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I've got a kilo of Madagascar vanilla bean. What can I do with them?

asked by Legend about 4 years ago
12 answers 1945 views
397bc6d3 46e8 4d02 8a39 ce4a087eb481  2015 0609 amanda portrait 135
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added about 4 years ago

Wow, very cool. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. I love this Vanilla Bean Loaf Cake from Hi-Rise Bakery in Cambridge: http://www.tinyurbankitchen.... With any spent pods, cover them with sugar to make vanilla sugar. I'm sure others will weigh in with their favorite uses of vanilla. Have fun!

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 4 years ago


Cold actually has a negative impact on some of the 200+ compounds in vanilla. Also, condensation on cold beans can promote mold (not to be confused with vanillin crystals which can sometimes form on the beans after prolonged exposure to dry air).

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 4 years ago


The first thing is to store them properly -- an airtight container / containers, preferably glass, without a lot of air space.

I always have a batch of extract processing. It takes a while (6 months) to do it right but the results are well worth it.

What's your favorite dessert?

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 4 years ago

Thank you for your help! I've been wanting to make extract but I don't have a recipe? Would you mind sharing?

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 4 years ago


See below

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added about 4 years ago

Once my Madagascar beans got old (they are now more than 5 years old), we started to grate them into shakes, puddings, and other mild preparations. They continue to be delicious even past their prime.

Bb911bcd 2446 4d8f 848f cdc2090e999a  leaf cake
added about 4 years ago

Once you make your own vanilla extract, I highly recommend adding a teaspoon to this cookie recipe, along with a little lemon and orange zest: http://food52.com/recipes...

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added about 4 years ago


Making extract is a simple, straightforward project requiring only four things: A glass bottle, alcohol, beans and some patience.

The bottle should be dark brown to keep out the light. Clear glass will work if you keep it in the cupboard but light, heat and cold will all affect both beans and extract.

Clear, inexpensive, unaged rum is perfect. Vodka will also work but, in my experience, rum tends to be a little less harsh. Small differences, personal preference.

If your beans are plump and oily, sometimes referred to as gourmet or "A" grade, use 1 ounce per 8 ounces of alcohol. If they're on the dry side, sometimes referred to as extract grade, use 7/8 ounce per 8 ounces of alcohol. The difference is in the water content of the beans; any grade will work for the purpose.

Split the beans with a knife (no need to scrape but chopping them up into 1/4" pieces can help when it comes time to decant). You'll have usable extract in 6 weeks but it will be at its best after 6 months.

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added about 4 years ago

I agree that vanilla should not be refrigerated. In Madagascar, they wrap it in paper, sort of like waxed paper and keep it in boxes. For longer tem storage, the paper-wrapped bundles go into air-tight containers, but even those are allowed to air out periodically.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 4 years ago

Yes, when I brought them back from Madagascar they were wrapped in waxed paper and tied with raffia. I was told to put them in a dark dry place. I've given them to friends whipped them in ice cream and made rum orange... Which I just found out is really vanilla extract! Thank you all so much for the recipes and the information!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 4 years ago

Did you use David Lebovitz's vanilla ice cream recipe? It is the best!