It’s not our first time discussing desserts with alcohol; you may recall our rum, creme de menthe, and amaretto specials. We want to explore some alternative famous desserts tied to a handful of other liqueurs: coffee, cherry, orange, lemon, and Irish! Who knows, with liqueurs descending from the monks’ herbal medicines, they may just boost your mood and morale if consumed as part of a digestif dessert.
The most popular of the coffee liqueurs are Kahlua and Tia Maria. The former hails from Veracruz, Mexico, and contains 100% arabica coffee, sugar, and rum. Tia Maria, while made with almost the same ingredients, also contains vanilla. Originally Jamaican-made, they now make it in Italy and it has a couple of backstories that go with its invention. The most interesting story revolves around a Spanish girl who fled Jamaica with the family servant after a dispute on the family plantation. Said to have left with very little, the recipe for the family liqueur travelled with them as they reached safety. The drink was eventually named after her Tia Maria (Aunt Maria), as a sign of respect for the servant who saved the girl’s life.
Pairing very well with creamy desserts and chocolate, these liqueurs may be found in a variety of coffee flavoured mousses, cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, and brownies. In some cases, you can also add them to tiramisu to replace or complement fresh espresso shots. Finding liqueurs in family-friendly patisseries can sometimes be difficult. However, you can look for other coffee flavoured desserts that can do the job.
Another ingredient that pairs well with chocolate is cherry liqueur. One of the more popular is Kirsch, which is made from double distilled morello cherries and their stones. Beautifully, many refer to it as kirschwasser, a name that translates to cherry water in Germany. Perhaps you’ve guessed what dessert we’re going to touch on next? Morello cherries were originally grown in Germany’s Black Forest, home of the famous Black Forest Cake, which has cherries spiked in cherry liqueur for extra oomph! Another well-known dessert that includes cherry liqueur is cherries jubilee. Sometimes difficult to come by, Escoffier originally invented it in 1887 for Queen Victoria’s 50th anniversary as monarch. Flambeed and served with ice cream, it’s sure to make anyone feel like royalty. But if you are not content enough, look for other cherry desserts.
This one’s a good one. We have Cointreau, Triple Sec, and Grand Marnier dominating the field of orange flavoured liqueurs. And their use in desserts with alcohol is borderline genius. Made from dried orange peels, and in the case of Grand Mariner, blended with Cognac brandy, we can use orange liqueurs interchangeably to enhance souffles, flans, puddings, and cakes. All of which may be prepared with chocolate, too, for all the choc-orange fans among us.
Two other desserts including orange liqueur are the French Christmas dessert, Bûche de Noël, and the previously mentioned crêpes Suzette. Some crème brûlées even feature this liqueur.
Another reason to love the Italians is Limoncello, the ultimate lemon liqueur and one of the best digestifs ever invented. But if you can’t wait until after dinner, no worries. We like to cleanse our palates by punctuating our evening courses with limoncello sorbet! Whether you drizzle the chilled liqueur over vanilla ice cream, enjoy it baked into ricotta cake, lemon cookies, lemon tarts, or cheesecake, chances are your inner nonna will be smiling.
For the lemon lovers, you can find lemon flavoured desserts here. Further lemon dessert reading includes Dessert Advisor’s Top 10 Lemon Desserts and The Mystery Case Surrounding the Lemon Meringue Pie Topping.
March seems to be the best time of year to find desserts with Irish liqueurs. It’s a shame, really, because Irish liqueurs like Baileys truly add a unique taste to creamy chocolate desserts. Made from cream, cocoa, and Irish whiskey, it’s easy to imagine it in so many desserts. These include parfaits, puddings, cheesecakes, ice cream, and pretty much any chocolate based dessert!
Similar to M&M’s, Baileys have been quite open in terms of exploring other flavours like mint chocolate, crème caramel, even pumpkin spice. One of their Irish liqueur creations we’re eager to try in any dessert is their strawberries and cream.
These are just some of the many liqueur desserts. So what dessert will you settle on tonight? Will you eat like a queen with cherries jubilee, or perhaps some coffee flavoured mousse in memory of Tia Maria? Whatever you decide on, cheers from Dessert Advisor, and enjoy your digestif desserts.