kristen81 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 12:44am
post #1 of

What brand(s) vanilla have you found to be the best? Also is it clear, pure, imitation? I've been using Wilton clear. I would like to use something with more flavor.
Thanks

31 replies
elliespartycake Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 1:03am
post #2 of

I only use real vanilla...the clear is imitation and tastes awful, I think. I love Sonoma Syrup Co. pure vanilla extract. It's amazing and yes it is expensive but I keep my eye open in the gourmet section of Marsall's and TJMaxx and often find a deal on it. Well worth it.

awatterson Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 1:19am
post #3 of

I use the Lorann butter vanilla emulsion. I LOVE using emulsions.

Lisabellemarie Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 1:23am
post #4 of

I use Ronald Reginald Melipone Mexican Vanilla - and it's delicious. It makes a huge difference in anything I'm making - people always ask what my secret ingredient is in cookies, cakes, cheesecake, even whipped cream. And all it is is the vanilla....It's not clear, but I will take a slightly tinted amazing frosting over a blah pure white frosting any day. icon_biggrin.gif

Sangriacupcake Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 1:31am
post #5 of

I never, ever use clear imitation vanilla. I'd much rather have a touch of color in my cakes and icings than end up with that fake taste...however, I suppose some brides insist on pure white. I've been using Penzey's because the taste is heavenly, but Watkins is good, too.

Jennifer1970 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 1:39am
post #6 of

I only use Neilssen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. It's brown, not clear (clear = fake) and tastes awesome!

Ursula40 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:47am
post #7 of

I make my own, there's nothing better, takes a while till it's done, but if you start off with a large amount, it lasts seemingly forever. There are loads of recipes out there. I make vanilla, orange, lemon and Hazelnut extract, plus vanilla and cinnamon sugar. I don't make cinnamon extract, cause if, I'd omly need it xmas time, and it's easier to use the spice then

pianocat Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:11am
post #8 of

I make my own- simple and saves $$.

Kitagrl Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:13am
post #9 of

I just use the pure vanilla from Sam's, Tones I think it is.... I dump it in everything I make so it goes fast!

I'm working on making my own right now though too. Those of you who make your own...do you strain the beans out before using, or not? Mine already looks full of beans and little vanilla bean debris....

Ursula40 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:19am

nope, I don't strain the vanilla, just pour. If the bottle gets a bit empty I top it up. I always have 2 bottles going, so it's ok to top one up and use the other. Every once in a while, i just add another bean, but honestly, it really is better then whatever you buy

Kitagrl Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:20am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursula40

nope, I don't strain the vanilla, just pour. If the bottle gets a bit empty I top it up. I always have 2 bottles going, so it's ok to top one up and use the other. Every once in a while, i just add another bean, but honestly, it really is better then whatever you buy




So doesn't your buttercream get little flecks of vanilla beans in it? Or maybe you do not cut your beans? I cut mine, so my vanilla is already FULL of "debris" haha.

cheriej Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:23am

Neilssen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Nothing tastes better. In fact, I'm planning on going to Madagascar and am planning on getting some vanilla while I'm there. Some people like Tahitian vanilla or Mexican vanilla. I still prefer the Madagascar version.

Ursula40 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:26am

I just split the beans, don't cut them into pieces, what are a couple of flecks, as long as it is natural

cvoges Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:30am

I've been using vanilla bean paste. It seems to add more depth to the flavor. I've also made my own vanilla, and I like the little flecks of vanilla added to the cake or icing. I think it adds a note of character.

Kitagrl Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:32am

Yeah I split mine...okay. I don't mind the flecks in cake or icing under fondant, but I wouldn't want to ice a white buttercream wedding cake in "vanilla bean icing" haha.

Do you guys keep a clear vanilla on hand for white buttercream iced cakes?

doramoreno62 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 4:00am

I use only Mexican Vanilla. I have family that goes south of the border all the time so they get it for me. Very reasonable cost when you get it directly from Mexico. Around $10 for a quart!

Kitagrl Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 4:02am
Quote:
Originally Posted by doramoreno62

I use only Mexican Vanilla. I have family that goes south of the border all the time so they get it for me. Very reasonable cost when you get it directly from Mexico. Around $10 for a quart!




Ooh now THAT would be nice!

cake_whisperer Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 4:14am

I ONLY use pure vanilla...Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract...or the vanilla paste mmmm delicious icon_smile.gif

joycesdaughter111 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 4:59am

I only use clear vanilla when a pure white frosting is necessesary. Otherwise I use either Wilton Madagascar vanilla (with the Michael's 40% off coupon) or Watkins or Penzy's.

scp1127 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 7:39am

I exclusively use Neilson Massey Vanilla Bean Paste. The best deal is on amazon.com in the 36 oz bottle. I am two months into making my own vanilla extract, so I still have a few months before I can use it.

Sangriacupcake Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 11:52am
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I exclusively use Neilson Massey Vanilla Bean Paste. The best deal is on amazon.com in the 36 oz bottle. I am two months into making my own vanilla extract, so I still have a few months before I can use it.




