Do you guys think it is a good idea to use real vanilla beans in place of of the pure vanilla extract? This is in regards to cakes, cookies, and icing. And if it is good to use how do I actually use the real beans??
Using real vanilla beans is great, but you have to remember the "caviar" will be in your icing and/or cake. The caviar is just little tiny brown dots or seed looking things - I have made a cake and BC with them and called it a Vanilla bean cake so everyone would know what the little specks were.
I usually just use extract, and have made it myself with vanilla beans and vodka - it was more cost efficient for me until I found a really great 100% extract that is a wonderful price, so now I buy that.
If you are just not wanting to add liquid, you could get vanilla in the powder or paste? form. There are websites you can order it from.
Thank you for your reply. I've never used them before, and wondered if it made a big difference in taste. I currently use the real extract, and perhaps I should stick with that. I don't want to get too complicated when I'm just starting out lol. Though I do love vanilla bean ice cream with the little specks in it!
Me too! And the vanilla bean cake I made was great! It gave it more depth of flavor - I used extract in it too - and french vanilla cake mix as a base - so LOTS of vanilla! But not everyone wants specks in their cake/icing, so it would really be better as a special "flavor" you would offer, not something you do for all vanilla cake.
Vanilla bean is pretty expensive too.
I love using vanilla beans! It is more labor intensive though. You have to scrape the insides out. And of course it will be more expensive, but if you buy them on-line you can find some pretty good prices. I've also heard rave reviews about vanilla bean paste. I'll have to try that with my next cake.