Pros: Good subsitute for whole Vanilla Bean
Cons: May only be available seasonally in some stores.
I'm not the greatest cook but sometimes I get into a mood and will turn out some interesting baked goods. I recently made Puff Pastry twists that called for filling. Rather than spending a ton of money on something I coud possibly ruin I bought Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste to make my filling with as well as Almond paste. The ywists turned out well and I had a nice, elegant, easy to make dessert.
Rather than use vanilla beans, which can dry out over time on a shelf, try Vanilla Bean Paste. This is s thicker, honey like syrup consistency with an amazing aroma and flavor. It's extremely convenient since it comes in a jar. You can add it to ice creams, custard, cakes, icing, cookies. Try it in a cheesecake recipe, add it to your cheese cake filling. Add 1 T to a pound cake mix to really amp it up.
If you sample the paste straight from the jar you will find you have little Vanilla flecks in the mix in a syrupy thick mix. These flecks look very nice when you use the paste in a creamy custard or Creme Brulee as well as in ice cream. In the Brulee I think the heat you get when flaming the Creme Brulee actually enhances the Vanilla Bean essence.
Vanilla bean can be Madagascar Vanilla , Mexican Vanilla, Tahitian Vanilla or Indonesian (very strong). The finest Vanilla comes from Madagascar. Just a little heads up, this product has no Bourbon in it, it's named for the Bourbon Islands off the coast of Africa. And another little factoid, Madagascar supplies more than 60% of the world’s vanilla.
This is usually $10.00 per bottle. It used to be available at Trader Joes for $5.00 for 4 oz. jar. Madagascar Vanilla Paste may be seasonal in some stores. You can also look for it on line.
Ingredients: sugar, water, vanilla extract, vanilla beans, gum tragacanth (a natural thickener
Usually $10.00 per bottle. It used to be available at Trader Joes for $5.00 for 4 oz. jar. It may be seasonal in some stores.