For recipes flavoured with vanilla, the best flavour experience will be achieved by using vanilla pods. Using vanilla extract is cheaper and a bit more convenient when preparing your desserts or baked goods, but once you try using real vanilla pods, you will appreciate the difference. It provides a full flavour that will make you appreciate the taste of vanilla all over again. So how to go about using vanilla pods?
Buying and Storing
You can buy one or several vanilla pods in your grocery store. Most grocery stores keep them in the baking aisle and often they are sold in glass tubes that look like test tubes. They have a very long shelf life when stored correctly so make sure to keep them in the packaging you buy and store them in a cool, dry and dark place.
Depending on what you are making, you will either work with the entire pod, the seeds or both. In both cases, it is important to keep in mind that the incredible flavour vanilla pods have to offer is best absorbed by fatty or alcoholic fluids. So if you are feeling like experimenting and you want to add vanilla flavour to one of your recipes using pods, keep in mind that you will extract most of the flavour in a liquor or creamy sauce. When using the entire pod, there is no preparation needed, and you can just follow the recipe. If you are going to use the seeds inside the pod as well, take a look at the steps described below.
Things you need
- Vanilla pods
- A chopping board
- A chopping knife
Steps for using Vanilla pods
So let’s get started. Take your vanilla pods, chopping board, and chopping knife.
Take one pod and cut off the thick end.
Cut open the pod over its length.
Scrape out the vanilla seeds with the blunt side of the knife and use them according to the recipe instructions.
You can use the empty vanilla pod, so do not throw it out!
If you want to enjoy the special flavour vanilla pods add to your baking without using a new vanilla pod every time, substitute your granulated sugar with vanilla sugar. It adds a subtle vanilla flavour that will make your cookies, muffins, cupcakes and other baked goods taste better than those of everyone else. Check out our recipes for the homemade vanilla sugar recipe and other fun things you can make using vanilla pods!
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