|Posted by Bee & John on December 18, 2012 at 5:45 PM|
Vanilla Bean Paste... what's the hype? To me, it is an expensive form of vanilla - and I've always just used Vanilla Sugar (Everyday Cookbook) - but then I TRIED vanilla paste and I was hooked! Problem is.... WAY too expensive! Back I went to vanilla sugar.
Then a fabulous friend/client gave me a recipe for it! Yay! THANKS Karina!
Then I really READ the recipe... 250g of vanilla beans? REALLY?? That's a LOT of vanilla beans (about 50 of them!) - and even getting them in bulk from the internet it would be way too expensive. So I started with just 50g of beans and was going to cut the recipe down to 20% of the original. 10 mintues later I had only split and de-seeded 6 beans and STILL had 10 or so to go and I gave up! WAY too much work. Besides, it only used the seeds, with the Thermomix we have the ability to use the WHOLE bean!
So.... off I went in search of an easier vanilla bean paste recipe. I found several - NONE of them used anywhere NEAR as much as 250g! I wonder if the orginal recipe meant 25g not 250? I found lots of recipes that seemed easy enough, but none of them were perfect for, but not adapted to, the Thermomix - so I have obliged for you.
I have actually combined the fab recipe that was given to me by Karina, and all the others that I found on the net to make a blended recipe for an easy peasy, cheap, vanilla paste.
On pouring it out it will seem quite thin. And it IS thin - but JUST as powerful as vanilla paste - Don't worry, as it sits it will thicken up considerably!
It may still seem thin...... Why is it thinner? Does that mean you need less per recipe? NO!! It isn't as if I cut down the amount of beans... just the ENORMOUS amount of sugar that pads the jars of vanilla paste you buy. The amount I've used should be enough to flavour and keep the paste fresh until the jar is finished, without making the jar super full of sugar with a tinsey winsey amount of vanilla bean. I'd really love to hear from people who use vanilla paste regularly and let me know what you think!
500g of sugar
10 vanilla beans, cut into 4 or 5
200g of filtered water
1/2 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar (will reduce the issue of crystalisation of the sugar
Scrape down the sides. Pour hot mixture into serilized, hot jars with a good poppable seal. You can secure the jar is vacuum sealed by placing the sealed jar into a sacepan of water (with the water about 1/3rd of the way up the sides) and boiling the pan for 10-20 minutes - This makes a GOOD jar pop the vacuum seal and will therefore last in the pantry for a year or so until opened.
This recipe makes about 600-700g of paste.
It is best to leave it to settle in the jars for a week or three, this will be make the flavour more intense. and.... SHAKE BEFORE USING
HINT: Fill SMALL sized jars - I use 100-200g sizes. Until opened (if you have good jars that have sealed properly), you can store the jars in the pantry. Once opened, keep the vanilla paste in the fridge. How long it'll last once opened varies with the recipes I've read. Once said 3 weeks, one said 12 months. I suspect, with the amount of sugar in there, you can leave it in the fridge as long as you would keep a jar of jam there.
DO NOT panic about the amount of sugar. it is a CONCENTRATE! I teaspoon to 1 tablespoon needed per cake or bikkie or icecream etc.
(So sorry about the sideways photo... I don't know what is going on! I've turned back right up 5 times, but everytime I upload it it goes wonky)