Tag Archives: vanilla

Gold Medal Imitation Vanilla, reviewed

Gold Medal Imitation Vanilla Extract

I use real vanilla extract and real vanilla beans when I’m baking – and I generally use a lot, because not only do I love the flavor of vanilla, but I love how it interacts with other flavors. A couple of years ago, an issue of Cook’s Illustrated (March 2009) conducted a taste test of vanilla extract and found that imitation vanilla can be just ... Read More »

Cook’s Illustrated rates Vanilla Beans

Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans can impart a much deeper and more complex vanilla flavor to a custard or other dessert than vanilla extract, but while any vanilla bean is better than none, not all vanilla beans offer the same flavors. They range in quality and price, and in a recent issue (July/Aug 2011) the test kitchen at Cook’s Illustrated set out to test five different brands of ... Read More »

How long do vanilla beans last?

Vanilla Beans in Sugar

Vanilla beans are a pricey ingredient prized by bakers and cooks because nothing imparts vanilla flavor like seeds scraped straight from a fresh vanilla pod. I usually have a few vanilla beans on hand and, like so many other deal-hunting bakers, I try to replenish my supply when I find a good deal on bulk vanilla beans (the holidays are a great time to stock ... Read More »

Rodelle Vanilla Sugar, reviewed

Rodelle Vanilla Sugar

I keep a container full of vanilla sugar in the back of my pantry that I refresh every time I have an extra vanilla bean around. Making your own vanilla sugar is a great way to repurpose vanilla beans that you have already use to infuse a custard or other sauce with vanilla, giving them a second life (and getting your money’s worth!) in the ... Read More »

Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream

French Vanilla

Creme anglaise is a classic French custard sauce made with egg yolks, sugar and milk or cream (as well as vanilla for flavoring) that is cooked until just thickened. This sauce can be served on its own as a dessert accompaniment, alongside fruit or cake, but it can also be put to other uses and one of the very best is when you put it ... Read More »

Vanilla Bean Banana Bread

Vanilla Bean Banana Bread

You’re probably used to seeing banana bread that is dark and dense looking, and often full of brown sugar and spices. Banana bread made like this is delicious, but as with all things, it never hurts to have a little variety in your recipe book. The last time I had a bunch of ripe bananas in the kitchen, I decided to give banana bread a ... Read More »

Rodelle Vanilla and Organic Vanilla Extracts, reviewed

Rodelle Vanilla Extracts

Any baker will tell you that vanilla is one of the most essential ingredients that you can have in your pantry. Although only a small amount goes into most recipes, vanilla can improve the flavor of just about everything it touches. I try to keep a good supply of vanilla on hand, both extracts and vanilla beans, and even make vanilla sugar with previously used ... Read More »

What is vanilla bean paste?

Vanilla Bean Paste

Vanilla extract appears in so many sweet recipes that it’s almost automatic to add it in when you’re making cookies or cakes, so when you see the words “vanilla extract” replaced with “vanilla bean paste” you might have to do a double take before you realize that these are quite the same thing. Vanilla extract is made by infusing vanilla into alcohol , which bakes ... Read More »

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