How Best to Use Vanilla Beans
There are many people who assume that vanilla can directly be used as a main essence within their food. But while this is true to some extent, vanilla certainly should be used as a part of an essence, a flavoring, rather than bringing the main body to any food that you make.
This is simply because authentic vanilla extract and the like is best used to enhance flavors that are already there, rather than adding a new element to the dish in itself. While bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans and the like certainly are distinctive in their flavors, you will have the best results if you simply use vanilla beans as an enhancer to your dishes, rather than attempting to make a dish entirely based on the flavor of vanilla.
As although some people adore the taste of vanilla on its own, at times it can be far too strong. This is why a lot of vanilla products have a fair amount of sugar mixed in with them too - it creates an overall sweet taste, with the authentic vanilla extract being there to add a certain zest to it, to give it its signature feel.
But this is not to say that vanilla beans cannot be used on their own. They have an incredibly distinctive taste and smell to them - especially if you source high quality bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans you will start to see just how wonderful an aroma vanilla can produce. However it is definitely an acquired taste, so you need to consider who you are making the dish for.
If you are cooking for yourself and you like the taste of vanilla beans then there is obviously no problem. However if you are cooking to impress, you may want to consider using authentic vanilla extract to give a nice edge to your dish rather than its whole body, simply because the strong taste of vanilla is not for everyone. If at all possible try to find out whether your intended recipient likes vanilla on its own - though be aware this is not always easy to find out. As said, a lot of vanilla flavors use a lot of sugar and other flavorings to go with it, so it is possible your guest will not know just how pungent bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans and the like can be.
But if you like vanilla beans and know how to use them, do not fear. Just keep in mind that guests may want a less pungent dish if at all possible, so try to get to know them first. If a less aromatic dish is in order, consider using authentic vanilla extract rather than bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans, and use it sparingly. If you have experience in cooking then you should be able to judge this well, if not then abide by what the recipe states and you will not go far wrong.
If necessary, do a trial run first. Especially if you are cooking for an important guest and you need to impress, then making sure you have the right amount of authentic vanilla extract or bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans is essential, just so that the balance is perfect. Consider testing it with friends and family - getting honest feedback is the route to success for any aspiring chef.
In the same way, if you can get a good balance of vanilla beans in your cooking in general, this should prepare you more for other events where you need to impress. Consider varying the amount that you use vanilla beans in your own cooking, just so that you can get a feel for how other people may perceive your cooking.
This is not always easy, but attempting to understand how your meals will be received will really help you to judge the right amounts of vanilla beans to use any time that you cook a meal, so that you can really get the overall balance right. If you can keep practicing then this will only improve your overall skill in cooking, helping you to get to the stage where you can confidently prepare a meal for anyone's tastes, so that you will never be left in an awkward situation.