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Old 09-19-2007, 01:47 PM   #1
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Question Flavoring instead of extract

I have a recipe that calls for vanilla extract. I can not find a recipe for chocolate marshmallow frosting that does not include extract. All I have is vanilla flavoring. Can I substitute the flavoring for the extract.

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Old 09-19-2007, 01:53 PM   #2
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It's basically the same thing - your flavoring is also probably labeled "imitation" - it's fine to use.
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:53 PM   #3
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Yes. I am not sure they are the same strength. Taste and adjust.
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:57 PM   #4
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Vanilla "extract" is the actual vanilla flavors extracted from vanilla beans by soaking them in a 30%-40% alcohol solution (usually about 35%). If you look at a bottle of "extract" it will tell you the alcohol content. Yes, it contains alcohol - no, you will not get the kids drunk if you use a tsp/tbs in a batch of cookies, or a cake, etc. The reason they use alcohol is because the flavors are fat/alcohol soluble - not water soluble. If they were extracted in fat they would not have a very long shelf life.

Vanilla "flavoring" or "imitation" vanilla is a mixture of chemicals that attempt to replicate the primary flavor in vanilla - vanillan. They do not contain alcohol - and they also do not contain all of the other flavors in real vanilla. So if the real vanilla flavor is important ... you might find the imitation stuff either "flat" and/or "bitter". Normally it can be substituted 1:1 for vanilla extract - but if it is double-strength, or triple-strength, they might be different ... look at the label of the bottle you have to see what it says.

Some people can't taste the difference ... some can.

Now, some people freak when they hear the word alcohol ... even in Halal cooking, which prohibits alcohol in any form, some forms are actually permissable (depending on sect and if the alcohol is intentional or incidental). The truth is that if you use any form of vinegar other than white distilled vinegar - the vinegar contains some alcohol ... something most people don't know.
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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Didn't a blind taste test performed in some cooking magazine show that several people liked vanillin better?
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:40 PM   #6
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I saw that taste test on ATK.
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