Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas: Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste Review & Giveaway

I recently received a bottle of Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste from Nielsen-Masey Vanillas for review. It smelled so deliciously sweet when I first opened the jar. Let me tell you that this is the ideal ingredient to make any baking and cooking flavorful. Nielsen-Massey has been creating vanilla and pure flavor products for more than 100 years. With this culinary paste, you can add real vanilla seeds to such dishes as crème brûlée and ice cream. Even more, it enables you to ix in more vanilla flavor without thinning out batters or sauces.

Here are a few recipes I was provided and thought I'd share this with you as well. Both of these are my favorite and very easy to make.

Vanilla Caramel Corn Crunch
Makes about 20 cups

12 ounces air-popped popcorn, or 4 (3-ounce) bags natural microwave popcorn
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Pop the popcorn, discarding any unpopped kernels. Arrange the popcorn evenly in a large roasting pan. Place in the oven.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla paste and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil slowly. Boil for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly; do no burn. Stir in the baking soda and cream of tartar, which will cause the sugar mixture to rise. Pour over the warm popcorn, stirring until coated, Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Variation: For added flavor, coarsely chop 1 cup of your favorite nuts and add to the popcorn before pouring the caramel mixture over the popcorn.

Crème Brûlée
Serves 6

2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
3 egg yolks
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter six 4-ounce ramekins. Combine the cream, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and vanilla paste in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook until heated through and steam is rising, stirring constantly.

Whisk the egg yolks, egg, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Temper the eggs with the hot cream mixture, stirring after each addition of the hot cream mixture. Pour evenly into the ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Fill the pan with enough hot water to reach approximately one-third of the way up the side of each ramekin. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until set. Let stand until cool. Chill, covered, until ready to serve.

Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar in a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle evenly over the top of each crème brûlée. Torch the top of each ramekin to caramelize the sugars or place the ramekins on a broiler pan and broil until the sugar caramelizes.

Note: Tempering is slowly adding hot liquid to raw eggs to raise their temperature without causing them to curdle.


Vanilla, the most popular flavor in the world, originated in Mexico. The vanilla bean, actually a pod, was found nowhere else in the world. For hundreds of years, the Totonaco Indians, inhabitants of the East Central Coast area of Mexico, were the keepers of this secret flavor. When the Aztecs defeated these peaceful people, one of the most important tributes they demanded was the fruits of the Tlilxochitl vine, vanilla pods. These pods were used with cacao beans to make a drink called “Chocolatl.” In 1520, Hernando Cortez, in turn, conquered the Aztecs. In his magnificent banquet hall, Montezuma, Emperor of the Aztecs, greeted Cortez and offered him this drink in a golden goblet. Cortez, astounded by the delicious flavor of “Chocolatl,” demanded to know the ingredients. Montezuma, the gracious host, told him it contained ground corn, cacao beans, vanilla pods and honey. Alas, Montezuma not only lost the secret of his favorite beverage, his riches and his empire, but also his life, as Cortez executed him shortly thereafter.

When Cortez returned to Spain, he brought with him a great deal of gold, silver and jewels plundered from the Aztecs. Of even greater importance, he also brought cacao beans and vanilla pods, which the Spaniards call “Vainilla,” meaning “Little Scabbard”. The drink made from cacao beans and vanilla pods was an instant success and became extremely popular throughout Europe. At first it was a luxury only the nobility and very rich could afford, as for eighty years, vanilla was used only in the chocolate drink. In 1602, Hugh Morgan, apothecary to Queen Elizabeth I, suggested that vanilla could be used as a flavoring by itself. This was the first step on the path toward the dominant position vanilla now holds in the flavor world.

One (1) lucky reader will have a chance to win a bottle of the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste that I reviewed. Chosen winner will be selected via Random.org through Rafflecopter and is open to US & Canadian residents (ends November 20, 2012 at 11:59pm EST). Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize. 

{Please wait while Rafflecopter entry form loads...}
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product from the company/PR Company in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed in my review are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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  1. I would like to try the vanilla extract.

  2. I'd love to try the Pure Chocolate Extract.
    Rafflecopter name: Dreena

  3. I'd like to try the pure coffee extract.
    My rafflecopter name is Julie G.

  4. I use Almond flavour almost as much as I use Vanilla. I would like to try the Pure Almond Extract

  5. I would love to try the Rose Water. Thanks for the awesome giveaway :)

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  6. I would like to try the Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract.

  7. I would like to try the Pure Almond Extract

  8. I'd like to try the pure lemon extract.

  9. I would like to try the Pure Lemon Extract

    (Karla Sceviour)

  10. I'd also like to try the Pure Lemon Extract.

  11. I would like to try Pure Chocolate Extract

  12. I love creme brulee! I made it as a dessert for dinner at Christmas last year. This vanilla will be the perfect touch this year!

  13. Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract