When it comes to baking and cooking, vanilla is a staple flavour that can be found in a wide variety of dishes. Whether you’re making cookies, cakes, or ice cream, vanilla adds a warm and comforting flavour that enhances the overall taste of your dish. While vanilla extract is the most commonly used form of vanilla, there’s another ingredient that’s gaining popularity among chefs and home cooks alike – vanilla bean powder.
Get the Intense Flavour
Vanilla bean powder is a finely ground powder made from whole beans. Unlike vanilla extract, which is made by soaking beans in alcohol and water, it is made by grinding the whole bean, pod and all, into a fine powder. This gives the powder a more intense flavour and aroma than other forms of vanilla.
One of the benefits of using them is that it contains no alcohol, making it an ideal ingredient for those who avoid alcohol in their cooking. Additionally, because it’s made from the whole bean, it also contains the tiny black specks that are often associated with vanilla ice cream and other desserts. These specks are actually the tiny seeds inside the vanilla bean pod, which add visual interest to your dishes as well as flavour.
How Does Vanilla Bean Powder Differ from Other Forms of Vanilla?
As previously mentioned, vanilla extract is the most commonly used form of vanilla in cooking and baking. However, there are a few key differences between vanilla extract and vanilla bean powder.
Firstly, vanilla extract contains alcohol, which can be an issue for those who avoid alcohol in their cooking. Additionally, because vanilla extract is made by soaking beans in alcohol and water, it has a more diluted flavour than the other form.
Vanilla bean powder, on the other hand, has a more concentrated flavour and aroma than vanilla extract. This is because the powder is made from the whole bean, pod and all, which gives it a stronger, more complex flavour. Additionally, because the powder is made from the whole bean, it contains the tiny black specks that add both flavour and visual interest to your dishes.
How to Use Them While Baking and Cooking
Now that you know what it actually is and how it differs from other forms of vanilla, let’s explore how to use it in your cooking and baking.
- Baked Goods
One of the most common uses for this is in baked goods. Because of its intense flavour and aroma, it’s a great addition to cookies, cakes, and other desserts. Simply substitute vanilla bean powder for extract in your favourite recipes, using about half the amount of powder as you would extract. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, use 1/2 teaspoon of powder instead.
This can also be used to add flavour to beverages. Try adding a pinch of powder to your morning coffee or tea for a warm and comforting flavour. You can also use it to flavour milk, hot chocolate, or smoothies.
- Sauces and Marinades
It can also be used to add depth of flavour to savoury dishes. Try adding a pinch of powder to a pan sauce for chicken or pork, or use it to flavor a marinade for steak or tofu.
- Homemade Vanilla Sugar
Another way to use them is to make homemade vanilla sugar. Simply mix a few teaspoons of powder with granulated sugar, and store in an airtight container. Use it to sweeten your morning coffee or tea , or sprinkle it over fresh fruit for a delicious and fragrant treat.
- Ice Cream and Other Frozen Treats
It is a great addition to homemade ice cream and other frozen treats. Simply add a pinch or two to your ice cream base for a delicious flavor with the added texture of the black specks. You can also use it to flavour homemade sorbet or popsicles.
Tips for Using Vanilla Bean Powder
- Store your product in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It should last for several months if stored properly.
- When using this in your recipes, be sure to mix it well to distribute the flavour evenly. The black specks can sometimes clump together, so be sure to break them up with a fork or whisk
- Because of its intense flavour, you may need to adjust the amount of powder used in your recipes. Start with a small amount and add more as needed to achieve the desired flavour.
Add a Warm and Comforting Flavour
Overall, this form is a versatile ingredient that can add a delicious and complex flavour to your cooking and baking. While it may be slightly more expensive than vanilla bean extract, a little goes a long way, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run. Whether you’re making cookies, ice cream, or even homemade body butter, it is a must-have ingredient in your pantry. So next time you’re looking to add a warm and comforting flavour to your dishes, reach for the vanilla bean powder and enjoy the delicious results.