Is It Sad To Be Excited About Vanilla?

Baking By vgray Updated 30 Aug 2011 , 6:08pm by glendaleAZ

vgray Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 2:31pm
post #1 of 10

So I went to our local pharmacy today and I noticed some Madagascar vanilla beans in a jar. The label said something about bourbon. I wasn't sure if that meant to use bourbon to make extract with those beans or if they had been soaking in bourbon??? Does any know? Anyway I didn't buy the beans because I wanted to ask all you what to do with them AND because I noticed the Madagascar pure vanilla extract (omg yay! can't wait to use it)! I was so excited because I have been looking in to making my own vanilla extract and have read the Madagascar beans are the best. So should I buy the beans at the store and soak them in bourbon for six months? Or should I buy the beans and cut them open and just use the inside of it in my batter? Or lol should I go back and see if then have vanilla beans that haven't been in any alcohol yet? The brand name is Madecasse.

9 replies
AnnieCahill Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 3:04pm
post #2 of 10

I get excited about vanilla. I'm the person whose favorite cake flavor is vanilla with vanilla icing LOL. I take a whole bean, split it lengthwise, and then scrape the seeds into batter, icings, etc. Don't throw the bean away! You can bury the bean in a canister of sugar and make vanilla sugar out of it. Just let the bean sit in the sugar for a couple of weeks and it will smell and taste like vanilla.

There are lots of ways to make homemade vanilla extract, but I believe most people use vodka. You have to take several beans and steep them in the vodka for about six months.

Here's a recent thread talking about homemade vanilla:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-725325.html

AnnieCahill Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 3:15pm
post #3 of 10

FYI I don't think bourbon refers to the liquid in which the vanilla is steeped. I think it's referring to the type of bean. Check it:

http://www.beanilla.com/bourbon-vanilla-bean-p-87.html

FlourPots Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 3:27pm
post #4 of 10

I pulled this from the Neilsen-Massey site:

"Madagascar Bourbon vanilla does not have anything to do with the American whiskey of the same name, but is rather named for the Bourbon Islands off the coast of Africa. Madagascar supplies more than 60% of the worlds vanilla".

glendaleAZ Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 3:30pm
post #5 of 10

Hi vgray,

Madagascar Bourbon is named after the Bourbon islands not the liquor, so no, I don't think there's any liquor in your beans. (I went to Google for help on this)

I haven't made my own vanilla, so I can't help you on your question. But I do purchase Watkins Premium Quality Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and I love it. It's the only kind of vanilla I use in my cakes and frostings.

Tammy

vgray Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 3:48pm
post #6 of 10

Awesome, I may have to go pick up those beans and some vodka to make my own extract! I will just start using the already made extract until mine is ready. The price isn't that much different from the McCormick brand. I got the Madagascar vanilla in a 4oz bottle for 10.50. I live in a small town so seeing this type of vanilla is very exciting for me lol.

GlandaeAz, I think I have seen Watkins at Walmart, I want to think the label said something about double strength. I have never tried it because I wasn't sure what made it double strength and if Watkins was a good brand. Have your tried the double strength kind?

AnnieCahill, do you still put extract in or just the inside of the bean? Also, does the sugar change texture? or just soak up the flavoring? Do you use this sugar with all of your cake flavors or just vanilla? Also, (sorry I have never heard of vanilla sugar, I am very curious!) If you use the vanilla sugar do you use it alone, with the vanilla bean insides, with extract, or with both bean insides and extract?

vgray Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 4:10pm
post #7 of 10

Awesome, I may have to go pick up those beans and some vodka to make my own extract! I will just start using the already made extract until mine is ready. The price isn't that much different from the McCormick brand. I got the Madagascar vanilla in a 4oz bottle for 10.50. I live in a small town so seeing this type of vanilla is very exciting for me lol.

GlandaeAz, I think I have seen Watkins at Walmart, I want to think the label said something about double strength. I have never tried it because I wasn't sure what made it double strength and if Watkins was a good brand. Have your tried the double strength kind?

AnnieCahill, do you still put extract in or just the inside of the bean? Also, does the sugar change texture? or just soak up the flavoring? Do you use this sugar with all of your cake flavors or just vanilla? Also, (sorry I have never heard of vanilla sugar, I am very curious!) If you use the vanilla sugar do you use it alone, with the vanilla bean insides, with extract, or with both bean insides and extract?

matthewkyrankelly Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 4:24pm
post #8 of 10

If you are excited now, go to ebay and see how many vanilla beans you can get for $25! You'll have enough for custards, ice cream, make your own vanilla, everything!

I bought enough to give half as a gift and still have more than I need right now. A pound of extract grade beans is about $25 and has about 150 beans.

Double strength vanilla has twice as many beans in the alcohol as regular strength.

There are several recipes on the web that all involve vodka. Some use rum. Cook's illustrated has a recipe of 1 bean for 6 ounces of vodka. Two beans for double strength.

AnnieCahill Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 5:14pm
post #9 of 10

Girlfriend I am a vanilla fool. The sugar will not change texture...it may get clumpy but you can break that up with a whisk no problem.

Use vanilla sugar in any of your baking. When you have gutted your bean (poor bean) then take the empty pod and just nestle it down in your canister of sugar. Use it for sugar cookies, cakes, whatever. It doesn't affect the sugar, just scents it with vanilla.

I usually will only add an additional teaspoon of extract if I use a whole pod of vanilla beans. But that depends on how strong you want your vanilla flavor.

Annie

glendaleAZ Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 6:08pm
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgray

GlandaeAz, I think I have seen Watkins at Walmart, I want to think the label said something about double strength. I have never tried it because I wasn't sure what made it double strength and if Watkins was a good brand. Have your tried the double strength kind?




I've used both, but I didn't like the double strength because, to me, it tasted differnet.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%