I've been wanting to try the bean paste...do you use it just like fluid vanilla extract? When using scraped vanilla beans, I'm never sure how much to use unless a recipe specifically specifies it.

I tried making my own vanilla, but it turned out kind of bitter. I used Tahitian beans--maybe I should have gone with Madagascar.

scp1127 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 12:28pm

Sangriacupcake, I taste my batter when I am experimenting with a recipe. I personally am heavy handed in my use of vbp and all vanillas. It does not evaporate like extract, although I still add it after cooking like extract. I think it is sweeter than extract because it doesn't have the bitterness of the extract, so sometimes I cut the sugar in a recipe by just a tablespoon.

Maybe someone else can help you on the ratios of extract to vbp. I am not near my kitchen, but I know the equivalent is written on the bottle.

There is a significant difference in the baked good when you use vbp. It is definitely worth the money. It is the exact amount of money per tsp compared to my homemade extract using 16 beans and 2 c of Grey Goose vodka. I was buying a 4 oz bottle of vbp for $10.00 until someone on CC shared about the bigger bottle. That was when I found it on amazon. It is 32 oz for $47.88 free shipping.

Sangriacupcake Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Sangriacupcake, I taste my batter when I am experimenting with a recipe. I personally am heavy handed in my use of vbp and all vanillas. It does not evaporate like extract, although I still add it after cooking like extract. I think it is sweeter than extract because it doesn't have the bitterness of the extract, so sometimes I cut the sugar in a recipe by just a tablespoon.

Maybe someone else can help you on the ratios of extract to vbp. I am not near my kitchen, but I know the equivalent is written on the bottle.

There is a significant difference in the baked good when you use vbp. It is definitely worth the money. It is the exact amount of money per tsp compared to my homemade extract using 16 beans and 2 c of Grey Goose vodka. I was buying a 4 oz bottle of vbp for $10.00 until someone on CC shared about the bigger bottle. That was when I found it on amazon. It is 32 oz for $47.88 free shipping.




Thanks! It does sound like a good bargain when you put it that way. icon_smile.gif

kristen81 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 11:38pm

Thanks everyone! I started using the clear for nice 'white' cake. But it's much nicer to have a great tasting cake. My mom gets hers from the Amish owned store close to her.

ycknits Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 1:01am

This is taken from the Nielssen-Massey website:

Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
Information from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc.

Vanilla Bean Paste is pure vanilla with natural vanilla bean seeds in a unique, convenient, paste form that adds a gourmet appearance to any recipe. It matches vanilla extract in flavor, strength, and usage.

There is no trick to using vanilla bean paste as an alternative to extract or whole beans. Measure for measure, it is the same. One teaspoon of vanilla bean paste equals one vanilla bean or one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use vanilla bean paste's thicker viscosity in icing, frostings, puddings, custards, ice cream, sauces like creme anglaise and sabayon. Vanilla bean paste is also ideal for savory sauces as well.

Corrie76 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 1:31am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I just use the pure vanilla from Sam's, Tones I think it is.... I dump it in everything I make so it goes fast!

I'm working on making my own right now though too. Those of you who make your own...do you strain the beans out before using, or not? Mine already looks full of beans and little vanilla bean debris....



It is Tone's, it all I use, because I too add it to almost everything and the price is right. After reading all these posts though I'm intrigued about making my own extract....guess it's time for me to do a little research!

DH2008 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 1:35am

I too use Tones from Sams. It's like 6 or 7.00 bucks for a good size bottle.

KimAZ Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 5:07am

I use Molena brand. Tastes perfectly fine to me.

KimAZ

pianocat Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 6:36am

I use the homemade only. If I'm doing white frosting I just add a little lavendar color gel and it makes it white.

FromScratchSF Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 7:50am
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Sangriacupcake, I taste my batter when I am experimenting with a recipe. I personally am heavy handed in my use of vbp and all vanillas. It does not evaporate like extract, although I still add it after cooking like extract. I think it is sweeter than extract because it doesn't have the bitterness of the extract, so sometimes I cut the sugar in a recipe by just a tablespoon.

Maybe someone else can help you on the ratios of extract to vbp. I am not near my kitchen, but I know the equivalent is written on the bottle.

There is a significant difference in the baked good when you use vbp. It is definitely worth the money. It is the exact amount of money per tsp compared to my homemade extract using 16 beans and 2 c of Grey Goose vodka. I was buying a 4 oz bottle of vbp for $10.00 until someone on CC shared about the bigger bottle. That was when I found it on amazon. It is 32 oz for $47.88 free shipping.




I am a Nielson-Massey fanatic - they are the only extracts I use, including the vbp. I was paying about $11/4oz bottle - until I finally got set up with a local gourmet wholesale distributer....

32 oz jug of vbp is...........................................................................

$23. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

I giggled like a crazy woman all the way home the 1st bottle I picked up. Man, I love my business license sometimes. If you are in business I highly suggest going direct to the Neilson Massey website and find a distributer near you. icon_biggrin.gif

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