Table of Contents
Creamy flavor is one of the most popular aroma qualities of vanilla beans, and it can be attributed to their rich creaminess. This aroma is also one of the reasons why vanilla beans are so popular in baking. They have a creamy, rich flavor that is perfect for baking and they are also easy to use. One of the best things about making your own vanilla extract is that you can make it at home and it’s so simple. You just need a jar, a few ingredients, and a little bit of time. The key to making good vanilla extract is to use clean vanilla beans, but if you don’t have clean vanilla beans then you can still make good vanilla extract by using just ground coffee beans or other beans with a strong coffee aroma. If you want to make great vanilla extract for your home-baked goods then you will need to start with clean vanilla beans and grind them yourself. You can buy ground coffee online or at any grocery store. You can also buy preground coffee beans from specialty roasters like OXO Coffee Roasters or Keurig Coffee Roasters. Once you have your fresh-ground coffee beans, you will need to grind them in a food processor until they are very finely ground. Then add the ground coffee.
10 facts about vanilla that you may not have known:
1. The origin of Bourbon vanilla comes from Reunion Island, originally named lle Bourbon.
2. Vanilla is part of the orchid family, it is the only orchid with edible fruit.
3. To form a vanilla pod, farmers pollinate flowers within 12 hours of opening and accurate hand pollination is necessary because there is not enough bees around to do the job.
4. It takes around 6 months for a pod to form and reach the degree of ripeness to harvest after the flower is pollinated.
5. The quality of vanilla pods depends on harvesting accurately at their peak. Any time longer they start to split and the quality may be compromised. 6. Pods are dipped in water heated to 65C for 3 minutes and then rapidly drained, after that wrapped in padded blankets allowing to sweat. This is when they take their brown color.
7. Vanilla takes two steps of drying: 10 days in the sun and 2-3 months in the shade
8. After that vanilla pods are packed away in maturation trunks for 12 months and this is when their complex aroma made up of over 180 molecules is developed.
9. Among 110 species of vanilla only 15 contain flavor inside the beans, and only three are good for vanilla industry use.
10. Two years take vanilla from harvest to sale on Reunion island, which makes it one of the top quality producers in the world.
Types of Vanilla:
TAHITIAN Vanilla Beans cherry-chocolate, licorice & caramel flavor, floral aroma with tones of ripe fruit.
MADAGASCAR Vanilla Beans
grade A is rich, dark, and creamy with an overwhelming sweet, buttery aroma well suited for many baking, recipes, drinks, and desserts.
grade B contains significantly less moisture and is less attractive; works just fine in homemade vanilla extract but is not ideal for baking.
PLANIFOLIA Vanilla Beans have creamy, sweet, smooth, and mellow flavors, and are rich in the natural organic compound vanillin.
How to Cut Open, Scrape, and Use a Vanilla Bean
Once you scrape your fragrant bean, place your scraped pod into sugar jar to use subtly vanilla scented sugar in baked goods, pastries or drinks.
Vanilla caviar incorporates into many desserts singly or hand-rubbed with sugar, also creates aromatic paste when stirred with water.
Step 1: Remove the beans from the packaging or vial and place on a plastic or wooden cutting board flat side down and curled tip pointing to the left side of your cutting board.
Step 2: Find a sharp knife and place the tip of it in the center of a bean just below the curled top. Slowly cut into the bean holding the top of it down onto the cutting board with your left pointer finger and thumb, trying to only slice through, until you reach the end of the bean.
Step 3: slightly pull apart the bean then hold the top of the bean down to the board with your left pointer finger and thumb. Turn your knife perpendicular to the bean and run the knife blade side down from the curled top of the bean to the bottom of the bean scraping the vanilla bean caviar as you run the knife down the bean.
Vanillin has a demonstrated antioxidant, antimutagenic, anticlastogenic and anticarcinogenic activities.1
Typical nutritional value of commercially available vanillin or “vanilla imitation”per 100 g:2
*Composition made not add to a 100 g
Source: All information and image sources from self-research & Amazon.com