The following information is compiled from a variety of resources throughout the baking industry. I select from a variety of different companies who carry amazing products; depending on what product I will be needing or making. Make sure to check back frequently for updates and product recommendations.
Differences Between Flavors, Baking Emulsions, Concentrated Oils and Extracts
Concentrated Oil Flavors
Concentrated oil flavors are prefect for flavoring your chocolate or candy coating. Because the flavor or oil itself is not diluted in water or alcohol like many weaker flavors, these concentrated flavors are safe for chocolate. You never want to add water or alcohol based product such as an extract, as it may thicken or ‘seize’ your chocolate or candy coating. Concentrated flavors can be 3 to 4 times stronger than the extracts or flavors you can find in the grocery. If you are using a concentrated flavor in place of an extract, be sure to use 1/3 of what your recipe calls for. Super-strength flavors and oils can also be used in hard candies, frostings, and fudges.
Super Strength Flavors ~ Also known as Candy Oils or Flavoring Oils
“A little goes a long way!”
The most concentrated type of flavoring. These intense and exceptionally versatile flavors are all appropriate for the higher temperature demands of hard candy making but can also be used to flavor just about anything! Although often referred to as flavoring “oils”, they do not contain vegetable oil. Many of these flavors are natural essential oils derived from the peel, flower or leaf of plants.
LorAnn Brand Super Strength Flavors and Essential Oils are 3X to 4X stronger than typical alcohol-based extracts.
Use LorAnn Super Strength Flavors in:
- Hard candy & confections such as cake pops, fudges, marshmallows, and brittle.
- Most flavors are appropriate in chocolates – their are super strength flavors especially for chocolate.
- All baked goods such as cakes, cookies, muffins, frosting and fondant (use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per 1 cup butter or fat)
- Personal Note: Love to use English Toffee oil base flavor in American Buttercream
- Ice cream & frozen dairy
Bakery emulsions are water-based alternatives to baking extracts. When it comes to flavoring, professional bakers almost exclusively use emulsions over alcohol-based extracts. The flavors are more robust and will not “bake-out” when exposed to heat. Bakery Emulsions offer superior results at a great value. Use the bakery emulsions in any baked goods; cookies, cakes, sweet breads, and pastries. Or use them in frosting’s, glazes, fondant, and fillings. 1 tsp. of extract is equal to 1 tsp. of bakery emulsion.
Flavoring & Extracts
Flavorings & Extracts come in many forms. The differences depend largely on the ingredients used to make the product. They are used to add flavor to chocolates, baked goods, icing, etc. While some applications can use these flavors interchangeably, other applications may only use specific types of flavoring.
Extracts and flavors are similar to each other in the applications they are used. Extracts contain alcohol as a base, whereas most flavors use either propylene glycol or glycerin. There can be pure extracts, which use essential oils from raw materials mixed with the alcohol base, or imitation, which use artificial flavors or a mixture of natural and artificial. Extracts and flavorings are used in baked goods, frosting’s, ice cream, and almost anything else calling for flavor.
Liqueurs, spirits and wines add flavor to many foods. Some may not have the exact flavoring needed for a recipe or some people cannot have alcohol. Liquor is usually sweetened flavored with fruit, spices, nuts, herbs, or seeds.
Alcoholic beverages are used as a flavoring in recipes. It also adds in liquid so you would have to adjust the recipe accordingly.
The following chart comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with information on how much alcohol remains in your food with specific cooking and baking methods. Keep in mind that this is the percentage of alcohol remaining of the original addition.
Preparation Method / Percent Retained
- alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat / 85%
- alcohol flamed / 75%
- no heat, stored overnight / 70%
- baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture / 45%
- baked/simmered dishes with alcohol stirred into mixture:
- 15 minutes cooking time / 40%
- 30 minutes cooking time / 35%
- 1 hour cooking time / 25%
- 1.5 hours cooking time / 20%
- 2 hours cooking time / 10%
- 2.5 hours cooking time / 5%