I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet
I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Chocolate Oblivion Tart

GetInline-1

 Long before the California food revolution began, my mother was given one of these dazzling tarts as a gift. It was a predecessor of the exceptional chocolate desserts that emerged in the 1980s. We were impressed by the simplicity of ingredients and the deep, rich, creaminess of the tart.

At some point in the 1990s, the recipe was featured in Gourmet magazine, complete with raspberry coulis and a glaze, both of which are optional. It became a regular in my repertoire for special events, and when I launched my online business I featured it in my chocolate section.

Continue Reading No Comments

How to Make Perfect Cheesecakes

IMG_2928

 It’s hard to imagine anyone who doesn’t like cheesecake. There are several camps, however, regarding  which type of cheesecake is best.  Some of us like thick, satiny super creamy cakes; others like  drier, fluffier cakes. A third camp loves the savory version — no sugar but lots of delicious cheese — and yet another faction especially likes flavored cheesecakes — pumpkin, chocolate, blueberry — the list is endless. Finally, there’s a really big camp  filled with those devotees who love any version.  Just bring it on!!

Although cheesecake’s a snap to assemble, things can easily go south during the baking process. Cracked top anyone? Leaks dripped on the oven floor? Lopsided? Oh well…

Continue Reading No Comments

Vanilla Queen’s Cake

1-QUEEN-CAKE

Much to my surprise and delight, vanilla fan and serious home baker, Sandie Rymal, created a special cake recipe then named it in my honor! I admit, this is a first for me.  It’s a beauty and, although I haven’t yet baked it myself (nor even tasted it as Sandie lives in Oregon and I’m in California), it certainly looks luscious!

Continue Reading No Comments

Lemon Trifle with Berries

Lemon Trifle with Berries

If you have teenagers, you’ll probably want to skip this blog as the main ingredient in trifle is stale cake. If you actually do occasionally have stale (or extra) cake — with or without teenagers — read on!

If you’re unfamiliar with trifle, it’s a British invention for using  stale cake. Which does lead one to wonder if stale cake is a common problem for the Brits because their teenagers are sent off to boarding school.

Continue Reading No Comments

Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Tart

7-Closeup of Torte photo39-001

While this recipe involves some time and dedication, it isn’t difficult. It was inspired by a recipe in Sunset magazine, which I’ve adapted. For instance, the original recipe called for two tablespoons of hazelnut liquor, such as Frangelico. The local liquor store didn’t have any “shooter” bottles and I didn’t want to invest in a large bottle, so I added some extra vanilla extract.

Continue Reading No Comments

Rose Red Velvet Cake

Courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum, Real Baking With Rose

I long resisted the charms of Rose Red Velvet Cake, believing it to be merely a layer cake tinted red with a bottle of food coloring. But when several people on my blog sang its praises, I decided to investigate it more thoroughly. It turns out that there is more to this cake than its shocking color. This beloved southern cake is traditionally prepared with oil, a mere suspicion of cocoa, and a teaspoon of white vinegar, which raises the acidity of the batter and intensifies its color. The liquid component is usually buttermilk, which is thought to raise the acidity as well, although the baking soda normally used neutralizes most of the acidity and makes the crumb more coarse and the color darker. So, when I created my
version of this classic, I used only baking powder to employ the full acidity of the buttermilk, making vinegar unnecessary. I also used half oil and half butter for the flavor-enhancing qualities of butter and the moist, softening quality of the oil. The resulting cake is as flavorful and tender as you can hope for and stays soft enough to eat even straight from the fridge. A heart-shape pan is perfect for Valentine’s Day. And the contrast of the white chocolate cream cheese buttercream against the red cake is alluring.

Continue Reading No Comments

The Sensational Kaese Sahne Torte from Maria Reisz Springer

Kaese Sahne Torte

sahne-torte-047

An Austrian Cheese and Cream Cake

Today I am bringing you a blog from a dear friend, Maria Reisz Springer. Maria is from Europe and grew up with incredible desserts. She now has a cooking school in Maryland and tempts sahne-torte-0311those of us who don’t live nearby with incredible blogs. When I saw this blog on Facebook, I asked Maria if she would be comfortable sharing it with my readers and she said she would be happy to be a guest blogger.

Continue Reading 11 Comments

Deep Down Orange Cake

Deep Down Orange Cake

 This is a gem of a cake. It’s a rich, buttery cake with an orange and Grand Marnier glaze, a perfect completion to a lovely meal. I made the cake in the picture for a friend’s birthday party. The Satsuma Mandarins had just come into the Farmers Market so I purchased a bag filled with the sweet orange orbs, and added lots of fresh zest to the cake batter.

Continue Reading No Comments

Karidopita (Greek Walnut Cake)

My mother took some cooking classes when she lived in Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s, and one of the series focused on meals from various countries.  This is one of the recipes from that era, and one I happen to like.  So, when I was invited by a chef friend to a Greek Easter party I volunteered to bring the cake.

I’m not quite sure why things went wrong, but the cake stuck in the pan.  I carefully ran a knife around the edges and thumped.  Nothing.  Finally it came out in seven or eight pieces.  I was mortified as I worked with the chef and other chefs attending the party.  I pushed the pieces together as well as possible, but it was obvious that it was not quite as it should have been.

Got to the party and my chef friend showed me a Greek pastry that he had ruined earlier that day.  It looked worse than mine.  Then another chef arrived at the party.  I told him what happened, and he said, “What’s the problem?  It simply represents all the Greek Islands!

Continue Reading No Comments

Norwegian Toscakake

photo 1-47

Courtesy of Pat Sinclair, Classic Scandinavian Baking

Pat says, “To Scandinavians, “tosca” means a layer of sliced almonds covered with a buttery caramel topping.  The tender sponge cake is leavened mostly by air beaten into the eggs and is typical of the type of cakes popular in Scandinavia.  Toasting the almonds brings out their nutty flavor and adds color to the topping.”

Continue Reading No Comments

Pistachio and Cardamom Cake with Apricots Poached in Sauternes

photo-158

Courtesy of David Lebovitz from Ready for Dessert

David says that while the cakes stands well on its own, the apricots poached in Sauternes are so good, that he has included them with this recipe.  This recipe is also in Room for Dessert, a compilation of David’s best/favorite desserts, sans apricots in Sauternes, so you’re getting a double treat here.

Continue Reading No Comments

Gift of the Gods Cake

Courtesy of Susie Norris, author of Chocolate Bliss

Susie says, This is my favorite fudge cake. It is light, but also buttery, chocolaty, soft, and moist. Its texture is strong enough to hold up to butter cream, which can drag a lesser cake down. This cake works well with Sweet Bittersweet Ganache (recipe below.)   

Makes 2 (8-inch) cake layers

Continue Reading No Comments

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?"

Newsletter Signup

Join our community, get news on issues of concern about our planet and its inhabitants, recipes and deals. Over 5,000 subscribers!


The Vanilla Company