The guy in Bin Inn told me that people often buy those bottles of flavouring that people use to flavour their homemade spirits, to use in Christmas cooking. Especially if they had an objection to alcohol. Me, I use good whisky or brandy, depending on the recipient. It helps to preserve the cake as well. But the Bin Inn guy's revelation has got me thinking that I might be able to flavour tasteless vodka with some of his little bottles of spirit essences, and get some variety without having to pay a fortune for a whole lot of different bottles of alcohol. I use beer or stout to soak the fruit. for Christmas puddings Just gives it a depth of flavour, and you can't taste the hops.
Oct 16, 9:13pm
What do you all use? I am not a drinker but absolutely love boozy Christmas cake n went to our local liquor shop yesterday to buy a mid range rum n brandy, came across a brand called black heart,got another brand but was thinking as that stuff black heart looks so much more darker,would that have been a better choice. Please name your choice of booze for your cakes in here for a idea.Ta.
Oct 16, 9:23pm
I have a feeling Blackheart is a low alcohol brand. If I need lots of booze for cooking I do use these low al brands to keep the cost down. Any type is good for cooking,Brandy Whisky Sherry Rum I just try to match flavours with what I am cooking
Oct 16, 10:18pm
Oct 16, 10:28pm
It comes down to what you would like and perhaps whom you may be sharing with.
I would sample a few if possible like buy a couple of those wee bottles that only holds about 50 mil or so, costs kept low.
Oct 16, 10:34pm
Definitely brandy for a Christmas cake. Haven't heard of rum being used.
Oct 16, 11:30pm
Agree. Brandy in Christmas and wedding cakes. Rum sauce for Christmas pudding.
Oct 17, 12:19am
whiskey this year - lol the brandy is getting a bit low and the 'top' wont happen till dec. got all the fruit in soaking now and will make on sat.
Oct 17, 1:01am
I use either whisky or brandy, what ever i have. For my little cakes i make first week dec un wrap and drizzle about a 1/2 teasp over each week before icing just to keep them moist.
Oct 17, 3:49am
I use rum usually or bourbon if I have to. Its just what I have on hand. They always smell wonderful and keep well . as long as they last anyway! Must start assembling my ingredients and try and get them made before the end of the month
Oct 17, 5:22am
I used brandy this year, but last year soaked fruit in cheap nasty supermarket Port, can only assume it was okay - didn't get any, lol, families flogged them all!
ETA - am thinking, cos i so love making them, i might do more, could i use a bourbon and honey liquer, maybe "watered down" with vodka?
Oct 17, 6:36am
My wife uses triple sec or cointreau. She makes approx 25 each year for a friend who owns a business, they give them out to their clients, and another 10 or so for friends and family. Everybody who has tried some has raved about it and then orders one for next year. I'm not a big fan.
Oct 17, 6:49am
Ormond rich ruby port from the supermarket is ideal,nice flavour,do not need to soak fruit,just add good size glass to mixture as you do it.When cake is cool prick a few holes with a skewer and pour some port over the surface before wrapping in a cloth.do this 3-4 times between now and xmas.The longer it stands the better it is.-ma28
Oct 17, 7:25am
Bought litre each of brandy and dark rum (Black Heart like yours) and a flagon of cream sherry the other day - will be used mostly for baking. Usually use brandy or sherry on my fruit cakes but thought I might use rum next time for a change.
Oct 17, 7:33am
According to Jamie Oliver you can use whatever booze you like :-) or have on hand.
Oct 17, 7:50am
My fruit's been soaking for over a month. Started it off with my husbands VERY STRONG brandy, and have since topped it up with some cheap NZ stuff.
Have changed the fruit around a bit too, using cranberries instead of currants. Will see how it goes.
Oct 17, 8:14am
I've quite often used rum for my Xmas cake, but this year I've gone back to brandy.
Oct 17, 8:18am
Oct 18, 1:14am
I asked Hubby to buy a suitable liquor for the christmas cake - he arrived home with a bottle of VERY expensive French Brandy! . I made it last for 3 seasons. :-)
Thats hilarious. Good on you for making it last for 3 seasons.
Oct 18, 7:35am
I use rum to make Alison Holst's Easy mix Christmas Cake. The blokes that I make it for seem to like it. I prefer her Diabetic Christmas cake because I like the texture better and the mixture of fruit and nuts. (I do know that Christmas cakes aren't recommended eating for diabetics, but you're supposed to top it with chopped almonds cut it into very small pieces}. I think she specifies something else, but I prefer brandy.
Oct 18, 11:56am
Not sure about making cakes, but I think a gold rum might work better as it usually has a fruitier taste than a dark rum, which can be a bit rough - particularly in cheaper brands like Black Heart. Black Heart doesn't go down well here, not a very nice rum (but better than Coruba!). Appletons and Bacardi are our most common cupboard riders.