Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Vanilla

Although we might call them vanilla beans, the “beans” we use to Vanilla Orchidcreate vanilla flavouring for food are actually seed pods. These seed pods are the fruit of plants in the genus Vanilla which is within the family Orchidaceae; vanilla is just a very delicious form of orchid flower. The most widely grown and used variety in the world is Vanilla planifolia. The V. planifolia species originated in Central America and is now grown
vanilla Bean and Flowerthroughout the region (primarily in Mexico) and Madagascar.

The plant is a vine and can grow up to 300 feet tall, but when commercially cultivated the vines are carefully contained and grown laterally to make them more accessible to workers both for ease of harvesting and hand pollination (a necessary step given the low natural pollination rate of the plant).

To obtain the strongest flavour cut open the “bean” and scrape out the seeds.

Of course there are thousands of recipes using vanilla, but being a chocoholic this is one which appealed to me.

Double Chocolate Pie
CORWYNN DARKHOLME

"Rich and chocolaty, a truly sinful pie! Chocolate fans will love it! Garnish each slice with whipped topping."


Ingredients



1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in milk gradually. Add chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate. Place over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.Place egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl. Gradually pour half of chocolate mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly.
Whisk egg yolk mixture back into mixture in saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract.
Pour mixture into baked pie shell. Press a layer of plastic wrap onto filling. Refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 48 hours. Remove plastic wrap before serving and top with whipped topping.

Have a great day





34 comments:

  1. Ooh, yum :) I love vanilla and I love chocolate. The last thing I used vanilla for was some peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds good Tasha. It is a wonderful flavour.

      Delete
  2. Oddly enough I saw an advertisement for vanilla bean plants just last week. I'm still toying with the idea of buying one but I'm not sure how practical it would be after reading your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially if you have to hand pollinate it Helen. If it grows to 300 ft. it would be a bit cumbersome too.

      Delete
  3. Love vanilla. I use a vanilla flavored syrup in my coffee every morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really do like it then Denise. I have nothing but coffee in my coffee.

      Delete
  4. I love vanilla! The extract smells sooooo good but tastes sooooo bad straight from the bottle!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I've ever tasted it straight from the bottle JoJo. I imagine it's very strong.

      Delete
  5. My mom impressed on my years ago never to buy imitation vanilla but by the "real" thing. I don't use it a lot but always remember her words of wisdom shared a long time ago.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your mom was so right Betty. I tried some synthetic once, long ago, not nearly the same.

      Delete
  6. You aren't kidding in that description and pic... SINFUL is the apt word :)
    I feel like I gained 5 pounds just reading the recipe and staring back at the pic again!

    My Recent Entries for the #AtoZChallenge -
    Villains Who Elevated Their TV shows
    Underrated TV Shows that deserve more love

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to make you gain weight Roshan LOL. Can't think of anything better than chocolate and vanilla.

      Delete
  7. I imagine it's hard to find a three hundred foot ladder...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust you to think of that Alex. How high is a fireman's ladder?

      Delete
  8. The picture looks mouth watering :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chocolate vanilla pie - what more could you want Jahnavi?

      Delete
  9. I love vanilla bean cheesecake with vanilla bean ice cream from The Cheesecake factory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds delicious Stephen. Is that a restaurant? the name is familiar.

      Delete
  10. Wow, vanilla is an orchid! You've taught me so much during this challenge, Jo. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm learning alongside you Pinky.

      Delete
  11. Vanilla is my favorite flavor! I did not know it was an orchid. Amazing! Double chocolate pie, yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nor did I Yolanda. Yum indeed.

      Delete
  12. I love vanilla. In my coffee, my candles, my lotion. MMMM

    Susan Says

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great scent, great taste Susan.

      Delete
  13. Hi Jo - my mother hated vanilla ... so we never had it as kids - and it wasn't until vanilla slices hit the shelves in the mid-sixties (when I became aware of them, and found out about mille feuille) ... I still enjoy vanilla occasionally - but have never used it in cooking ...

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surprising that she hated it Hilary, never come across anyone who didn't like it before. Mille Feuille, delicious.

      Delete
  14. I've used vanilla seeds before in the kitchen, and it does make a difference. The dish comes out more fragrant with actual vanilla seeds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doesn't it Cynthia? Beautiful results.

      Delete
  15. I am just imagining how it must smell when they are taking the seeds from the flower. Another recipe I have just taken down...yummy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They really smell gorgeous Birgit.

      Delete
  16. For our anniversary back on 040404, Tim got me vanilla pods. I'd never had one in real life before. Oh my good gosh, heaven. I still have one left. I keep smelling it. It's in a glass tube so I open it a wee bit to take another whiff.

    Heaven.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful aren't they Ivy?

      Delete
    2. Oh my good gosh, I'd never had one before. Love it. Now, we're looking for a better place to buy that doesn't cost as much so we can use them more often. And then, make our own vanilla extract.

      Delete
    3. Hope you find a cheaper source Ivy although I have never come across one myself. Good idea to make your own extract too.

      Delete