Vanilla extract is what we are accustomed to using, but vanilla powder is not well known among home chefs. Most extracts are alcohol based, which evaporate out during the high baking temperature, and some of the flavor also escapes.
Vanilla powder is pure ground vanilla bean and includes the inner seed and paste to pack a lot of flavor. Under high heat during baking, vanilla powder imparts the intense flavor right into the mixture. Both the seeds and the vanilla pod contain complementary variations of intense flavors and aroma. As a general rule, ½ teaspoon of powder is comparable to 1 teaspoon of extract.
Powder can be added into granulated sugar or brown sugar, and kept in a sealed jar to keep on hand.
- Use the vanilla-sugar in morning coffee for a gentle rich complement to coffee, or sprinkle on cookies, donuts or pastries just coming out of the oven.
- It can be added and stored in creamed butter to add to recipes requiring butter.
- Add into rum, brown sugar and butter for a butterscotch sauce.
- Mixing it with sea salt and add into seafood, or lightly coat over corn-breads, mole’ sauces.
- Vanilla and corn is an exotic combination, which goes back millennia to the Yucatan Aztecs, who reserved a concoction of vanilla, cacao, maize and hot peppers only for warriors to impart strength and vitality.