Vanilla, What's The Best To Use?

Decorating By BLRA Updated 17 Aug 2008 , 1:31am by tperks

BLRA Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:42pm
post #1 of 19

My Aunt tries to teach me everything about cake decorating when we visit once a year and this year she told me that one of the best Vanilla she has had was from Costa Rica. Is this correct?

My husband can travel ther for work, so I thought I may have him buy some if it is true.

I just ran out of the grocery store vanilla, where would be a good place get some? I don't have a business license to buy from the distributors, so it would have to a chain/local store. I think I may need to do some research and find a cooking store.

18 replies
MacsMom Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:58pm
post #2 of 19

I think it really depends on your own personal preference. I use vanilla coffee creamer in my cakes so the type of vanilla flavoring I add doesn't really make much of an impact... icon_rolleyes.gif

dandelion56602 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:02pm
post #3 of 19

I prefer Madagascar Vanilla, which I think is the most common of the vanilla family. I've known a lot to like the Mexican vanilla, which is more of a sweeter then alcohol aroma, but I'm not much on it myself.

jibbies Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:09pm
post #4 of 19

If that's your favorite vanilla stick with it. things like that are personal preference. You can order it online from several sources. I would just google either the brand name of the vanilla you had or Costa Rican vanilla.
Hope this helps

Jibbies

HerBoudoir Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 3:00pm
post #5 of 19

This thread may help you: http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-583550-vanilla.html+debate

Please note that you need to be careful about vanilla produced in South America (Mexico and other areas), because it may contain coumarin or even lead - labeling and food safety laws are not as strict as the US. Check the FDA warning here: http://www.fda.gov/ora/fiars/ora_import_ia2807.html.

BTW, the home brewed vanilla is coming along great icon_smile.gif.

onceuponacake Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 3:08pm
post #6 of 19

I make my own. I bought madagascar vanilla beans online, found a recipe and voila!

i read the same thing as the above post about being careful about buying vanilla from Mexico. Not sure why, but its worth looking into before buying it

SUELA Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 3:13pm
post #7 of 19

I really like my bottle of Mexican vanilla I bought in Feb for $9 Us for a litre! No coumarin either (which is a blood thinner). I don't like Dominican Republic vanilla though, or the Victorian Epicure pure vanilla (I think this is a Canadian company).

IMHO- regular store bought pure vanilla is good, and I do also like the taste of Wilton pure vanilla, but I agree too that is is a taste thing. I think Neillson Massey has vanilla as well as vanilla powder that is tasty. I would have him buy some of the Costa Rica vanilla anyway

jessfmaldonado Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 3:35pm
post #8 of 19

"I suggest Neilson-Massey or make your own. If you go to Surfas.com they have a WONDERFUL price on the 32 oz. of Neilson-Massey vanilla, the cheapest price I have been able to find. I also make my own, its really simple and easy. I just bought vanilla beans from silvercloudestates.com. Really good price on beans. Get a cheap bottle of vodka and voila, you have your own wonderful extract. A great website to check out to make your extract is vanillareview.com. Great info there!!!

HTH

Jessica

dandelion56602 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:17pm
post #9 of 19

Oh, I love Neilson-MAssey's vanilla but it's so pricey. I have been lucky enough to find it at TJ Maxx every once in a while. When I say Mexican vanilla, that doesn't necessarily mean bought there. They do make it FDA approved. http://www.mexicanvanillaextract.com/vanillaregularbottles.html?s_kwcid=mexican%20vanilla|747699180

HerBoudoir Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:38pm
post #10 of 19

If you're willing to invest, you can get really good deals on 32 oz bottles of Nielsen Massey online.

A good alternative is Trader Joe's Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla - it's about $5 for 4 ounces, and much better than supermarket variety.

But if cost is an issue - try brewing your own sometime. Buy your beans on the internet, use cheap vodka, and be patient while it brews (a couple months to get started), and you end up with really good quality vanilla for a very reasonable price.

dandelion56602 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:48pm
post #11 of 19

I've thought about brewing my own, but when reading it seems like a lot to brew, drain off, refill, brew some more, etc. I just wonder if my brain would remember how long it had brewed how long it needed to, how much I'd poured off, and if one batch would be stronger than another, etc. But I go through so much w/ cakes & cookies it makes me sick when I buy it

mixinvixen Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:51pm
post #12 of 19

i bought a lady out of her cake business...part of the package was 2 very large things of "dancy" brand vanilla. i've used it off and on but the other day, we had guests and decided to make homemade icecream. i gave my husband the "dancy vanilla' when he wanted a touch more flavor...it made it taste kind of cinnamon'y...which i hated!! my husband said that is the exact flavor that he could always taste in my icings that he didn't really like...so we're throwing that stuff out!!!!!!!!!

BLRA Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 2:55am
post #13 of 19

Lots of advice I would have never thought of.

I did not know you could make vanilla. I probably shouldn't try to make my own, I would run out of vodka, if you know what I mean icon_eek.gif

HerBoudoir Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 3:23pm
post #14 of 19

I posted a "how to" on making vanilla extract over in the General forum icon_smile.gif

DebBTX Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 3:59pm
post #15 of 19

I order my vanilla extract, etc. from Adam's Extracts.
Their vanilla is an old-fashioned double strength vanilla that is wonderful. They call it Adam's Best Vanilla.
You can order a variety of sizes, from a small bottle to a gallon. icon_lol.gif

-Debbie B.

Ro40 Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 4:17pm
post #16 of 19

I just buy the Kirkland's brand at Costco and also buy their beans and put about 2 whole (split in half -4) beans in the vanilla. It helps enhance the flavor. I found this is the cheapest way to go, especially since I go through so much vanilla. I make my own and use it only for my caramels ( it really does something for them), but it takes sooooo long to make that I can't always do that for my everyday baking.

mixinvixen Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 4:23pm
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ro40

I just buy the Kirkland's brand at Costco and also buy their beans and put about 2 whole (split in half -4) beans in the vanilla. It helps enhance the flavor. I found this is the cheapest way to go, especially since I go through so much vanilla. I make my own and use it only for my caramels ( it really does something for them), but it takes sooooo long to make that I can't always do that for my everyday baking.




how long before you use the kirkland after you've added the beans?

i really should just put a pallet on the floor in sams and costco...we almost live there!!

Ro40 Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 4:29pm
post #18 of 19

I use it immediately.

tperks Posted 17 Aug 2008 , 1:31am
post #19 of 19

I recently brought back some coumarin free vanilla from mexico - several brands. They all smell and taste very coconut like to me? Does anyone else notice that. I went back to Wilton's but would like another alternative that is not taste like coconut.

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