Using alcoholic beverages as an ingredient in sweet and savory cooking is not new, but it has become quite popular. Classics such as coq au vin, beef bourguignon, chicken marsala, beer-boiled bratwurst and contemporary dishes alike, use libations to enhance the flavor of the dish. There are cookbooks devoted to cooking with wine, beer, liquor and liqueur. As soon as I saw an ad in a magazine for RumChata Limón, my thought was, what I can create that is not a drink using this new liqueur made with Caribbean rum, real cream and vanilla with a fresh lemon finish. So, I experimented and created recipes for a pound cake, ice cream and frosting.

The bottle, with its bright-yellow hue and gold cap is attention-getting. The drink is an extension of the original RumChata. Tom Maas, founder of the brand and the master blender, said, “We wanted to blend a RumChata flavor that would be the perfect, light, summer cocktail, enjoyed by simply pouring it over ice. The addition of lemon to the exotic original drink flavor creates a really refreshing drink.” Lemon and citrus, according to a study done by MetrixLabs in 2018, continued to top flavor cocktail trends.

You might ask, what’s the difference in using a liqueur instead of an extract when baking? I have found the depth of flavor and the moistness of the finished product is better using liqueurs. If you do use extracts, please use pure extracts and not imitation. There is a difference.

Does alcohol burn off during baking and cooking? It doesn’t necessarily burn off all of the alcohol. According to Food, Friends and Fun, “different liquors have different alcohol contents, so ‘burn off’ can vary greatly between different products.” The website details how different cooking methods generally affect the amount of alcohol retained in the final baked/cooked dish. You’ll also find decadent dessert recipes using wine and liqueurs such as Grand Marnier, Amaretto, Kahlua, Irish Cream, Crème de Menthe and Tequila, among others. I just might have to submit my recipes (ice cream, pound cake and frosting) usingRumChata Limón.

Check out the liquor store for inspiration. With the plethora of old standards and new entries to the market such as RumChata Limón, you are bound to find a flavor profile of liqueur that will enhance the flavor of your baked goods. Of course, RumChata Limón can be enjoyed on the rocks, as a light and flavorful creamer in hot or cold coffee or blended with other flavored spirits such as blueberry vodka or used as an ingredient for brunch recipes such as French toast and pancakes, or my creations: ice cream, lemon pound cake and buttercream frosting.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter or spray an 8-inch by 5-inch by 3-inch loaf pan. In a medium-size bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until ridges form. Slowly add sugar while beating on high speed. When it is fluffy, stop beating and scrape sides of the bowl. Turn mixer on medium speed and add eggs one at a time, beating until blended before adding the other egg. Add the lemon paste. Turn mixer to low speed. Add one-third of the flour and mix until almost combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Add another third of flour, and then the last half of the buttermilk. Add the last third of the flour. Just before all of the flour is mixed in, stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula, and add the lemon zest and RumChata Limón and slowly stir to blend in the flour and zest and liqueur. Make sure to scrape the bowl so all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour batter into the pan and bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, about 45 to 50 minutes. (If you are using a convection oven, the cake could be done sooner, so check for doneness at 35-40 minutes). Cool for about 10 minutes. While cake is cooling, prepare the syrup.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, confectioners’ sugar, RumChata Limón and lemon paste. Take cake out of pan and place on a flat-bottomed dish. Pour the syrup on the cake while it’s still warm. Let cool before serving.

In a large, deep bowl using an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream on high speed until whipped cream is formed. Then, while whipping, add the sweetened condensed milk until incorporated, then add the RumChata Limón and 3/4 of the lemon zest and mix until incorporated. Pour into a freezable container and sprinkle remaining zest on top. Cover container with lid. Place in freezer for 24 hours or until frozen.

This ice cream complements the pound cake well.

Using a mixer, on medium speed beat butter until creamy. Now, reduce speed to low and add sugar, lemon paste, RumChata Limón, zest and salt, then beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Add more sugar if it is too loose. If too thick, add one more tablespoon of RumChata Limón or milk. Store in refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a week. Makes enough frosting for a dozen cupcakes or a 9-inch by 12-inch cake.

Leave bread slices out in a paper bag overnight to dry out. With a fork, beat together eggs, milk and RumChata Limón. Heat butter in griddle over medium heat until melted. Dip bread slices into egg mixture and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Here are some drink recipes using RumChata Limón.

Combine in shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds, getting it nice and cold and frothy. Pour into tulip or champagne glass.

Pour RumChata Limón and cold latte into shaker with ice. Quickly shake and pour into a Collins glass.

Combine in a shaker with ice and pour into a rocks glass.

Here are a few recipes using the original RumChata:

Beat RumChata, egg, flour, milk, shortening, sugar, baking powder and salt together with a fork until smooth. Heat butter in griddle over medium heat until melted. Pour 3 tablespoons of the mixture onto the griddle and cook until golden brown about 1 minute per side.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk RumChata, pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife, inserted 1 inch from crust, comes out clean. Let cool. Garnish as desired.

Combine over ice in a tall glass. Careful: to avoid separation pour root beer over ice first, then add RumChata to cooled root beer. (A&W or Dad’s root beer are recommended as they seem to separate less than other brands.)

“Summer Saturdays” noon-4 p.m.; participating New Haven restaurants will offer two-course prix-fixe lunch menus for $20 (excluding beverage, tax, and gratuity). Reservations are required. Other eateries and cafes, including coffee shops and bakeries, offer 20 percent off an item. Local musicians will perform live at select spots throughout the city. Special parking rates are available. Participating restaurants and other retail shops at www.infonewhaven.com/new-haven-summer-saturdays.

Basta Trattoria, 1006 Chapel St., New Haven, 203-772-1715, Pasta Trio, menu at https://bit.ly/2WPnmwy, choose three different pastas and three different sauces for $20 per person. Served for lunch (noon-3 p.m.) Saturdays and Sundays for dining indoors or outdoors. www.bastatrattoria.com

Geronimo Tequila Bar and Southwest Grill, 271 Crown St., New Haven, 203-777-7700, happy hour from noon to 4 p.m., with $1 sliders, $1 drafts and $2 cans and bottles. These specials are available for dine-in only (indoor or outdoor). https://bit.ly/2ZW5cek

Shell and Bones, 100 S. Water St., New Haven, 203-787-3466, re-introduces happy hour, Monday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m, offering $1 oysters, half-price bottles of wine and $1 drafts. Specials available for dine-in only (indoor or outdoor). www.shellandbones.com

Connecticut Media Group