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I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet

Culinary

What’s not to like about good food? And who doesn’t want culinary news and tips as we celebrate a renaissance of delicious, healthy, well prepared foods.  With farmers markets opening all over our country and fascinating new foods arriving from around the world and onto grocery and specialty food store shelves, our options are phenomenal. Problem is, there’s so much going on there isn’t time to keep up with all that’s out there.
In redesigning my site I decided I should create a spot where I can write about some of the pros I know or discover in the culinary circles I move in.  The ones who open doors of knowledge and instruction for us as well as offer practical how-tos for everything from artisan chocolates and cheese to introducing us to a colorful palette of exotic ingredients and cuisine.
Are you a culinary pro?  Do you have a favorite instructor, writer or blogger you think should be part of this section? Please let me know about  blogs, classes, publications and articles and classes that deserve mention.  I’m happy to share your news and I invite you to send articles to be posted in this section.  It’s a great way to share your expertise with an appreciative audience. Bon appetit!
 
 
 

Pineapple Cheese Crumbcake

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Courtesy of Beth Hensperger

Most coffee cake recipes, especially ones for winter, call for canned pineapple, but here the glistening fresh fruit layer is made from scratch and accented with pure vanilla, a most complementary culinary pairing. To choose a ripe pineapple, look for a strong sweet fragrance and yellow-brown skin that is not too green; the leafy crown will be a bright green and an inner leaf will detach easily when plucked from the center. Adapted from an old recipe clipped from Bon Appétit magazine decades ago, it is quite perfect in flavor and texture, and easily serves a large crowd. This is simply one of the best homemade coffeecakes.

Mom’s Best Cheesecake

Courtesy of Chef Stephany Buswell: www.chefany.com

Stephany says about this recipe: “When I was a child my mom made this cheesecake for every holiday or special occasion. My mom died when I was 17 and I forgot about her cooking until I became a serious baker in my 20s. I began searching for a recipe like the one my mother had made but could never duplicate the recipe.

Fresh Apple Upside Down Cake

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Courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum

This cake was inspired by the height of the apple season, fall of 1991. It is reminiscent of Tart Tatin with cake instead of pastry (one could call it Gâteau Tatin!). The caramelized apples and walnuts, topping a velvety tender butter cake is a fabulous combination. I brought it, hot from the oven, to my cousin Marion’s house in Westchester for dinner, along with a special treat: Glensfoot cream, which is high in butterfat and not ultra pasteurized. She whipped it in a copper bowl, right at the table, perfuming it with Jack Daniel’s bourbon, and spooned a little onto the top of each portion of cake. It was perfect to temper the sweetness of the cake. We all loved it. This is truly a dessert made in heaven.

Double Vanilla Poundcake With Rum Vanilla Glaze

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This is a cake I sell at special events as well as give as gifts year-round. The closeup of the freshly baked cake above, shows how attractive the glaze makes the top. It has an almost lacquered look to it. After a couple of days of resting, the cake is incredibly flavorful and moist and lends itself perfectly to use as a base for berries and whipped cream or for a more complex dessert, including a luscious bread pudding.

The original recipe called for the use of a vanilla bean plus vanilla sugar and extract. I’ve now updated it, so that you can either use extract and ground vanilla bean powder or vanilla paste.

As per making a glaze, you don’t need to use rum (or Brandy) if you don’t want. I just did a show and made a glaze with the Tahitian vanilla extract so that people could see how different the flavor profile is from that of Mexican or Madagascar. Because you’re working with a simple flavor pallet, feel free to substitute citrus or other flavors.

Double Vanilla Hazelnut Pound Cake

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Courtesy of Janet Johnson

Janet has a touching story about this pound cake which is a little too long to share here in its entirety. Briefly, she has a friend who was born in Austria whose father worked for the railroads. Each day he walked 12 miles, inspecting the condition of the rails. While he walked, he gathered the wild hazelnuts growing alongside the tracks, and brought them home as a treat to his family.

Bourbon Vanilla Macadamia Nut Tart

Courtesy of Carole Bloom: www.carolebloom.com

Pure vanilla is used in three forms – beans, extract, and and ground vanilla bean powder – to contribute its rich, full-bodied flavor to this yummy tart. The filling is soft and chewy yet crunchy with the texture of tropical macadamia nuts.

Makes one 11-inch round tart, 14 to 16 servings.

The Perfect Angel Food Cake

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Courtesy of Flo Braker

Flo Braker is a very talented baker, specializing in desserts. The author of “The Simple Art of Perfect Baking,” and one of the original members of The Baker’s Dozen, a national group of culinary professionals, Flo has assisted thousands of bakers with simple secrets that bring spectacular results. Her angel food cake has been featured in culinary magazines and newspapers as the definitive recipe. Need I say more?

Roasted Mushroom Salad

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Research has shown that mushrooms contain components that help to prevent cancer and stimulate the immune system. At first it was believed that only Asian mushrooms such as shitake and maitake contained cancer-preventing ingredients, but it appears that even domestic mushrooms are powerful healers. Combined with other healthy ingredients and a bit of vanilla, this is a Power combination that tastes delicious!

Yeasted Buttermilk Vanilla Waffles

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Courtesy of  Beth Hensperger

Yeast adds a dimension of flavor and texture by allowing the batter to develop overnight before baking. Remember that a high temperature, in either a regular grid or Belgium-style waffle maker, tends to make a crisp waffle, while a lower temperature produces a waffle that is moist and tender. Serve with your choice of a dazzling array of accompaniments: raspberry puree and crème fraîche, a fruit butter, sliced bananas or fresh berries and vanilla yogurt, sautéed apples, or lots of pure maple syrup and sweet butter.

Why do our customers love Rain's Choice vanilla?

  • You get MORE FLAVOR because we use 20% more beans in our extracts than is required by law!
  • 99% of all vanilla products are imitation. Ours are 100% PURE!
  • We carefully choose all products to assure best QUALITY & FLAVOR!
  • Our farmers are paid a FAIR PRICE.
  • Our vanilla beans are SUSTAINABLY grown.
  • Everything we sell is ORGANICALLY grown.
  • Your purchase here supports our HUMANITARIAN efforts.

Thank you for supporting The Vanilla Company and our farmers! BUY HERE now.

For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see "Why is Vanilla so Expensive?"

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