Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)
DELICIOUS IN SWEET DISHES
Vanilla's sweet, slightly smoky aroma and taste, has made it one of the world's most poplular flavours for sweet dishes.
Did you know?
The Aztec Indians in Mexico used Vanilla Pods to flavour their chocolate drink Xoco-latl. Vanilla Pods are picked green when they have no scent. The lengthy curing process, which develops Vanillas fragrant aroma, is one reason for its high cost. Good quality Vanilla Pods give an even better flavour than essence and can be re-used many times.
Vanilla Pods should be a rich, deep brown colour, somewhat wrinkled in appearance but still supple and resilient. The complex, but subtle, fruity 'bouquet' develops with age and is long lasting. Vanillin is the primary flavour constituent of vanilla beans.
- Add a pod to a jar of sugar to flavour cakes, biscuits and desserts when baking.
- For sauces, custards and ice-cream, infuse the milk with a Vanilla Pod before cooking and remove before serving.
- For a stronger flavour split the pod and use the seeds.
- Add a pod to rice pudding mixture and remove after cooking.
- Whip cream with Vanilla flavoured sugar for crème chantilly.