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~ A Bit about Vanilla Bean Paste and Vanilla Powder ~

IMG_4239Vanilla extract is the number one flavoring added to baked goods.  Vanilla extract, which is basically made by macerating ground vanilla beans in alcohol and water, is known for its enchanting scent and exotic taste.  Everyone who bakes stores high-quality pure vanilla extract in their pantry (not imitation vanilla flavoring), and usually a few precious vanilla bean pods too. Vanilla beans and vanilla extract are available everywhere, with extract being more economical than whole bean pods.  That said, there are two other lesser known, but not less important, vanilla-based products that I keep in my pantry too:  vanilla bean paste and vanilla powder.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c795181c970bVanilla bean paste is a sweet, syrupy mixture full of vanilla beans that have been scraped out of the pod.  Like vanilla extract, it's full of natural vanilla flavor, plus, it's got all the pretty speckled beans in it too.  

I think of it as a convenient cross between pure vanilla extract and the whole vanilla bean pod, and, I like to add it to cake batters because the syrupy texture ensures that the seeds distribute themselves evenly throughout the mixture.  

1 tablespoon paste = 1 tablespoon extract = 1 bean pod.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c79518ed970bVanilla powder is a free-flowing sugar which may be used in place of pure extract in any recipe.  It is great for stirring into beverages (like coffee and hot chocolate) and cocktails, (it's a great addition to  a chocolate martini) and, it loves to be sprinkled onto desserts.  

I particularly like it for making vanilla cake frosting because it doesn't affect the color like extract does, meaning it won't lend a brownish tinge to the finished product.  

1 tablespoon powder = 1 tablespoon extract.

For the Love of Vanilla Double-Vanilla Cupcakes:

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c795ac09970b"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


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