What Vanilla Product Do You Prefer?

Baking By KMKakes Updated 23 Mar 2012 , 1:39pm by mplaidgirl2

KMKakes Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 2:05pm
post #1 of 20

I have been reading about different types of vanilla products and I wonder does it make a difference in what you use in regards to flavor. I thought that any vanilla just taste like vanilla? I use Wilton's madagascar vanilla in my cakes and buttercream icing. I am wanting to try something different for my cakes, icings, cupcakes, and cookies.

So what do you prefer: (Wilton's, nielson-massey extract (I have never used it just read about it), vanilla bean paste, or anything that is not listed that I am not aware of)? If you use the paste, something not listed above, or nielson-massey extract please post about why you like it. It could help open up my eyes a little more to what is out there.

Thanks!

19 replies
frankiekie Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 2:23pm
post #3 of 20

I love using nielsen-massey madagascar bourbon vanilla extract. It really works well with butter cookies or any baked goods. Really smells well too.

KMKakes Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 2:44pm
post #4 of 20

@imagenthatnj: I have heard of making your vanilla, but I wondered if it compelled in taste and is cost efficient to what most purchase from online dealers or a local store. The only place locally for me to purchase beans are at my local Wal-Mart, 2 beans for $8.97 +tax. I thought that maybe it cost too much.

KMKakes Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 2:51pm
post #5 of 20

@imagenthatnj: Also, thanks for the links.

One concern, I know that most recipes call for a small amount of extract but does the alcohol bake out of the cake, cookie, etc. I have read when baking, No?, when it is cook on via stovetop alcohol evaporates, yes? I wouldn't want to send cupcakes to school and the kids that may be extremely alcohol sensitive develop a problem from eating the product... icon_smile.gif

Narie Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 2:58pm
post #6 of 20

Nielson-Massey Madagascar vanilla bean paste and Mexican vanilla extract. Mexican vanilla has rich, almost smoky flavor. I prefer Mexican vanilla in chocolate cakes and cookies. When the only flavoring used is vanilla, I use vanilla bean paste. What's interesting is that my nephew can spot the vanilla bean paste in products. He refers to it as the "good stuff."

imagenthatnj Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 2:59pm
post #7 of 20

I don't worry about that kind of stuff. There's not enough alcohol in any recipe to make kids sick in my opinion. And I triple the vanilla that is asked for. But if you don't want any alcohol at all, there are recipes that call for the vanilla bean seeds simmered in water or milk sometimes. That's the beauty of having the real thing in your hands, a vanilla bean.

http://www.injennieskitchen.com/2011/01/homemade-vanilla-bean-yogurt.html

Here's where to buy them, I'm sure.

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6363879.html

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=7224009&sid=0769b2cfce10b89516acfba953c89625

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_grocery?_encoding=UTF8&node=16310101&field-brandtextbin=JR%20Mushrooms%20%26%20Specialties

KMKakes Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 3:17pm
post #8 of 20

thanks again for the links. I reading them as you post them icon_smile.gif

Do you purchase your vanilla bean online? Again, I would have to pay a little over $9 for two beans at my local Wal-Mart. Just wondered if there are better deals out there or is this to be expected?

Also imagenthatnj, on one of the links it mentioned not getting dried out vanilla beans. How would a person like me know if they are dried out or not? The one that I see local just look wrinkly on the pod. Would that signify that it is dried or is this to be expected? TIA

imagenthatnj Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 3:25pm
post #9 of 20

Don't ever buy them at your local Wal-Mart or supermarket. You can see they're taking your money. There are lots of places on the internet to buy them. All those links have lots of info on what you get from those places.

Yes, I purchase my vanilla beans online. No shipping. I'm not sure where you are.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CPZSC8/?tag=cakecentral-20

FromScratchSF Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 3:58pm
post #10 of 20

I'm a big Nielson-Massey fan myself. I use both the extract and VBP. Best flavor out there that I've tried. I get it wholesale for a bunch less then you get it in the store though so I am heavy handed in my usage. And it's much less expensive for me then making it, I use way too much of it to make it... that takes months, space, patience, and I can't buy booze wholesale. So for me, it's much more cost effective to purchase it. But again, wholesale is the key for me.

