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Help with a Sherry ....

Can someone chime in with a recommendation for a Sherry that would fare well in a recipe for Poppy Seed Cake. The absence of this liquor in my cabinet has been delaying my preparation for quite some time. All I require is 4 ounces of it in the recipe. I've deduced that the cake is going to be somewhat dense, based on some of the other ingredients. Salad oil, sour cream, sherry, and 4 eggs. No milk. No H20. I'm willing to experiment. I think the sherry here has the potential to put this cake over the top. Any suggestions? I don't drink sherry, but I would prefer something on the sweet(er) side. Can I substitute a brandy or cognac? I feel it's a matter of taste. Right?

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  1. Cognac's brandy, but sherry is wine with brandy so it can be a little more complex than brandy/cognac. id stick to sherry Aunties in my house would always use cream sherry (harvey's) in their holiday cakes, which were great. I would use Harvey's or Croft's or you could get crazy and buy a Tesco and use it in mixed drinks for company. If you nor anyone you know is gonna drink it tho, Harveys or Croft will do fine.

    1. While you could get sherry flavor with Taylor's or Harvey's cream sherry, but better ingredients make better dishes. Plus you might rather finish up the bottle by drinking it with the cake if you buy something better!

      Sherry is fortified wine, I woudn't say with cognac since it is Spanish wine (am I wrong?). The sweeter styles are cream, amoroso/oloroso dulce, Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel. PX are extremely sweet dessert wines, oloroso dulce might be the most interesting to drink.

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      1. re: kenito799

        kenito - I think it's a safe assumption that Spanish sherry makers don't use the most expensive brandy they can find (cognac) in a foreign country instead of making their own, or just buying good Spanish brandy, of which there are plenty.

      2. I think a Pedro Ximenez could be quite interesting (but you might want to reduce the sugar in the recipe a bit).

        1. You really don't want to substitute brandy for sherry. They are very different.

          If the recipe doesn't specify what type of sherry, you need to be a bit careful as some have noted because of sweetness. My guess is whoever wrote it was thinking of Harvey's cream or some other readily available brand. Use that as your judge of how sweet it should be (pretty sweet, but not PX sweet).

          1. Thank you for all your input. All very insightful, and very informative. Here's what I'll likely use primarily because 'I don't drink the stuff': ... http://www.harveys-usa.com/our_sherry...
            Two airline-size bottles, 1.7 oz?, and I should be good to go.