Tag Archives: bloggers

Nielsen Massey Vanilla Workshop

Recently Baking Mad attended a fabulous workshop hosted by pure vanilla experts Nielsen-Massey, educating people about the history of vanilla and the importance of quality vanilla in baking.

Nielsen-Massey ambassador Eric Lanlard hosted the event at his shop ‘Cake Boy’ in London, where members of the media and food bloggers assembled to enjoy a selection of vanilla inspired canapes and mini desserts along with a few glasses of champagne.

Eric discussed the production of vanilla and about how the world’s finest vanilla is grown in the warm, moist, tropical climates of Madagascar. He explained that vanilla pods, or beans as they are commonly called, are the fruit of an orchid, and that of the thousands of varieties of orchid, the vanilla plant is the only one known to produce an edible fruit. The flower of the vanilla orchid opens for only part of one day and if not pollinated on this day pods will not be produced.  This is why Nielsen-Massey hand pollinate each and every flower, over the two to three month flowering period to ensure a plentiful crop.

Nielsen-Massey use an exclusive cold extraction process to slowly and gently draw the delicate and distinctive flavour from the vanilla beans.  This process differs from all other processes as it doesn’t use heat or pressure when extracting.  The vanilla is extracted under precise temperature control at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, using a specially constructed stainless steel extractor, after the beans are loaded into the extractor, an alcohol and water solution is pumped continuously over and through the beans.  It can be a lengthy process, taking three to five weeks to complete depending on the batch type being produced.  The finished vanilla is then filtered into a holding tank ready for bottling.

We were invited to observe three small dishes in front of us containing vanilla essence, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. Eric highlighted the difference between the three, with the vanilla paste and extract having a denser texture and a much more poignant vanilla smell. The vanilla essence was more fluid and clear with a synthetic smell, and Eric explained that synthetic vanilla essence is shockingly what 98% of the world still use as a flavour and fragrance. It’s obvious to see that the Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Bean Paste would bring a stronger, more amazing flavour to your baking.

Eric demonstrated his favourite vanilla recipe, a Nielsen-Massey Fraisier. Using copious amounts of Nielsen-Massey extract and bean paste he assembled this strawberry delight, topping it with toasted marzipan and hand decorating it with chocolate. Fabulous!

Every attendee received a lovely Nielsen-Massey goody bag containing Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract, a Nielsen-Massey branded apron and an individually wrapped Cake Boy vanilla cupcake using Nielsen-Massey and topped with a golden vanilla pod.

Thank you to everyone who attended on the day I think we all had a fantastic time. We hope you enjoy using Nielsen Massey vanilla products forevermore to make your baking totally delicious.

Valentine’s Blogger Competition Winners!

Hello everyone!

You may remember a while ago here we asked for some willing bloggers to put themselves forwards for a Valentine’s Baking Competition, where they are sent some ingredients to make something they would like to receive for Valentine’s Day.

Well the entries are in and they are fantastic! The bar has been set really high and I think has left a lot of mouths watering this Valentine’s Day.

StudentCooking.Tv’s Pamella made some Biscuits and Cake of Love

A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate made a Cry Me a Chocolate River Cake

Susan K Mann made a Valentine’s Gingerbread House

The Little Loaf made Toasted Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies

White Lily Green made some Valentine’s Chocolate Dipped Turkish Delight

Rag Doll Cupcakes made a Flower Cake Pop Bouquet

Kerry Cooks made a Half and Half Cake

Tasty Gorgeous made Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies

The Ana Mum Diary made a Chocolate Victoria Sponge

Homemade by Fleur made Mini Valentine’s Cupcakes

Cambridge Cake ‘n’ Bake Club made a Valentine’s Cheesecake

Rebecca Bakes Cakes made a Hunk A Chunk of Choccy Love

The Nutty Cook made a Valentine’s Day Trio of Desserts

Dad’s Cooking Tonight made a Vanilla, Lemon and Chocolate Cake

The Mummy Blogger made Rose Water and Blueberry Cupcakes

Chez Mazimka made some Crown Cookies

A Mum Who Loves to Bake made some Vanilla Cookies

Fold in the Flour made some Valentines Red Velvet Cupcakes

Valentine's Competition

And what you’ve all been waiting for……

The Winner is Rag Doll Cupcakes! Her fantastic Flower Cake Pop Bouquet blew us away, it’s something we would definitely want to receive for Valentine’s Day. Well done!cake pop bouquet

You have won a 30pc set of plunger cutters, a set of heart silicone cupcake cases and a range of Nielsen Massey Extracts!

plunger cutterscupcake casesNielsen Massey

The 1st Runner Up is Homemade By Fleur and her Mini Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day! Her Hazelnut and Chocolate, Strawberry and White Chocolate, Green Tea and Peanut Butter mini cupcakes looked so sweet and extremely tasty to eat!

mini cupcakes

The 2nd Runner Up is the Cambridge Cake ‘n’ Bake Club with their Valentine’s Cheesecake. A huge group effort went into making this cheesecake and it really shows, well done guys!


The 3rd Runner Up is The Little Loaf and her Toasted Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies. A complete luxury, who wouldn’t want one of these on Valentine’s Day?! 


Well done to the runners up you have won a set of 24 white Tulip Muffin Cases

tulip cases

Well done everyone! And thank you so much to everyone who took part, you are all Baking Mad stars.

Baking Mad Valentine’s Blogger Competition

This Valentines we are holding a special Valentine’s Bloggervalentine cake Competition for 15 willing baking bloggers. 

We will be sending a range of delicious products out to passionate baking bloggers with the challenge being to make something delicious that you would like to receive on Valentine’s Day.

Once you receive the products you can use them to get creative; cakes, cupcakes, biscuits, chocolates, whatever you like, and when you’re done post your creation on your blog to be judged by Baking Mad with a description of what it is.

The winner will receive:

 - 30pc set of plunger cutters you can use to create beautiful shapes with icing

- A set of heart shaped silicone cupcake cases

- A range of Nielsen Massey Extracts including Madagascan Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, Lemon Extract, Orange Extract, Almond Extract and Vanilla Paste

plunger cutterscupcake casesNielsen Massey

Three runners up will receive:

- A set of 24 Tulip Muffins Casestulip cases

If you think you’d like to take part then simply comment on this post with a link to your blog.  We will pick 15 top blogs who we think are most up for the challenge and comment on them on here, so make sure you check back!

If you don’t get picked you can still enter the competition. Blog about your own Valentine’s creation and send a link to info@bakingmad.com with the title ‘Valentine’s Blogger Competition’ saying you would like to be included for the prize draw.

We’ll be sending the 15 bloggers a range of Silver Spoon Create products to get creative with; a range of edible cake decorations and baking ingredients from Silver Spoon.

For some Valentine’s inspiration see BakingMad.com’s Valentine’s Recipes to keep the romance sweet this Valentine’s Day.

Sounds like fun? We think so!

* Any bloggers wishing to take part must comment on this post before 12pm 31st Jan 2012

*All competition entries must be published before 14.02.12, and Baking Mad notified of the post by contacting info@bakingmad.com

* One entry per person

* Full terms and conditions will be sent via e-mail to participating bloggers