, you find all kind of sweets you can make with chocolate, from spreads to plated desserts. All recipes are "artistic", meaning difficult and weird, so it's not as useful as the Greweling book for everyday production.

 

Each of these books has its own style. This means a book will say "the best way is A", while another book will say "the best way is B", A and B being totally different. Different styles, different results.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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18 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


I feel kinda dumb admitting it but I've never considered that aspect of it, religious reasons people wouldn't want any form of alcohol in the chocolates. The only time I worry about it is when some of the chocolates will be going to my sister-in-law. She's a 20+ year sober recovering alcoholic who takes zero chances even after that much time. I respect that and accommodate it. 

 

Thank you. Also, someone taking Antabuse (disulfiram) might still have a reaction.

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1 hour ago, EmmMax said:

Pretty much, but no objection to the alcohol based extracts. I know that might not make sense. 🤷‍♀️

My thought was perhaps you just didn't want to purchase a bunch of liqueurs and we could replace the alcohol with vodka and flavoring. 

 

So as others have suggested - you might want to replace the liquid with another liquid to maintain the texture - the Monin type flavorings you add to coffee give the sugar and flavor of a liqueur without the booze. 

 

Of course the disulfiram reaction would happen with alcohol based extracts.  I warn people taking certain antibiotics to watch for alcohol even in cooking and in mouthwash. 

 

 

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@teonzo thank you so much, that list is extremely helpful!

@Kerry Beal purchasing all the liqueurs would also be a barrier Haha. $$ and kitchen space are a problem 😅

I didn't even think about a disulfiram reaction. 🤦‍♀️

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On 2/27/2019 at 3:46 PM, Tri2Cook said:


I feel kinda dumb admitting it but I've never considered that aspect of it, religious reasons people wouldn't want any form of alcohol in the chocolates. The only time I worry about it is when some of the chocolates will be going to my sister-in-law. She's a 20+ year sober recovering alcoholic who takes zero chances even after that much time. I respect that and accommodate it. 

Same here, if I add alcohol, even cooked I label. I've always considered people in recovery. My late BIL was 35 years sober. Didn't think much about religion.


Edited by mome23 (log)

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 If you're cooking for Halal consumers, they will NOT accept alcohol-based flavorings in their food. It's vanilla paste or GTFO. 

The mormons I've met seem to operate on the basis that if you're cooking out the liquor, you might as well - it's not quite so rigid. 

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2 minutes ago, jrshaul said:

The mormons I've met seem to operate on the basis that if you're cooking out the liquor, you might as well - it's not quite so rigid. 

 

That's what I am. Direct alcohol consumption is prohibited. However, when it comes to small amounts in things like cooked food or medicine it becomes more of a personal choice. 

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Religious beliefs is not the only reason. Cottage food laws also prohibit alcohol.

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