How to use a vanilla bean
Published on October 26, 2016
If a recipe calls for a vanilla bean that is ‘scraped’, it is referring to the tiny seeds inside the bean (also known as a vanilla pod). We call it the vanilla caviar. The scraping of one vanilla bean is equivalent to one teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
You don’t have to be a pastry chef to use real vanilla beans - we’ve broken it down into 4 easy steps to make the most of the pure vanilla flavour and aroma and ensure no wastage!
How to scrape a vanilla bean:
- Lay your vanilla bean length ways on a chopping board.
- Take a sharp kitchen knife and using the tip of the knife, slice down along the length of the bean.
- You should now have two halves of a vanilla bean split down the middle revealing the vanilla seeds.
- Take one of the halves and with the back of your knife, carefully scrape down the bean lengthwise. You will see the seeds start gathering in a thick black paste on the back of your knife. The scraped seeds can be added straight into your recipe with the other ingredients.
Don’t throw away the bean when you are finished scraping, there’s still loads of flavour left. Simply rinse the bean in warm water and pat dry. We like to blitz the vanilla bean with a bag of caster sugar and keep stored in an airtight jar. A sprinkle over French toast or a teaspoon stirred through your coffee will add a sweet vanilla flavour. Or, if you’ve got a bottle of vodka (or rum) in the cupboard, add the used vanilla bean to the bottle for a subtle vanilla infusion.
Photo by Vanessa Lewis
PREMIUM TONGAN VANILLA BEANS
Direct from the Tongan Heilala Vanilla plantation to your pantry, our beans are renowned for their quality, plumpness and high vanillin content. The robust vanilla profile suits savouries like stews and marinades or desserts such as custards, crème brûlées, cakes and much more.