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18

Yes, you can detect the difference. How much of a difference will depend on the quality of both the imitation and of the real thing. That said, it's difficult if not impossible for me to pick out the differences in baked goods. So I keep both around, and use the (much cheaper) imitation stuff for baking, and the real stuff for sauces, icing, custards, ...


9

There are several distinct species of the vanilla orchid used for food flavouring, the most common being vanilla planifolia, vanilla tahitiensis and vanilla pompona (in that order). Vanilla planifolia is usually marketed as "Bourbon vanilla", most of which is grown in Indonesia and Madagascar. The same species is also grown in Mexico, but they have decided ...


9

Wikipedia has a nice link explaining a study in which real and artificial vanilla are compared: It explains why and where it is possible to substitute one for another without losing flavor. The gist of it is that real vanilla has a lot of flavor notes apart from vanillin, but these begin to bake off at around 280-300 degrees. So cookies with artificial ...


8

There's one more reason to sometimes use fake extract -- you can get it in clear. The real stuff is always a shade of brown. Not being brown is important for when you're trying to get really vibrant colors on a cake. (you also have to switch to shortening as butter tints things yellow). ps. For some reason, people don't like it when I respond to 'this ...


8

According to my favorite source of spices, Penzeys, there is a difference between Madagascar Vanilla Regarded as the world's best, Madagascar beans set the standard for prime vanilla flavor. and Mexican Vanilla Mexican beans, while similar to Madagascar, have a darker flavor that is perfect for vanilla liqueur and coffee drinks.


8

Bourbon, by legal definition is aged in a fresh oak barrel. The oak heartwood naturally contains aromatic compounds including (you guessed it) vanillin—the primary flavor component of vanilla itself. But beyond the already-present aromatics, the wood is further treated to produce even more flavor. About 20% of the oak's mass is made of lignins. When ...


7

You can still use them in most of the recipes you would otherwise. In custards, like ice cream, just soak the whole bean in the hot liquid (that will eventually end up in the final product) for a moment and it will re-hydrate enough to use easily. Many, many recipes are such and you'll just need to soak them a moment in the recipe's liquid. Worst case - ...


7

Just use vanilla extract if you don't want specks of seeds showing. Straining of custards is to remove any coagulated egg particles, not to remove the seeds. OR, infuse the cream with the whole bean intact, do not split it. It will still infuse flavor, not as quickly or as much but that would be one way to use it without specks showing in your finished ...


7

It's a flavor. It's on the subtle side, particularly in the quantities it's often used in, and maybe if you've eaten a ton of vanilla ice cream you don't notice it anymore. (Or maybe you just haven't had very good vanilla ice cream.) The flavor is either from the vanilla bean if it's fancy vanilla ice cream, or more likely from artificially produced ...


6

You just add any vanilla-tasting product to your coffee. It doesn't have to be a sugared "coffee flavor". The best option should be plain vanilla extract. Then you have synthetic vanilin, which comes as a white powder or in tiny vials of propylene-glycol solution. As it is very concentrated, it ends up being much cheaper than the extract, but its smell is ...


6

1 tbsp pure vanilla bean paste = 1 vanilla bean 1 tbsp pure vanilla bean paste = 1 tbsp vanilla bean extract From experience I'd say the extract and the paste are equivalent in flavour. The vanilla bean paste has the added texture of the seeds, which I prefer. Of course neither of them leave you with a bean case to use as a garnish when your done creating! ...


6

"Pure vanilla extract is made by macerating and percolating vanilla beans in a solution of ethyl alcohol and water." [Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_extract] There is alcohol in it, that's why it smells like it has alcohol in it :) So it is perfectly normal. Personally, I find extracts and essences of vanilla to be a complete waste. To get ...


5

Vanilla extract adds the flavour of vanilla! Not as nice as using a real vanilla bean, but significantly cheaper and much easier to get hold of.


5

The best advice I can give is to use Alton Brown's recipe to get your timeline. Vanilla sugar is very easy to make, and I hesitate to answer with a link, but my advice would be the same thing as he wrote, because this is what I was taught. Basically, you want to cut the pod in half, and scrape the beans from the seed into an airtight container. Then ...