FromScratchSF Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 3:59pm
post #11 of 20

Oh, and I also wanted to say that even if I couldn't buy wholesale, I'd probably still go with Nielson-Massey, I'd just not use as much of it.

bobwonderbuns Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 4:12pm
post #12 of 20

I like the Watkins Vanilla.

DH2008 Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 4:39pm
post #13 of 20

I use Tones vanilla from SAMs Club, but also use a paste for my vanilla bean cake. And I just got back from Mexico(vac) & bought some Mexican Vanilla there but haven't tried it yet. Can't wait til I do though thumbs_up.gif

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 7:08pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Oh, and I also wanted to say that even if I couldn't buy wholesale, I'd probably still go with Nielson-Massey, I'd just not use as much of it.




so do you get it from a foodservice distributor?

FromScratchSF Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 7:36pm
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Oh, and I also wanted to say that even if I couldn't buy wholesale, I'd probably still go with Nielson-Massey, I'd just not use as much of it.



so do you get it from a foodservice distributor?




Yup. I feel like I'm steeling or something every time I get an order - I think in the store you pay $12 for 4oz... wholesale I pay, uh, a LOT less.

Kiddiekakes Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 8:40pm
post #16 of 20

I use Wadkins double strengh clear imitation vanilla..A few reasons...It doesn't turn your icing Ecru...I can buy it in 1 gallon jugs and it really does taste good.

KMKakes Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 8:59pm
post #17 of 20

@bobwonderbuns: I didn't know that Watkins was still around. I haven't heard that name since I was very young baking with my grandmother!

DH2008: is the Tones very reasonable and is the paste you are using Tones from Sam's Club?

FromScratchSF: I have read alot about Nielson-Massey. I, too, am heavy handed with the vanilla (hence wanted something flavorful and cost effective). Your comment: "And it's much less expensive for me then making it, I use way too much of it to make it... that takes months, space, patience, and I can't buy booze wholesale. So for me, it's much more cost effective to purchase it. But again, wholesale is the key for me." was what I was wondering. I may need to purchase some vanilla paste but start a homemade batch of vanilla considering it takes some time to mature.

One of the links that imagenthatnj post had a recipe for homemade VBP without alcohol that stated that it was good for only two weeks. If an alcohol added recipe is used, would it (VBP) have a longer shelf life? To me sometimes meking only 3-4cakes a month (sometimes 1 or 2 in the beginning of the month and maybe something at the end) could almost seem like a waste of product (vanilla beans in a paste).

imagenthatnj Posted 28 Oct 2011 , 9:21pm
post #18 of 20

A vanilla bean would cost about anything from 50 cents to a dollar if you buy them online in a bag.

Vanilla paste is nothing more than vanilla beans simmered in sugar (syrup) with (sometimes) thickeners. I don't think the Nielsen-Massey has any thickeners, but if I remember correctly (I'm not at home and I did keep the bottle) it is vanilla seeds with syrup and some tiny bit of vanilla extract. The flavor is softer, I think, because it has less alcohol than the extract.

So if you put some sugar and water to simmer with two or three vanilla beans, and you use it in your cake, cupcake, frosting, it won't be such a waste.

http://bakingbites.com/2010/07/what-is-vanilla-bean-paste/

There are vanilla bean pastes in other countries that are more than the sugary syrup. My cake friend in New Zealand says that the Nielsen-Massey we have here is more like their vanilla syrup. The vanilla paste they have there has even the ground beans on it, and it's a lot stronger. I should make her send me some!!

http://www.equagold.co.nz/EquagoldProducts/RetailProducts/VanillaProducts/VanillaPaste/tabid/37500/Default.aspx

dandymom Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 1:35pm
post #19 of 20

I've been using Nielsen-Massey for 13 years but I've recently tried Penzey's Double Vanilla and it is truly a wonderful extract. You can find the online store through google, or you can see if you have a local store. They have a ton of spices and extracts...all amazing.

mplaidgirl2 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 1:39pm
post #20 of 20

I use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Bourbon. I LOOOOOVE it!

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