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Specifically in this recipe: Tiramisu-II

The reason why I'm asking this is I only have vodka at home, and I rarely drink. So I don't want to buy any kind of liquor just for three tablespoons of it. Plus, alcohol is very expensive where I live.

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  • 1
    Instead of rum I'd have expected amaretto anyway.
    – Stephie
    Jul 23 '15 at 20:09
  • Doesn't help with the expense, but for the quantity issue, some liquor stores do sell tiny bottles of various common kinds of alcohol.
    – Cascabel
    Jul 23 '15 at 21:37
  • Disaronno, kahlua and baileys. But vodka, no.
    – Kaushik
    Jul 24 '15 at 0:25
  • @Stephie, do you use the same amount of amaretto for rum?
    – hattenn
    Jul 24 '15 at 8:17
  • @hattenn: Off the cuff, yes. But note that the alcohol here is more of a "spice" than an ingredient influencing the consistency (unless you literally "soak" your tiramisu). So you have a lot of leeway as far as the "right" amount is considered.
    – Stephie
    Jul 24 '15 at 8:19
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Rum used in tiramisu is mainly for flavor. It's not a fundamental ingredient that will completely change the outcome of the recipe.

That being said if you wish, you can omit the rum without adding the vodka. The vodka will add nothing to the tiramisu recipe since vodka is made to be flavorless.

As Jefromi mentioned in the comment, there are plenty of other better substitution in terms of flavor you can use. Kahlua is a very common liquor found in tiramisu as it's coffee based. Chocolate porters might also add a nice touch.

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  • Vodka might still make a slight difference by bringing out the other flavors, since it's volatile, but it'd be a pretty subtle thing if you can even tell. You could also replace it with another kind of alcohol; kahlua is really common in tiramisu, for example.
    – Cascabel
    Jul 23 '15 at 20:03
  • Marsala wine is a traditional choice for tiramisu. I tend to use Bailey's, from a recipe by Nigella Lawson.
    – dbmag9
    Jul 23 '15 at 20:18
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    I think that alcohol in tiramisu is so common, that people have come to expect the taste and will be missing something if it's not there. It's a hit and miss of course, because some people notice it and don't like it, but in general, unless you know your audience is made from "no alcohol for taste reasons" eaters, I'd rather substitute than omit, even if it's just vodka. Of course, a different flavor is still better than the vodka, as it adds variety to the taste.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 23 '15 at 20:20
  • The reason why I wanted to substitute is that I only have vodka at home, and I don't drink. Alcohol is pretty expensive where I live, and I really didn't want to buy anything just for 3 tablespoons of it. I'm still not convinced on whether or not I should omit it or just replace it with vodka. I like the alcohol taste in tiramisu, but never tried it with vodka (I used to use rum aroma, which I can't find here).
    – hattenn
    Jul 23 '15 at 20:47
  • I tend to use a little more than three tablespoons, but that might be just me. I do like the taste of the amaretto and I won't want to miss it. You have to be careful with your amounts or you will get a weird taste, especially when people are familiar with the taste of tiramisu. Jul 23 '15 at 21:03
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If you don't want to buy the alcohol but you have a good baking section in your local market or a nice baking shop, consider using the vodka for the alcohol content (just in case it does matter) and get the rum flavor using an extract.

You would probably need about one teaspoon or so, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. You may also want to reduce the amount of vodka by the amount of extract you use.

I see rum extract or imitation rum quite a bit in the US, anyway.

Rum Extract Imitation Rum

You can also use almond extract (or a tiny amount of almond oil) if you prefer the amaretto flavor that some have mentioned. If you use almond oil you only need a few drops, usually.

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  • I used to use rum aroma back home, but I moved abroad and I can't find it here. I was also considering almond extract, I might give it a shot. Thanks.
    – hattenn
    Jul 24 '15 at 6:19
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What I ended up doing was using 1/2 tsp of almond aroma and 1 tbsp of vodka. The taste was good, but I could have put much more vodka. I'll do that next time.

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