Please Help Me Choose Vanilla!!

Decorating By Deniro Updated 14 Nov 2008 , 3:26pm by norma20

Deniro Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 10:18pm
post #1 of 15

I was out shopping at a discount store and came accross Vanilla made by Sonoma Syrup Co. running for about $16.They had two kinds one with vanilla seeds one with out. I also saw a homeade vanilla kit. It had three vanilla beans you split at home then add vodka and store for 4 to 6 months before using. It also said you replace the amount of vodka used each time up to seven years. Someone please help me choose! I normally use the vanilla sold at Costco and want to try other brands. Thanks!

14 replies
CakeWhizz Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 10:35pm
post #2 of 15

I don't live in the US but if it helps I like to use Nielsen Massey which I know you can also get over there. I also know that some people on CC like Mexican Vanilla which I would like to get my hands on but apparently you've got to be careful of the type you buy. Hope this helps.........

Deniro Posted 9 Nov 2008 , 3:36am
post #3 of 15

I need more advice! Help!!!!

Deniro Posted 9 Nov 2008 , 8:26pm
post #4 of 15

Vanilla experts please help!!

TC123 Posted 9 Nov 2008 , 10:28pm
post #5 of 15

Hello! I'm no vanilla expert, and I am not sure if my input here is helpful to you, but I have used the Sonoma Syrup Co with seeds and think it's really good. (Just make sure you shake the bottle well before each use.) One of my favorite vanilla products, though, is Nielsen-Massey's Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. I have never made my own vanilla, although I've often thought of trying it. Good luck to you! icon_smile.gif

sayhellojana Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 1:52am
post #6 of 15

Just take a good look at the bottles. the darker vanilla should usually be stronger in flavor. Thats my .02, hope it helps.

daranaco Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 2:12am
post #7 of 15

I made my own vanilla earlier this year using vanilla beans and 375ml of vodka (about the size of a 20 oz soda - maybe a bit bigger). I started out with only 3 or 4 vanilla beans in it. It was really weak. I now have about 10 or 12 beans in it. It tastes and smells great. Personally, I wouldn't make my own vanilla only using 3 beans.

Also, regarding the Sonoma vanilla with seeds, keep in mind that if you use the vanilla in your white buttercream, there may be little black seeds visible in the BC.

Good luck!

snarkybaker Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 2:22am
post #8 of 15

Vanilla with more vanillin solids will have more flavor. An easy test is to tip the bottle upside down and look to see if there is a ring of sediment on the bottom. The more murky the bottom, the more vanilla, the more the yumminess.



PinkZiab Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 2:26am
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by sayhellojana

Just take a good look at the bottles. the darker vanilla should usually be stronger in flavor. Thats my .02, hope it helps.

Not always the case... you should also read the ingredients. Many add coloring and sugar and other things, but they can still be listed as "pure" vanilla extract since they are not imitation and are made from real vanilla beans.

I, too, prefer vanilla bean paste (or whole beans, when i can). But the paste, for me, gives me the best aspects of extract and fresh beans and I almost always use that when extract is called for.

lanibird Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 2:27am
post #10 of 15

Here is a thread that might help out at bit, "The Great Vanilla Debate"

HTH thumbs_up.gif

sayhellojana Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 2:34am
post #11 of 15

I've been wanting to try vanilla bean paste, but I can't seem to find it locally. My Aunt makes the most delicious vanilla cupcakes with it.

Deniro Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 4:33am
post #12 of 15

Thank You Lanibird!! That thread was a great help!!

lanibird Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 2:35pm
post #13 of 15

Awesome! Glad I could help out!

Narie Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 2:06am
post #14 of 15

My huge 32 oz. bottle of Nielsen-Massey's Pure Vanilla Bean arrived today! Yahoo. Purchased at for $27 + shipping as opposed to $8.50 + shipping for 4 oz. It will be nice to stop hording the vanilla bean paste for special things.

norma20 Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 3:26pm
post #15 of 15

If you look at the food department at Marshall's, they usually have the same Vanilla extract that is sold at Williams' Sonoma but for a much better price. It's excellente!

I have also bought Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste from Le Swiss, expensive and I did not like.

Also I always have my own concoction made with vodka and vanilla beans.

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