Ever wonder to yourself “What the heck can I do with this vanilla bean now I’ve scraped the seeds out?”
Of course, you’ve probably heard of making your own vanilla extract by placing a few of those babies in some vodka for a few weeks, but pshht, sometimes, you just don’t have the patience to wait for that! So what can we do? WE IS GONNA TOAST IT UP BABY!
This works with whole vanilla beans (for those too liable to cut their fingers while scraping out the seeds *cough* me *cough*) or just the de-seeded vanilla pod! There’s intense vanilla goodness in the whole thing; but how do we access it quickly and easily? Let me explain!!
To get the flavour out of the vanilla there are two ways I’ve mentioned – soaking it in alcohol for a while and toasting:
- When the vanilla is soaked in vodka, most of the flavoursome essential oils are dissolved into the alcohol, flavouring it – however this does take a while, and the alcohol dilutes the flavour so we resort to toasting!
- You may be familiar with the idea of toasting certain things such as nuts, coconut, oats, flours ect… to increase the flavour of the ingredients this is done because when you toast something (i.e. heat it for a short period of time with a relatively high heat, until kinda crisp) the oils inside the ingredient heat up, and are released. Fat is a flavour enhancer and carrier, it makes things be damn tasty… you know what I’m talking about. Then by grinding the bean up, we are increasing the surface area:volume ratio (basically, there is more delicious surface area of the vanilla bean available to our tastebuds), giving us access to the vanilla-scented-oil within!
I use a whole toasted vanilla bean in my new video and upcoming post for Toasted Vanilla Bean Raspberry Cakes with coconut and almond. The first few scenes of the video show the prep for the toasted vanilla bean, so give it a look if you want:
– I suggest replacing a maximum of 1 ground vanilla bean per 1 tbsp of vanilla extract in a recipe – this will produce a really delicious intense vanilla flavour like you’ve never tasted before!
– You can use a whole or de-seeded vanilla bean for this recipe
What you’ll need!:
1 vanilla bean (whole or de-seeded)
a small skillet
pestle and mortar or spice grinder or coffee grinder
Cut a slit down the length of the vanilla bean, just like when normally preparing it to scrape out the seeds.
Chop the vanilla bean into small pieces.
Pour the chopped vanilla bean into a small skillet and toast over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly until fragrant (this should only take a minute or two).
Immediately transfer the toasted, chopped vanilla bean into your pestle and mortar / spice grinder / coffee grinder. Grind until you get a mealy black/brown powder.
Use straight away, or store in a small, sealed bag or jar.