I was informed that in the city I live in, most of the cakes we eat contain little bit of brandy (alcoholic drink) used as preservatives in place of chemicals. Although the brandy is not noticeable. Is is permissible to eat such cakes?
This is not permissible.
Alcohol is a substance that is found in wine or any intoxicating drink.
The rule is that any type of intoxicants is totally prohibited, even one drop of it.
Alcohol by itself is not prohibited as it is found in many natural food that is not intoxicating.
Therefore, if there is a juice or a beer that contains 0.3 alcohol in it, even if one drinks 6 bottles of it, he won’t be intoxicated as the percentage is negligible.
This is different from having one drop of brandy, wine, rum etc in any food as this drop is prohibited by itself.