Many of you will perhaps be surprised to know that there is a better and more flavorsome way to add vanilla into your favorite recipes, other than by using the cheaper bottled kind that is so often a stock item in our larders. There is nothing in the world of baking that can quite beat using quality whole vanilla beans, which readers should know are an essential ingredient when making a variety of extremely scrumptious desserts such as crème brûlées or vanilla ice cream, of which one of the more traditional bean types to use are Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans. So therefore be careful when making your purchase, check it is not the synthetically produced artificial stuff but pure vanilla extract instead.
No fine dining chef would dare not to use the real deal in their kitchen, whether they use whole vanilla beans or authentic vanilla extract. The reason for this choice is that it makes the flavor so much fresher, produces food that is a lot moister and not to mention delivers a significantly higher quality flavor in the cooking results than that of the cheaper kinds found in many grocery stores. That is not to say that you can’t find gorgeous high quality bottled pure vanilla extract, indeed, when made with the finest Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans, the resulting flavor packs a real punch.
One of the best things about using whole beans is that they are so potent and contain so much flavor that chefs (and more amateur cooks of course) can use them again and again. This is a huge bonus considering how many ingredients are often wasted in the kitchen, all that you need to do is rinse them after using and then let them dry off. Alternatively, you could always rinse, dry and then grind them up into a vanilla powder and add to your recipes as and when required.
When using vanilla as the essential ingredient, there are some who prefer to split the bean and use only the minute black vanilla seeds contained inside the bean. However, others like to use whole vanilla beans, splitting them first and then placing entire beans into whatever concoction is being made up. Again after using the beans you can dry and add them to some sugar, which you’ll then be able to use as a vanilla sugar, adding flavor to whatever you choose. One of the most common methods in dealing with the pods can be to store them in the sugar jar for a long time or, for the more impatient among us, to sample the flavor produced by beans such as the Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans right away, infusing them directly in foods such as custards and creams.
You may have heard the term 'plain vanilla' but this most definitely does not apply to Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans. When tasting the deep flavorsome vanilla essence that comes from these beans, it is very easy to understand how it is that this spice has become one of the very foundations of baking, whether in its whole form or in a pure vanilla extract or powder.
If you love the taste and smell of vanilla, but have never actually tried the whole bean variety, then you are in for a real treat when trying Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans! They are so much more fragrant and robust than extracts and the Bourbon variety are absolutely one of the top grades of vanilla beans that you can buy. They are fit to burst with such a deep aroma, and have a rich creamy flavor that makes them worth their price. Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans have been the most popular of all the vanilla beans for many years and are often longer, have a thicker skin and provide more seeds than a lot of other types of beans, such as the Thaitian Vanilla Beans. You’ll also be able to tell which are the best beans, as they tend to be pliable enough to bend but don’t break and their color is a deep dark brown, almost black.
So if there is any advice that you take from reading this article, if it’s not making sure that you have the finest kind of vanilla as your essential ingredient, which in my opinion would only come from using the very tasty Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans themselves, failing that, you will need to make absolutely certain that you only have pure vanilla extract in your larder.
Article By: Sarah Neil