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Old 10 November 2008, 08:53 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
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Icon24 Cooking out the alcohol

Comment: I would like to know if when baking a cake with an alcohol (rum,
bourbon) does the baking destroy the alcohol in the rum or bourbon? Or
does some alcohol still remain?
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Old 10 November 2008, 09:26 AM
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Floater Floater is offline
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Unless you do something wrong the ethanol will evaporate and leave only whatever gives taste to the stuff.

A true story from real life (I think): Once upon a time the late heavyweight World champion boxer Floyd Patterson was in Sweden for negotiations about hiring out his name to a chain of hamburger restaurants (I think the company was later easten up by McDonald's). His Swedish counterparts wanted to treat him to a nice lunch: trout with a white wine sauce, but when he heard about this he said that nothing containing alcohol had ever touched his lips and "No, I will not eat it".

In the end he had his fish with no sauce, but with chips instead, swallowed down with Coca Cola. As someone commented "I hope his involvment in the project is restricted to letting the hamburger joints be called Floyd's and that he will have nothing to do with the actual cooking".
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Old 10 November 2008, 11:50 AM
Troberg Troberg is online now
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It probably evaporates, but it's still enough for some dedicated moslems to not eat such food.
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Old 10 November 2008, 02:07 PM
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chillas chillas is offline
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: I would like to know if when baking a cake with an alcohol (rum, bourbon) does the baking destroy the alcohol in the rum or bourbon? Or does some alcohol still remain?
The specifics depend on the recipe and cooking process, but it is generally a myth that the alcohol will burn off.

Myth #9: All alcohol burns off during cooking.

Reality: If you heat a booze-based concoction for a few hours, the alcohol level will significantly lessen, but a quick flambe, simmer or bake only knocks the potency back by 50% or less. So, while a slice of rum cake won't get you tipsy, it's still a good idea to warn folks who don't normally consume alcohol.

six recipes were prepared using various sources of alcohol including Burgundy wine, dry sherry, brandy, crème de cocoa, and Grand Marnier. A variety of preparations were used including applying no heat and refrigerating overnight, adding alcohol to a hot sauce, flaming, oven baking, and simmering (both 30 minutes and 2 ½ hours). Alcohol retention, after preparation, ranged from 4%-85% and was dependent upon a number of factors such as cooking temperature, size of the cooking vessel, cooking time, and the presence of other ingredients in the prepared dish.

Here's another "common sense" myth that turns out to be false. Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water so it should all evaporate first, right? Nope - that's not the way it works. The alcohol will evaporate faster than the water but there will still be some left after even extended cooking.
Link (with a table)

The conventional wisdom accepted by just about everyone in the food world is that all the alcohol you add to a dish evaporates or dissipates during cooking. It’s wrong. In fact, you have to cook something for a good three hours to eradicate virtually all traces of alcohol. And some cooking methods are less effective at removing alcohol than just letting it stand out uncovered overnight.
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Old 10 November 2008, 02:16 PM
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Towknie Towknie is offline
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I always soak my rum cake in rum after cooking just to be safe!
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Old 10 November 2008, 02:29 PM
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Richard W Richard W is offline
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Originally Posted by Towknie View Post
I always soak my rum cake in rum after cooking just to be safe!
Indeed, chillas's links all describe the myth as being that the cooking removes the alcohol, whereas in fact it's the cake that does so. So, for example, a sherry trifle with half a bottle of sherry added to the sponge contains no alcohol whatsoever and can be enjoyed with a clear conscience. Putting a cherry in a manhattan or an olive in a martini has the same effect, I find.
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Old 13 November 2008, 12:00 AM
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DevilBunny DevilBunny is offline
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Richard W, you can feel free to cook me dinner anytime

My ex once cooked tomato soup for myself and a few friends, with vodka as an added ingredient. Apparently we all had a great evening. Sadly, none of us remember.
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