In addition to vanilla beans, vanilla bean extract, and vanilla powder have always been essentials in baking and now in cooking in general. The seller of vanilla extract, as well as that of vanilla powder, offers a more economical alternative to vanilla beans, even though its price remains relatively high compared to artificial vanilla flavor. The dilemma arises when vanilla beans are not easily available. Between vanilla extract and vanilla powder, the choice depends more on their application possibilities than on their aromatic potency. Both are suitable for sweet and some savory recipes.
What is pure vanilla extract?
Vanilla extract is probably the most common form of vanilla found in most kitchens. Vanilla is a unique ingredient that adds an exotic touch to both sweet and savory recipes. Vanilla extract, like vanilla powder
How to choose vanilla extract?
Vanilla bean extract is more readily available in stores and is also the least expensive among fully natural commercial forms of vanilla. Different types of vanilla extracts are available, differing in concentration, whether sugar is added to the mix, and the solution used to extract the vanilla flavor. Generally, vanilla extracts with concentrations of 100-200-300-400g of vanilla beans per liter, or even more, can be found. In the United States, regulations require a minimum of 100g of vanilla and 35% alcohol per liter for an extract to be considered pure vanilla. Vanilla extract is usually extracted with a hydroalcoholic solution, but alcohol-free options exist, using glycerin or propylene glycol. The difference is noticeable in the intensity of the aroma, with the alcohol-free version being less intense. Some manufacturers add sugar, corn syrup, or other sweeteners as stabilizers for vanilla extracts. Beyond 3 to 5% sugar, the sugar content can affect the final texture and taste of recipes. Finally, the flavor can be spicy, woody, earthy, floral, cocoa-like, etc., depending on the origin of the vanilla beans (varieties and country of origin) used for the vanilla extract.
What is vanilla powder?
Vanilla powder is made from dried and ground vanilla beans. Vanilla ground composed solely of ground vanilla beans is the best, but ingredients may vary among manufacturers. Some add cornstarch, dextrose, or maltodextrin to prevent the powder from clumping. Vanilla powder is an interesting choice for using dry and alcohol-free vanilla. It is also an excellent alternative to vanilla extract for recipes that cannot tolerate additional liquid or are cooked at high temperatures.
What is the difference between vanilla powder and vanilla extract?
The main difference between vanilla powder and vanilla extract is how they add vanilla flavor to your preparations. Vanilla powder, as the name suggests, comes in a powdered form, while vanilla extract is liquid. This texture difference influences the use of these two vanilla products. Vanilla extract is used in all pastry and creamery preparations, making it the most widely used form of vanilla by culinary professionals and most consumers. Vanilla ground enhances the presence of vanilla in desserts with the black specks of ground vanilla bean. Additionally, vanilla powder does not color light-colored creams and ice creams.
How to add vanilla powder to recipes?
Generally, a teaspoon of vanilla extract is sufficient to impart vanilla flavor to most recipes. Vanilla extract works well in all preparations, as long as they are not sensitive to coloring or the addition of extra liquid. Vanilla extract can be replaced with vanilla powder at any time. Vanilla powder can be incorporated into baking products during preparation or sprinkled on top after baking. Mixed with sugar, vanilla powder is also used to coat doughnuts, cookies, toasts, muffins, and waffles.
When to use vanilla powder or vanilla extract?
Vanilla powder can be used as a substitute for vanilla extract. Both are suitable for most applications, but there are certain recipes where it is preferable to use one over the other to avoid altering the texture or color of the recipes. It’s particularly suitable for applications that do not require the addition of extra liquid to the mixture, as it could affect the outcome. It’s also used in recipes sensitive to coloring, as vanilla extract is dark brown and can easily tint light-colored preparations such as glazes, creams, and ice creams. However, in practice, vanilla extract is the most commonly used form of vanilla in cooking. Vanilla extract is easy to incorporate into recipes, and a small amount is sufficient to flavor any preparation.