Katie Georgeson, from kitchen appliance manufacturer Stoves, gives us her top tips for making your own cocktail-inspired desserts to blow away your dinner party guests.
In a survey we recently carried out, half of respondents stated that they’d much rather stay at home and cook for their friends instead of going out to eat (Stoves). If you’re planning on throwing a dinner party to impress, there’s no doubt that you’ll be looking to create a showstopping dessert and some delicious cocktails. But what if you were to combine the two?
Cooking with alcohol can be a great way to boost the flavour profile of your dish, but there are a few things that you’ll need to bear in mind for everything to go smoothly. So, below you’ll find my best tips for creating your very own cocktail-inspired desserts.
Use the right amount
Cooking with alcohol can be tricky. Too much and you’ll overpower the flavours, but too little and you risk not being able to taste it at all. Finding the right quantities isn’t an exact science, so you should be adding a small amount gradually and tasting as you go. For spirits and liqueurs, anywhere between 2–12 tablespoons can be enough. But if you’re adding wine, like prosecco, you may need up to 18 tablespoons.
For baked desserts, remember that some of the alcohol will evaporate as it cooks so going a little bit over isn’t as much of an issue. However, for set and frozen desserts, this won’t be the case so try to stick as close to the recipe as you can.
Pick complimentary flavours
To make sure that your favourite cocktail will go with your dessert, pick complementary flavours that will bring out the best in each other. For an espresso martini-inspired pudding, the coffee flavour pairs well with creamy and chocolatey desserts like tiramisu, cheesecake and brownies. You could also add a splash of coffee liqueur to a coffee cake for an added boost of flavour.
Fruity cocktails, like a passion fruit martini, cosmopolitan, Hugo, or mojito, can be transformed very easily into a zingy sorbet. Just remember that adding alcohol to frozen desserts can lower their melting point, which means they’ll melt a lot quicker than usual and can take a bit longer to set or freeze. You could also add these flavours into your usual plain cake mix for a unique bake.
Pair your sour flavours, like passion fruit, with sweet exotic fruits like mango or even coconut to balance them out. For your easy-to-drink cosmopolitan-inspired dessert, berry and orange flavours can work well to add an extra dimension of flavour. But for lighter cocktails, like the Hugo and mojito which use elderflower, lime and mint, its best to stick to their main ingredients to avoid overpowering the delicate flavours.
Decide when to add your alcohol
The best moment to add your alcohol will entirely depend on the dessert you’re making. For cakes, you could add a few tablespoons to your batter before you put it in the oven. Once it’s baked, you could then drizzle another few tablespoons over the top and let it soak in for a moist, boozy cake to impress.
If you’re making a cream-based ice cream, this will require you to make a hot custard first. Adding your alcohol while your mixture is still hot can cause it to evaporate straight away, so always pour it in once your dessert has cooled completely. Doing this will also make it a lot easier to judge your quantities.
Although cooking with alcohol can be tricky, creating the perfect cocktail-inspired dessert can be easy. Just make sure you follow these few simple tips to make the ultimate sweet treat to impress any guest.