Tag Archives: Nielsen-Massey

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.

Nancy’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hello! It’s me again, Nancy, part of the Baking Mad Team trying out recipes and blogging about my experiences every month :)

At the moment we are running a Valentine’s Baking competition with fifteen bloggers who are entering their Valentine’s creations in attempt to win some fantastic prizes.

All the talk about Valentine’s and cakes and baking got me thinking maybe I should have a go myself..I also decided to take a risk and try a recipe that looks a little bit harder than ones I have done in the past. I decided to have a go at Eric Lanlard’s Red Velvet Cupcakes, and here’s how it went!

Red Velvet Cupcake Ingredients

Eric's Red Velvet Cupcakes
75 grams pure cocoa powder
1.50 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract Blend
125 grams Butter unsalted, softened
250 grams Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
4  Happy Eggs Yolks
240 ml Buttermilk
1 tsp Salt
325 grams Allinson Nature Friendly Plain White Flour sifted
1 tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar

Additional Ingredients
240ml milk
3 tbsp Allinson Nature Friendly Plain White Flour
1 pinch Salt
225 grams of white chocolate, broken into pieces
200 grams Butter unsalted, softened
300 grams Silver Spoon Homegrown Icing Sugar

How to make Red Velvet Cupcakes

First, preheat the oven to 180.C and line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. (Note this makes 24 cupcakes, not your usual 12!)

Sift the cocoa and mix with the vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. Then beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. After spraying golden gaster sugar across the kitchen I realised my butter was not soft enough to be using with a hand mixer. Also, my hand mixer on low speed is far too fast! I think I need a new one…

Once the butter and sugar mixture is pale, light and fluffy, add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until everything is combined. I almost put the egg whites in as well but caught myself at the last minute, phew! Then  add the cocoa mixture and beat well for another minute to combine.

You will end up with a chocolatey, sticky, gooey mess, like this.

Chocolate mess

Stir the buttermilk and salt together and add it to the butter and sugar mixture, a third at a time, alternating with the flour. The mixture starts to get really thick and gooey at this point, my poor hand mixer almost couldn’t take it.

Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar and blend into the batter. The reaction of these two ingredients is what gives the cake its rich colour. Eric does this instead of adding the usual red food colouring.

bicarbonate of soda and vinegar

With your mixer on high, beat everything together on a high speed for about 5 minutes, until you have a smooth, glossy batter.mixture

Fill each cupcake case to three-quarters full. Bake for 18–20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cupcake centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes and cool completely before frosting.

 

 

 

The Frosting

I decided to do white chocolate icing for my cupcakes, however in Eric’s recipe it gives you the option of doing either white choc or

milk choc.

First, melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool.

Then in a small saucepan whisk the milk, flour and salt over a medium heat until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool.

Then beat the butter and icing sugar  together until fluffy. Add to the cooled chocolate followed by the milk mixture. Beat together until smooth, then spoon into a piping bag with a small plain or star tube and pipe immediately on to the cupcakes. I didn’t have any piping bags, and I don’t really have the patience for piping so instead I just spooned some of the mixture on to the cakes and sprinkles them with Silver Spoon Create Pink and Blue Shimmer Balls.

And there we have it, my Red Velvet Cupcakes all ready to be eaten. Now I just need to find a Valentine to give them to….

my cupcakes

Whip Up a Treat with Will Torrent

If you are looking to impress your friends and family this Christmas, why not whip up a treat and serve a great British trifle with a modern twist.

Developed by Will Torrent, award-winning patissier and rising celebrity chef, we have a truly delicious recipe for this festive-favourite that is sure to excite everyone’s tastebuds.

Will’s recipe includes a few shortcuts for the time conscious but he enriches this classic dessert using quality ingredients for a truly luxurious taste. The modern twist includes mouth-watering white chocolate, vanilla custard, fresh berries and glazed meringue.

“The secret behind a really delicious dessert is the ingredients” says Will, “I use the best I can buy in order to guarantee great results. Nielsen-Massey’s Vanilla Bean Paste not only looks good, it adds depth of flavour to all types of dishes, and is so convenient too”.

With over a century of experience, Nielsen-Massey produces a vanilla that is arguably the best in the world. The family company uses an exclusive cold extraction process to extract the vanilla from carefully selected pods. The range includes pure Madagascan Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Bean Paste. A welcome addition to every kitchen cupboard, the bean paste is a high-quality, convenient and economical replacement to vanilla pods.

Want to impress your guests with Will Torrent’s British Trifle? Get the full recipe here.