Help...madagascar Vanilla

Decorating By preciosa225 Updated 12 Nov 2008 , 2:51pm by HerBoudoir

preciosa225 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:07am
post #1 of 5

I have recently purchased madagascar vanilla because I've read such wonderful things about it here on cc. However, I was wondering when using it to bake cakes, do I use the amount called for in the vanilla or am I supposed to use less of the Madagascar Vanilla? Please help. I have three cakes to bake and I am stuck....I don't wanna mess this one up.

Thx! icon_wink.gif

4 replies
preciosa225 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:09am
post #2 of 5

Sorry, I meant do I use the amount called for in the recipe or should I use less when using the madagascar vanilla...

HerBoudoir Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:37am
post #3 of 5

Are we talking vanilla extract or vanilla beans? If you have Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract, you use the same amount of extract as called for in the recipe. If you're using a vanilla BEAN, about half of the bean is equal to one teaspoon of vanilla (although I usually go ahead and put the whole bean in since I love good vanilla).

There are two types of vanilla beans that are used in cooking: Madagascar Bourbon and Tahitian. Madagascars are a little more robust in flavor and have more seeds; Tahitians are "more floral", milder, and have fewer seeds. Personally, I like Tahitians for anything custard-y or cream based, like creme anglaise, creme brulee, vanilla ice cream, pastry cream, etc. I use Madagascars for everything else. I use both kinds to brew my own vanilla extract.

Most vanilla extracts (real ones, not imitation), I believe, use a blend of the two (if they're not labeled otherwise); but like chocolate, vanilla is going upscale so you'll start to see more "variatals" and countries of origin. So for example, in addition to a Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Nielsen Massey offers a Mexican vanilla extract (which is also Madagascar Bourbons, but specifically those grown in Mexico).

There's all sorts of different types of upscale vanilla extracts on the market now, which is great, because I don't think "standard store brands" of vanilla extract have a whole lot of flavor. You can also buy vanilla beans very reasonably priced in bulk on eBay as well.

preciosa225 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:50am
post #4 of 5

THANKS SOOOO MUCH!!! You really answered my questions about vanilla. It is kind of confusing at first but I think I finally got it. I was just a little scared because I bought the Lorann Pure Madagascar Vanilla and I had a problem with this namebrand of Almond extract because of the concentration (VERY STRONG). So I didn't want to do the same thing with the vanilla. But all of the information you offered here straightened this and many other questions that I had out for me.

Thanks again! icon_biggrin.gif

HerBoudoir Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 2:51pm
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by preciosa225

THANKS SOOOO MUCH!!! You really answered my questions about vanilla. It is kind of confusing at first but I think I finally got it. I was just a little scared because I bought the Lorann Pure Madagascar Vanilla and I had a problem with this namebrand of Almond extract because of the concentration (VERY STRONG). So I didn't want to do the same thing with the vanilla. But all of the information you offered here straightened this and many other questions that I had out for me.

Thanks again! icon_biggrin.gif




I know that LorAnn makes some very concentrated flavorings where you definately wouldn't want to say, add a teaspoon LOL But it sounds like you just bought the regular vanilla extract (brown, looks like regular vanilla extract, smells really vanilla-y with maybe an whiff of alcohol in the background, comes in a 2, 4, or 8 ounce bottle rather than the itty bitty bottles, right?)

To me, using good vanilla is kind of a big deal, because it's one of the few ingredients that you add in baking that is ONLY added for flavor. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, etc. are all part of the chemistry of baking. I think that if you really up the quality of the ingredients that are really adding to the flavor of your baking, it really ramps up the quality of the baking, even if you can't pinpoint what it is that is making it taste so good icon_wink.gif

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