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Old 02-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
In cakes, vanilla compliments the flavor of the flour. I agree though that it isn't necessary in every cake. I personally don't care for vanilla in fruity cakes, especially those with citrus, or berry flavors. I, like you, want the primary flavor to be the citrus, or berry, or apple, or whatever.

Think of cakes as giant pancakes. If you want vanilla in your pancake batter, with a bit of extra sugar, then go for it. But if you're going for blueberry flavor, omit the vanilla altogether, and maybe even crush some of the blueberries and swirl into the batter.

The vanilla is there to add richness to the cake flavor. It's essential in a yellow cake, or angel food cake, but not so in a strawberry cake.

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Old 02-08-2013, 06:52 PM   #12
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Here's a decent lemon cake recipe that doesn't use vanilla and uses a glaze. I will find my recipe too if you like. Or post yours for me and I will be able to tell why they call for vanilla and what you can do to it.

Glazed Lemon Chiffon Cake

That looks and sounds sooo good .. thanks for posting it !
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
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When I want a lemon flavored cake, I want to taste the lemon. Same with a spice or orange. So you add the right extract, why add vanilla also? I don't want a vanilla tasting cake, I want an lemon tasting cake. Every recipe I have ever seen says to add both.
Vanilla extract rounds out and enhances all other flavors, including citrus. It does not cover them up.

Try an experiment, especially with a pudding, custard, ganache, hot chocolate, etc. Taste before adding the vanilla, and after, and you'll definitely notice a difference.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:38 PM   #14
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Vanilla is kind of like salt in that it marries other flavors together and leaves a warm undertone to baked goods. Foods without salt taste flat, baked goods without vanilla taste flat in much the same way.

I've mistakenly left out the 1t salt in my no-knead bread and it's obvious in the first bite that something is wrong with it. While you may not taste the vanilla as a stand alone flavor, if it's not there you'll know that something is missing.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:35 PM   #15
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Vanilla is kind of like salt in that it marries other flavors together and leaves a warm undertone to baked goods. Foods without salt taste flat, baked goods without vanilla taste flat in much the same way.

I've mistakenly left out the 1t salt in my no-knead bread and it's obvious in the first bite that something is wrong with it. While you may not taste the vanilla as a stand alone flavor, if it's not there you'll know that something is missing.
You're right on!
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:01 PM   #16
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Thank you all. Very informative and great information. Vanilla it is then.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:04 PM   #17
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I put vanilla in just about every sweet baked good. There is just something about it that makes things better. If I'm making a vanilla cake, I'll use a good dose of it, but in something like a lemon cake I'll use less. It just seems that vanilla helps give a more of a well rounded flavor, even if you cannot identify the vanilla flavor.

To me it's as essential as salt for flavor.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:12 PM   #18
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I put vanilla in just about every sweet baked good. There is just something about it that makes things better. If I'm making a vanilla cake, I'll use a good dose of it, but in something like a lemon cake I'll use less. It just seems that vanilla helps give a more of a well rounded flavor, even if you cannot identify the vanilla flavor.

To me it's as essential as salt for flavor.
Me too. When vanilla is the only flavoring, I don't even bother to measure it. A quick 'glug' does the job and very nicely. I haven't bought a box cake in eons or many moons ago, but when I did, I always added vanilla to it. It really gave a flavor boost to it.

How many times would you see Julia add vanilla with her measuring spoon and over fill it. "One teaspoon (or more)". Short of using an eye dropper to fill a teaspoon, it is almost impossible to not overfill it.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:14 PM   #19
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Me too. When vanilla is the only flavoring, I don't even bother to measure it. A quick 'glug' does the job and very nicely. I haven't bought a box cake in eons or many moons ago, but when I did, I always added vanilla to it. It really gave a flavor boost to it.

How many times would you see Julia add vanilla with her measuring spoon and over fill it. "One teaspoon (or more)". Short of using an eye dropper to fill a teaspoon, it is almost impossible to not overfill it.
Same here, I don't usually measure it unless I'm afraid I'll use too much. My homemade vanilla is very strong and it's easy to overdo it with some things.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:17 AM   #20
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My grandmother always used the cap of the bottle to measure vanilla extract. That is how I measure it, too.
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