Some recipes ...
One of the most frequently requested recipes is homemade vanilla extract. Although many recipes can be found all over the internet, you won't want to be disappointed so here is my recipe. You won't waste your time as it is widely and routinely used by Hummingbird Vanilla to concoct the unique micro-lots from our vanilla collaborators that are only available in our gourmet and zero-waste outlets.
To make your own vanilla extract, all you need to do is respect the following proportions: 100 g of natural vanilla pods per litre of 35% neutral alcohol. So 200g for 2 litres, or 50 grams for 500 ml. So for one liter, cut the pods into small pieces, then put it in a food processor with a little alcohol to help reduce the pods to a fine pulp.
Empty evenly into two one-litre glass jars and rinse your food processor well with a little alcohol so that nothing is lost. Empty the rest of your litre of alcohol into the two jars and seal well. Obviously, as it rehydrates the vanilla will take up space, so the second jar is not too much! Leave the mixture in the cupboard away from the sun but close enough to remember to stir as often as possible. After six months your extract will be great, but be patient: it takes a year for the vanilla to be completely exhausted.
After a year, you can filter it and pour it into pretty little bottles, but it's not necessary: the vanilla lees will help your vanilla extract mature and become deeper and more complex with time.
The neutral alcohol can be replaced by vodka or rum, and the maceration must also last at least one year. Of course after 6 months you will want to try it and you will not be disappointed!
You can also opt for a more economical version made with a sugar syrup cut in half with alcohol, but you must then let it macerate for two years. Patience is required, but this recipe is fabulous!
A few must-try recipes recommended by chef Gabrielle Joubert, collaborator at Hector Larivée
Bonbon de Saumon
6 X 90g of salmon fillet middle
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
½ open Madagascar vanilla bean
1 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
Mix the ingredients and put in a vacuum bag for one hour at 45C
Serve warm over a bed of butter roasted apples with a Uganda vanilla bean, deglazed with white wine, garlic and Rosemary. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts and cook until browned. Place the sweets on top, toast and serve.
Duck breast with vanilla
Even though I know all about vanilla, I have to remain modest. I got my lesson in modesty from young chef Gabrielle Joubert after she taught me how to pan-fry vanilla beans. The surprise was complete, and the experience, almost metaphysical!
To have the same experience, pan fry a duck breast on each side for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes in the oven at 450F. Set aside 10 minutes on a board, being careful not to start slicing it to retain the juice inside. In the pan containing the fat and juices of the duck, toast two Madagascar vanilla beans split in half and deglaze with red wine. Serve this juice on the warm slices of duck breast.
The scent of chocolate and vanilla released during this manoeuvre will be so intense and bewitching, that you will be forever adept at the process. And with the price of our vanilla finally democratized, don't hesitate to unleash your imagination!
Chantale Caron, owner of Colibri Vanille
Custard is one of the most difficult bases to make in the kitchen. So don't be surprised if you fail every other time at first: you're about average! However, once you've mastered it, welcome floating islands, homemade ice cream and all-you-can-eat desserts! You're ready for anything!
Know that if you take it off the heat too quickly and it's too runny, you can easily make up for it in creme brulee; or if you take it off too late and it's lumpy, it works wonders in French toast pudding!
- 4 egg yolks
- 50 ml sugar (organic fair trade, if possible)
- 2 grams of vanilla caviar scraped from a bean
- 375 ml warm milk
1. In a saucepan, off the heat, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they are white.
2. Split the clove in half, scrape the caviar with the tip of a knife and place in the milk. Heat for at least 20 minutes over very low heat.
3. Whisk in the hot milk little by little. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Refrigerate.
4. Serve cold plain in a bowl or with fruit or a biscuit.