5

It depends highly on how fresh the vanilla is when you buy it. At least here in Germany, vanilla beans from the most common super market brands are mostly parched and IMHO already out of order when you pick them up in the store. For several years, I have ordered my vanilla in larger batches from an independent importer (current price is about 30US$ for 60 ...


5

I believe you could do it, but as the pods itself are really fibered you don't want to eat them I think. What you could do is cooking the pods. For example when I make a vanilla ganache, I always bring heavy cream, vanilla seeds and the pods to a boil. Then I let it sit for approx. 30 min an take out the pods. This method can be easily adopted to make ...


5

I think you've answered your question yourself. You use the bean itself to make vanilla sugar, so obviously there is much flavour in it as well and not just in the seeds. My experience is that you get much more flavour out of the pod if you let it simmer in warm milk/fluid.


4

Vanilla sugar is incredibly easy to make. Store a whole vanilla bean in a jar of sugar, shaking it up every so often, until the sugar is vanilla flavored. That's it. The time, I think, would depend on your bean and your taste.


4

In a recent Cook's Illustrated blind taste test (not sure if it was double blind), testers unanimously preferred the flavor of imitation vanilla to some rather fancy 'real' vanilla extracts. You might try a blind or double blind test yourself and see what you think.


4

Why Vanilla??? Vanilla is a rich and powerful flavor, with over 200 flavor compounds besides the basic vanillin. Due to its complexity and neutral flavor, it can be combined with a plethora of other flavors without conflicting. It just provides a good neutral base to build on. The vanilla also enriches the products if they are combined with additional ...


4

Think about this question another way: You are making vanilla infused liquor, you just happen to be cooking with it. And Yes, you can infuse any liquor If you want to use a substitute for Wodka brand Vodka (i.e. use cheaper, off-brand vodka like Kamachatka), I would say that yes, you can substitute out one vodka for another with the caveat that you will ...


4

Vanilla "beans" or pods go through an extensive process to give the flavor you know. One of the main differences in vanilla produced in various regions is the tweaking of this process. First, vanilla is heated to kill the pod to prevent sugar from turning to starch, and to break down cell walls. After this is a repeated process of exposure to sun and ...


4

I've been making rum-based vanilla extract successfully at home for years. Here are my recommendations. Your basic ingredients are 80 proof rum, sugar and vanilla beans. At the recommended proportions, the rum and sugar are plenty effective preservatives. You can use either light or dark rum, but it should be a good "call" 80 proof rum and not a bargain ...


4

Slice bean in half. Use knife blade to scrape seeds out of bean. Scrape seeds from blade into milk as you are heating. Added bonus: toss scraped vanilla pods into a bowl of sugar to create vanilla sugar. Best flavor release of vanilla into a fat-based mixture is achieved during heating.


3

At this point the "highest and best use" [IMHO] of a dry vanilla bean would be to produce "vanilla sugar". Bury the beans in 2 cups of sugar in a tightly sealed container and let it set for 2 + weeks. Over time the flavor of the vanilla will become infused with the sugar. At this point you can use it like 'normal sugar' anywhere a hint of vanilla would be ...


3

I like the method of wrapping it in a damp paper towel and zapping it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. This should moisten it up just enough to allow you to split and scrape. This article mentions that method as well as soaking very briefly in hot water: http://bakingbites.com/2011/06/how-long-do-vanilla-beans-last/


3

I use a clean coffee grinder and grind the entire bean as fine as I can. A dry bean that is ground works very well in ice cream, and probably lots of other recipes.


3

You could fold with a heat-safe silicone spatula, that will let you reach the whole surface of the pan so you don't get scorching, without introducing so many bubbles. Or if you happen to have a vacuum machine, put your sauce in a bag after you make it and vacuum out all of the air. Voila, bubbles gone.


3

Disclaimer: I've never tried to make a ganache with olive oil, so take that into consideration as you read the following. First, I have to assume that you're trying to use olive oil to replace the cream that's normally used in making ganache, perhaps to make a non-dairy ganache. If that's not right, please clarify your question. Ganache is essentially an ...



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