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Vanilla Beans: The Topic


torakris
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You can make vanilla paste. I posted the recipe in the vanilla extract thread several months ago.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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You can stick some into those jars of vanilla extract you are making and it should not hurt. Everytime I get a big jar of Penzey's vanilla, there is a bean in it.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Brush off as much sugar as you can and stuff them in a bottle of decent quality well bourbon, like Evan Williams. Let them soak for as long as you can stand it (at least a few weeks) and then enjoy the spoils of your patience.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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My favorite thing to do with ' Old ' vanilla beans is to add about 1 bean to 2 Tablespoons of Herbs De Provence and pulverize it in the spice/ coffee grinder its Awesome on Duck, and if you do the Slow Roast method ( 250˚ for about 2 hours ) the smell will permeate every corner of your home. :rolleyes:

" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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  • 4 months later...

I'm bumping this topic because a friend has a birthday on Thursday and asked me to make his cake. The only request was vanilla. WTH. Its like the only flavor I have ever not featured! Why not cilantro or celery (I'm a freak).

I want to do something fancy not simple. He deserves it and expects it. Any ideas?

I'm not sure if I can do something with this - but he loves dark beer, so if I could incorporate that into a dessert that features vanilla I would get brownie points! I'll have to go re-read Mette's Iron Baker challenge.

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Vanilla Guiness cake? Heh. I'm the least knowledgable person when it comes to beer.

I think I would love plain chiffon layered with panna cotta!

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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What about vanilla beans with a Belgian kriek. You could make a chocolate ganache frosting using the kriek and have a white layer cake with the vanilla beans.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I loved these ideas, but I'm in the middle of nowhere and had no lead time on this one (which meant no kriek). I ended up making a Guinness cake with vanilla panna cotta, super charged vanilla whipped cream all around, sprayed with white chocolate. It tastes great but my executiion was horrendous - good thing its for a friend.

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  • 4 years later...

I'm finally making the move from Vanilla Extract to real beans, which I've rarely used. So, what should I look for when buying beans? Do beans spoil, or lose flavor over time? How should they be stored? I know the beans offer a lot of flavor, but what about the pods? How can they be used? Any suggestions would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks!

 ... Shel


 

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Shel, I had good luck storing my beans tightly wrapped in a couple of layers of plastic wrap and stored in a screw-top glass container. Kept them fresh and fragrant. When I scraped the beans for a recipe that didn't require steeping the pod, I buried the used up pod in another glass jar with sugar, for vanilla scented sugar.

If you like poached pears, they are really nice when made with a vanilla bean poaching liquid.

I had bought my beans online from someone on Ebay that was recommended by several people in the "make your own extract" topic. The beans were plump and moist.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Can't offer any suggestions on storage or use as I myself am just starting to use the fresh beans, but I can tell you that Costco is selling 10 beans for 11.50 right now. They're moist and I can smell them right through the little glass vials they came in. Gonna have to start baking up a storm, I guess!

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[...] Costco is selling 10 beans for 11.50 right now. They're moist and I can smell them right through the little glass vials they came in.

Do youknow what kind of beans they are? In any case, the price seems good enough that they may be a good place to start experimenting. Thanks for the tip!

 ... Shel


 

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When I scraped the beans for a recipe that didn't require steeping the pod, I buried the used up pod in another glass jar with sugar, for vanilla scented sugar.

Yeah, one of the reasons I want to start using beans is to make, and experiment with, vanilla sugar. Thanks for the other tips.

 ... Shel


 

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We keep them for years. I put them in a tall screw top jar and add a half inch of rum or bourbon before closing them up. We don't bother to make extract, just scrape some of the seeds into whatever we're making. I bury the "empty" pods in sugar. I suppose I could also put them in bourbon for a faux extract.

eGullet member #80.

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Shel, I had good luck storing my beans tightly wrapped in a couple of layers of plastic wrap and stored in a screw-top glass container. Kept them fresh and fragrant.

Ditto.

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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I vacuum seal mine. I am still using ones I bought 4 years ago on ebay, they are still moist. I've got Tahitian and Mexican, paid about $10/lb at the time.

Lisa - can you describe the differences between Tahitian and Mexican vanilla beans and do you have a preference? I have Tahitian vanilla beans that are wonderful but have never used the Mexican variety.

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I have ordered from beanilla and have been very happy with them. I have also purchased the Costco ones. I just checked and the vials don't say what their origin is but if I recall correctly, they are from Magagascar. They too, are good.

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