When it comes to cooking and entertaining, nothing is more entertaining than fire. From the classic Crepe Suzzette to the wonderful dichotomy of a Baked Alaska, having flambe’ skills in your arsenal is always a crowd pleaser. But do you know how to flambe’?

Thankfully, our favorite mad kitchen scientist, Clark Casarella was here today to teach us the science behind flambe’ – so that we can finally stake our claim to flame.

Want to learn more dinner party theatrics? The science behind sabering a bottle of champagne

Clark Casarella ready with a fire extinguisher and brandy!
Clark Casarella ready with a fire extinguisher and brandy!

The science of flambé

Flambé is French for “flamed”. It can be down to most desserts and foods as long as they don’t have too high of a water content. Typically flambé is done by lighting a liquor such as brandy, cognac, or rum – afire. The alcohol vapor leaves only a faint flavor of the liquor behind, however he process of flambé can enhance and change the overall flavor of the dish greatly.

It is also quite definitely a fun dramatic flair to add to your kitchen repertoire.

Liquors and liqueurs that are 80-proof work best for flambé. Those above 120-proof are highly flammable and dangerous.

The liquor must be warmed to around 130 degrees Fahrenheit, however boiling will burn off the alcohol, and it will not ignite.

IMPORTANT: Remove the pan from any heat source that is gas powered before you flambé.

Flambe!
Flambe!

| More recipes from Clark >Rhubarb recipes: A cocktail, a tart and a savory pickles

Clark Casarella wows Ashley Thompson with his flambé skills
Clark Casarella wows Ashley Thompson with his flambé skills

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Clark Casarella and Ashley Thompson on the KELOLAND Living set
Clark Casarella and Ashley Thompson on the KELOLAND Living set