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Liquor in French toast - Does alcohol burn off?

I want to try Epicurious's Grand Marnier French toast recipe, but one of my guests cannot have alcohol unless it gets burned off in the cooking. How do I know when a recipe is safe or not? Thanks!

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  1. I think the general consensus is that some alcohol remains no matter what. Different cooking methods cook off more or less. Seems to me that French Toast would leave more behind as a percentage of the total but I assume that you are starting with very little alcohol as compared to some other dishes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kengk

      It is 1/4 cup for 8 large slices of bread.

      1. re: kathymn

        Seems to me that if the guest avoids alcohol for religious or other personal reasons, I think I would deem it "burned off". If they are a recovering alcoholic then probably would leave it out.

    2. Sorry, I don't have an answer for you but this sounds so good! I would just make that person the one with orange juice concentrate like the recipes says and everyone else the other kind. In my experience with friends who don't drink they are always skiddish about alcohol in food so I leave it out. It's never going to taste good to them and they are always worried it didn't burn off.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

        Very good point. Darn it. The tea totling guest is the one I want to please the most. But substituting oj for that one guest is a good suggestion. Thank you.

      2. There are several good alcohol burn-off rate charts on the web, and I am attaching a link to a NY government one. They also have listings for substitutes, and, no surprise, they list orange juice for Grand Marnier.
        http://www.oasas.ny.gov/admed/fyi/fyi...

        I am always surprised at how wide-spread the myth of "it all cooks out" is, out there.
        But why limit yourself to a Grand Marnier recipe, with your apparent anxiety? There are many creative French Toast recipes that can knock your guests' socks off, with no alcohol at all.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Florida Hound

          That was one "knock your sox off" recipe that had a consensus of reviews. Do you have another to recommend? I'm just looking for a sure-fire hit recipe. :)

          1. re: kathymn

            Let me pass along 2.
            And I was surprised as I went through my files how many French Toast recipes feature Grand Marnier. These do not.

            Cream Cheese French Toast bake with strawberry topping
            from The St. Petersburg Times, FL, 12/19/2004:

            1 16 oz loaf French bread, 18" long, cut into 24 3/4" slices
            1 8 oz container cream cheese with pineapple or strawberry
            4 eggs
            1 cup milk
            1/4 Cup sugar
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
            2 Tablespoons butter, melted
            Topping:
            1 quart (4 cups) fresh strawberries (For a December gathering, shouldn't frozen strawberries work?)
            1/2 Cup sugar
            (2 tablespoons Amaretto, if desired. Well, we know that's not "desired" in your situation!)

            Spray 13 x 9" glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
            Spread about 1 Tablespoon cream cheese on each of the 12 slices of bread
            Top with remaining bread slices to form 12 sandwiches. Place sandwiches in sprayed baking dish to cover bottom. Beat eggs in medium bowl Add milk, 1/4 Cup sugar, salt and cinnamon; beat well. Pour over bread in baking dish. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes. Turn bread slices over.
            Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
            Chop 1 cup of the strawberries. Refrigerate remaining strawberries. In nonmetal bowl, combine chopped strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar (and Amaretto, here- for another occasion.)
            Stir gently to mix.
            Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
            To cook, heat over to 400 degrees. Uncover baking dish; drizzle bread slices with melted butter.
            Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, slice remaining strawberries and add to chilled strawberry mixture. Mix lightly.
            Serve French toast with strawberry topping.
            Serves 6.

            #2: Stuffed French Toast.

            1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
            1/4 Cup pineapple, crushed
            1/2 Cup pecans or walnuts-chopped into small pieces
            1 16oz loaf of French Bread
            4- 5 large eggs
            1 Cup whipping cream
            1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
            1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground ginger
            1 12 oz jar apricot preserves
            1/2 cup orange juice, with pulp
            Beat cream cheese and pineapple with mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the nuts.
            Cut bread into 12 1+1/2" thick) slices. Cut a pocket through the top crust of each slice. Stuff each slice evenly with cream cheese mix.
            Combine eggs, whipping cream, vanilla and spice, stirring with wire whisk. Dip bread slices in egg mixture, fully coating on all sides.
            Cook on lightly greased griddle on medium heat until golden brown. (approx. @ 3 minutes per side)
            Combine preserves and juice in saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until melted. Serve as a sauce for the French Toast.
            6 servings.

            Who knows, you may get other replies for knock-your-socks-off French Toast worthy of a whole new thread. Any French Toast recipe, maple syrup, powdered sugar, is a hit with me. Your guests are going to appreciate being around your table in any event, so don't stress.

            1. re: Florida Hound

              Almond extract might be a good replacement for Amaretto. Yes, it is alcoholic but so little is used as it is concentrated, I think it would burn off.

              1. re: energystar

                Extracts are normally not a problem. Acknowledging the alcohol in them is technically correct, but the infinitesimal alcohol in the overall extract, combined with the small measure called for in a recipe that uses any extracts, and spread among many servings of the final product... you get the picture. Teatotallers avoiding "alcohol" per se should not feel any pressure to avoid a recipe that has a little extract among the ingredients. Now, if you're swigging that vanilla behind the barn- that's a whole 'nother story.

        2. This is one of my favorite French Toast recipes. The Grand Mariner and oj go so well together.

          1. I ended up making two versions - one with Grand Marnier and one with frozen oj concentrate. The one with liqueur was amazing. The one with oj concentrate was just okay.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kathymn

              And so your OP question really needed a very immediate response. No time to even do shopping for any alternative recipe ingredients, it seems. But I hope your particular guest enjoyed it. Maybe the other recipes are worth having as a "Plan B" another time. Christmas morning or a special Hanukkah brunch and New Years morning brunch occasions are coming upon us fast!

            2. Don't they make orange coffee syrup ? That might be a better sub but prolly too spendy

              1. Sorry late, but orange extract and a bit of finely shaved rind are probably your best bet for next time, if there is one. You'll need to increase the milk volume by 1/4 cup, and add 1/2 t. to start, increasing 'til to taste.

                1. Here is my very favorite French toast in the world; the zest sub works fabulously.
                  http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2011/0...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: magiesmom

                    I almost posted this myself, but there was that Grand Marnier again. But I am glad its on the Board for folks who are so inclined.

                  2. I wonder if you could make an orange simple syrup and cook it down to use in the Recipe. Of course, if it was me, I would just use OJ that I cooked down.