For culinary uses, brandy may be substituted with brandy extract, rum extract or raspberry extract. Brandy is an alcoholic beverage which is made by distilling wine. It has between 70 to 120 U.S. proof alcohol content and is usually served as an after dinner spirit.
For culinary purposes, brandy is typically used as a deglazing liquid, to flambe certain dishes, as a flavoring for Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and brandy butter.
Brandy is used as a deglazing liquid in pan-sauces for meat dishes, such as steaks. It is also sometimes added to onion soup to make the flavor stronger. During the holiday season, brandy is commonly poured on Christmas pudding and burned off to give the pudding its unique flavor. Brandy is also set alight in crepe Suzette and cherries jubilee.
A brandy extract is a good alternative to achieve the distinctive flavor of brandy in dishes without adding any alcohol to the dish. Brandy extracts are concentrated and require less quantity to get the brandy flavor, compared to regular brandy.
If the volume of liquid in regular brandy is essential to the recipe, then water or fruit juice may be used along with the brandy extract to satisfy the liquid volume requirement. The proportion of brandy extract compared to brandy when cooking is 1 tablespoon of brandy extract to 5 tablespoons of brandy.
Non-alcoholic alternatives for brandy include apple juice and white grape juice. Substitute measurements when using juice are equal to the amount of brandy called for in a recipe. Bourbon is an appropriate alcoholic replacement for brandy in cooking. Brandy is a sweet spirit, and is often served after meals or in coffee.