These days there are many food items that contain alcohol as one of its ingredients, and/or, as part of its cooking process. The idea of adding alcoholic beverages to a recipe of food items is believed useful to strengthen the flavor of the food, and sometimes, to give texture and additional shelf-life of the products. Besides used in cooking, alcoholic beverages also used as an ingredient in some cakes, chocolates, desserts and ice creams.
“In every product either in cake, chocolate, desserts or ice cream form, or even in any food, you have to find the right liqueur, spirit, wine or alcohol that you use to match the taste profile of your base product. You cannot just use any liqueur or alcohol for everything, or else it will ruin the taste profile of the product,” said Jose Pelo Jr., Sales & Technical Director of PT. Wahana Interfood Nusantara who is also a Pastry Chef and Chocolatier.
The use of alcohol in various items of cake, chocolate, desserts, ice cream and food is not always necessarily to be a standard of the certain delights. Sometimes the Chefs can play around with the particular alcohol they use. However, the important thing to remember is that some alcohols suit to the certain products.
Accustomed to Certain Pairing
Joy, Jose Pelo Jr’s nick name, said that people are accustomed to a certain liqueur for a specific product. When the flavor of a specific product changed, as how it is supposed to be, people who are used to that kind of flavor might have a negative reaction to the product. For instance, to make Tiramisu, people can use Kahlua or Marsala (coffee-flavor base liqueur) or Frangelico (hazelnut base liqueur), but when its base flavor changed, people might possibly don’t like the product.
Joy himself admitted that changing recipes and flavor of a product is one of the exciting and interesting parts of being a Chef. “I always find it quite exciting because I can play around with the recipes and become innovative. Sometimes it may work out in a better and positive way and sometimes it can go against your way. Thus, it depends on the people who buy and eat your product, so target markets play a very important role in this kind of business,” Joy explained.
Certain alcohol to a certain product
When choosing a certain alcoholic drinks that match the product, people need to consider the product itself. “We can use fruit or nut liqueur and alcohol base for ice cream. However, we can blend liqueur amongst these flavors. Like for example, if we use raisin in the ice cream we can mix it with Rhum, because it is a good match. If use nuts in the mixture then we will use Amaretto or Frangelico, which is a nut base liqueur. If we use raspberry then we will use Framboise Liqueur, which is a raspberry base liqueur,” said Joy.
Even admitted to be free to innovate, Joy added that not everyone will be fine with having alcohol in the products they eat due to the religious and health reasons. Joy said that anytime he wants to mix his product with a certain alcohol, he surely will check the regulation oh Halal conformity of the company as well as its target market.
Written by Fajar Ahmad
Photo by Imam Saparisman