vanilla powder ?

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Joined Mar 6, 2001
I'm a bit confused (ha, what's new!). Well, in one of the demos I attended Pascal Caffet handed out recipes. For the base of his tortes he placed them on sables. I've made his sable recipe twice now. The first time I didn't have any vanilla power and the sable didn't turn out right using regular vanilla extract in it's place. It wasn't as dry and easy to cut with your fork.

Then I bought some vanilla power at a retail store. It's manufactured by Nelson Massey and is a whitish powder. I made the sable and it turned out fine.

Then my chef ordered vanilla powder for me from Albert Uster and their product is basicly vanilla seeds, it's dark with no fillers. The container says it's vanilla powder and it also says pure vanilla beans. This was VERY expensive, needless to say....

But now I don't know which item the French chefs are referring to in their recipes. Does anyone know?
 
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
I'm going to assume the latter. It's closest to the ingredient in it's most pure state. (If you think about it, it doesn't make sense that anything "vanilla" is white when you look at the vanilla bean...)

;)
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
But the latter is nothing different then the scrapings of a bean. Plus Nelson Massey (which I can't spell) is world reknown for their vanilla products....I can't believe their making a poor product. Sooooooo?
 
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
:lol: Sounds like you've already answered your own question, if you can spare the expense, perhaps you should try the sable recipe with the latter and see how it turns out. Otherwise, seems your instincts are telling you they mean the former.

:)
 
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Joined Jan 11, 2002
Wendy,
as you know I'm not a professional and can't say which products French pastry chefs use...but France is very close to Italy, and the products available are about the same. Here in Italy, the term "Vanilla powder" usually means "Vanillin", the artificial flavour which is widely diffused in Europe. Although the taste isn't as good as the real thing, it's included in many recipes, mainly of "dry" cakes which wouldn't end up that good if moistened by a liquid flavour.
Since vanillin is obviously cheaper than the real vanilla, I suppose that also our pastry chefs dealing with budget problems often choose it!
In any case, it looks just like the item you described, a whitish powder made of small crystals.

Pongi
 
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Joined Nov 13, 2002
I've been making my own vanilla. Take several vanilla beans and add them to a small bottle of vodka. I take a knife and split the beans lengthwise and maybe cut them in half in order to get them into the bottle. I also leave a couple whole. The whole ones I use for the "good stuff". When you need vanilla, take them out of the bottle and then with your index finger and thumb, strip the liquid out of the bean (it will be thick and black). THAT'S for a really good "punch" of vanilla flavor.

This "brew" needs to sit for several weeks to develop the flavor. It will darken the vodka, but depending upon how many beans you use, won't be dark like commercial vanilla. You can use it just like regular vanilla.

I do use the powdered version, especially when I need to mix the flavoring into dry ingredients. A big benefit for the powdered vanilla.
 
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Joined Jul 23, 2002
The way it's made (or at least the way I've seen it made and make it) is;
Toast the vanilla beans in a low temp oven.
When dry and cool, grind in a CLEAN coffee mill.
pass through a sieve to remove any big chunks and you have vanilla powder.
Lates
Jon

Perhaps the purchased pow-pow has a non-clumping agent added to it.
 
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Joined Jan 15, 2001
Wendy, I came upon some vanilla powder and it was a white/cream powder. The ingredients said vanilla and vanillin. I think the purpose of use is because the vanilla flavor doesn't evaporate when used in items meant to be baked/heated, unlike extract which is alcohol based. Do a search for a company called Market Spice in WA. Email me if you need the number(don't have it on hand).
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
Hey there Dana...hows Seattle???? I hope your loving it. Are you settled in?


yes...I'm thinking it's the white version. I'm not real sure about the expensive straight vanilla bean powder I also have....it doesn't have any perfume to it so.......it's wierd to use.
 
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Hey Wendy! Yes, Seattle is beautiful, we're living in the 'burbs on the Eastside(across the lake). Quite different from L.A., and we're loving it. Finding work isn't that great, but I'm hopeful my perseverance will pay off.

Market Spice sells a # of vanilla powder for about $6.00.
 
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