How is flambéing different from just adding alcohol?

by Xiphias   Last Updated July 18, 2016 08:07 AM

A wonderful recipe in a book says:

Slightly roast pepper with oil, then deglaze with brandy and light it up immediately, wait for the flame to go out. [Then add other ingredients]

Since that process felt quite dangerous, especially if the pan is hot and the alcohol vaporises quickly, I was wondering:

What is the difference between just adding brandy to burning it with regard to taste?

Tags : alcohol flambe


Answers 1


What is the difference between just adding brandy to burning it with regard to taste?

Time and theatric impact (flambe is often done table side in a restaurant) are the big difference.

Flambe:

  • very quick, almost instant reduction of alcohol
  • texture/composition changes to dish are limited due to short process
  • visually dramatic
  • subtle changes in flavor

Adding alcohol, then further cooking:

  • longer cooking time to reduce alcohol
  • longer cooking will have a different effect on texture/composition
  • there will be changes in flavor, but in a different way from flambe

With most recipes, it comes down to time. If a long simmer to remove alcohol is undesired, you flambe. Example: Bananas Foster, if you simmered that for a long time, you'll get a hot bitter banana mush. Flambe is the better choice.

Without seeing your entire recipe: if your peppers are cooked a long time, you could simply add the alcohol and let the cooking reduce it. But if the recipe is a quick saute or similar, if you don't flambe, you may not get the flavor change the author intended. And, you may end up serving alcohol.

Paulb
Paulb
July 18, 2016 12:11 PM

Related Questions





how to get alcohol content for ice cream?

Updated April 03, 2018 14:17 PM

Mixed drink with tonic water already added?

Updated May 17, 2017 12:17 PM