French vanilla cake

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by Akos, May 1, 2019.

  1. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    Hi. Please, what is the difference between French vanilla cake and vanilla cake?
     
    Akos, May 1, 2019
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  2. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Akos,

    Don’t worry yourself over it, there’s no such thing as French vanilla or French vanilla cake. French vanilla refers to ice cream not cake.

    There’s two types of vanilla ice cream. The Philadelphia style is made with a base of heavy cream and milk. This type of ice cream is labeled “vanilla.”

    The French came up with a different way to make vanilla ice cream. They use an egg custard base which creates a richer ice cream. Since this method originated with the French it became known as “French vanilla.”

    Those who offer “French vanilla cake” are either using the name without an understanding of vanilla and baking fundamentals, or worse, deliberately misrepresenting their product. Which is easy to do since most consumers don’t know there’s no variety of vanilla known as “French”; that French vanilla refers to an ice cream method, and there’s no such thing as a French vanilla cake. But when they see “French vanilla cake” they incorrectly assume everything “French” is a better quality, so French vanilla cake must be a better vanilla cake.

    Vanilla is not native to Europe, and there is no climate in Europe in which it can be cultivated.

    All vanilla is native South and central America. The vanilla that is cultivated in Madagascar is Mexican vanilla… Vanilla cultivated in Tahiti is from Guatemala.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 2, 2019
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  3. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Norcalbaker. You have.such vast knowledge about the baking industry.
     
    Akos, May 7, 2019
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  4. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the kind words Akos. i’m kind of a baking geek and have been studying baking pretty extensively for about 20 years. My grandmother taught home economics and carpentry at a two year college. So all the kids in my family can cook and use power tools. And I’m from a generation where it was mandatory for girls to take home economics classes (cooking and sewing) in middle school through high school. Not that I minded too much since I love to cook. My oldest sister really loves to do carpentry. I love to do the baking. And my youngest sister loves to spin a yarn, weave, and knit.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 8, 2019
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  5. Akos

    deb.Williams New Member

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    Nice! you are so informative. It's really good to know the information you've said.
     
    deb.Williams, May 13, 2019
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  6. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your kind words. I think too it’s important to understand the origins of vanilla because Madagascar is marketed as the best vanilla in the world. The price they charge is astronomical. Such marketing implies Mexican vanilla is inferior, which is simply not not true as Madagascar vanilla is in fact Mexican vanilla.

    It takes a trained palate to detect differences of vanilla cultivated in the different regions. In fact blind taste test with average consumers found consumers select imitation vanilla over real vanilla. Not surprising is commercially produced vanilla cakes, ice creams, and candies are flavored with artificial vanilla. Consequently the average consumer doesn’t know what real vanilla tastes like.

    If you’re looking for intense vanilla flavor, look for vanilla bean powder. Real vanilla bean powder is dark in color. I’ve seen some very light pale colored powder marketed as “vanilla bean powder” but its fake stuff for sure. Real vanilla bean powder is very expensive but it will pack more intense vanilla flavor than extract or vanilla bean paste and a little goes a long way.

    If you’re in the US there’s a vanilla company called the Vanilla Queen out of Santa Cruz California. Is there a fair trade and sustainable. They’re also very focused on women farmers in these countries as a way to help women gain control over their wages in countries where government and social structures oppress autonomy and many basic human rights.

    They’re not the cheapest source, but if you to know the origins of your ingredients it’s a good place to source your vanilla.

    https://vanillaqueen.com/about-us/
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 13, 2019
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