Apricot & Tonka bean jam

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summer57

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If you're interested in trying a new combination, I suggest adding grated tonka bean to your next batch of apricot jam.
It is a match made in heaven. Tonka adds a vanilla, bitter almond, spicy caramel flavour, it really amps up the apricot. I love it. My new favourite!
 

dragnlaw

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questions, questions

Had heard of tonka Beans but never had a clue what they were, so had to have a little talk with Dr Google. Biggest impression that i came away with was
WOW - not cheap!

So, Summer, do you have the whole bean? are they hard? do you grate them? or do you have to soak them?

How much would you typically use if powdered? 1/2 teaspoon per batch of jam?

Do you use it in anything else? Does it bake well? (meaning not lose a lot of flavour when baked?)
 

summer57

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Biggest impression that i came away with was
WOW - not cheap!

So, Summer, do you have the whole bean? are they hard? do you grate them? or do you have to soak them?

How much would you typically use if powdered? 1/2 teaspoon per batch of jam?

Do you use it in anything else? Does it bake well? (meaning not lose a lot of flavour when baked?)
No, they aren't cheap but you don't use much, usually just a fraction of a bean, and they last forever in a sealed jar.


They're hard. I grate the bean with a microplane until I get the amount I want, then put the rest of the bean back in the jar.


You can also put the whole bean into sugar, or maybe ground coffee, like a vanilla pod, to infuse it with tonka flavour. Which, btw, is intense. It would be difficult to diminish the intense flavour of Tonka.



I like tonka with chocolate or custard, ice cream would also be good. I just grate some tonka in the milk for custard, or with the chocolate.


Baking doesn't seem to affect the taste. I put the tonka in with the boiling syrup when I made the jam, and it didn't affect the flavour.


I used about a teaspoon of shaved tonka to 4 kilos of apricots. That was about 1/4 of the bean.



I've never tried tonka with savoury dishes, I suppose it might work, I can't really imagine it.



If anyone tries it, I'd love to hear about their opinion!
 

larry_stewart

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No, they aren't cheap but you don't use much, usually just a fraction of a bean, and they last forever in a sealed jar.


They're hard. I grate the bean with a microplane until I get the amount I want, then put the rest of the bean back in the jar.


You can also put the whole bean into sugar, or maybe ground coffee, like a vanilla pod, to infuse it with tonka flavour. Which, btw, is intense. It would be difficult to diminish the intense flavour of Tonka.



I like tonka with chocolate or custard, ice cream would also be good. I just grate some tonka in the milk for custard, or with the chocolate.


Baking doesn't seem to affect the taste. I put the tonka in with the boiling syrup when I made the jam, and it didn't affect the flavour.


I used about a teaspoon of shaved tonka to 4 kilos of apricots. That was about 1/4 of the bean.



I've never tried tonka with savoury dishes, I suppose it might work, I can't really imagine it.



If anyone tries it, I'd love to hear about their opinion!

I love being exposed to ingredients ive either never tried or heard of before. thanks for the introduction of Tonga Beans, and Im looking forward to experimenting with them .
 

summer57

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Tonka beans have been illegal in the US for 70 years because they contain coumarin.
Coumarin is also contained in cinnamon. The EU restricts cinnamon, but not tonka.


You'd need to eat 30 whole beans for the courmarin to be dangerous. You only need a fraction of one tonka bean to flavour a dish.



Nonetheless, US chefs 'smuggle' them in the country and use them in their dishes. One bean is enough for 25-50 servings.


So far as I know, tonka beans are legal in the rest of the world, including Canada.
 

summer57

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Great! Amazon has everything. I'm looking forward to see what you think of it.
I see some savoury recipes for tonka bean on the Great British Chefs website, that might inspire you!
 

GotGarlic

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Yeah, well, cinnamon, Mexican vanilla and nutmeg also have coumin. I believe that sparingly used....
See, that's the thing. The dose makes the poison. Apparently, different types of cinnamon contain quite different amounts of coumarin, so it's not so easy to determine what dose is considered "sparing." And people often think that any supplement must be safe because it's "natural." Imagine how much coumarin there might be in a capsule of a cinnamon supplement. If a little is good, more must be better, eh?
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dragnlaw

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LOL... and while we're at it, anyone know, without looking it up, how much arsenic is in the bottled water that they buy on a regular basis?
 

taxlady

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We probably know more about Tonka beans and their toxicity now than we did in 1954.

From Wikipedia:
The FDA has considered foods containing tonka beans adulterated[9] since 1954[10] because coumarin has shown toxicity in extremely high concentrations. Despite the ban on its use in foods, the product has been frequently imported into the United States by gastronomic enthusiasts.[8][11] There have been calls for removing the restrictions on the use of tonka beans in food in the US similar to the successful deregulations of mangosteens and absinthe in the early 21st century;[11] the regulations are criticized as unreasonable due to the unlikelihood of consuming enough coumarin to cause ill effects and due to the presence of coumarin in unregulated foods.[10] Coumarin is also present in lavender, licorice, strawberries and cherries.[12]
 
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