Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 20 February 2009 Contents 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons water
1⁄2 - 1 vanilla bean
11⁄4 cups cream
3⁄4 cup milk
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Soften the gelatine in the water for
5 minutes. Split the vanilla pod in
half and scrape out the seeds.
Place the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla
bean, seeds and vanilla extract in
a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Whisk the gelatine into the hot milk
Remove from the heat and cool.
Remove the vanilla pod. Strain
through a fine sieve, if preferred.
Pour into six serving glasses – wine
glasses are excellent – and chill
Great served with sliced peaches
poached in a vanilla syrup.
20 February, 2009 | Page 11
Vanilla Cheese Spread
The feta cheese can be soaked in water or milk to
remove some of the salt.
Drain and pat dry before use.
125g each: feta cheese, cream cheese
1-2 tablespoons cream
1⁄2 vanilla bean, scraped clean
2 sundried tomatoes, drained, patted dry and diced
2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Blend the cheeses and add enough cream to make
a smooth spread. Scrape the vanilla seeds into
the mixture. (Alternatively, use 1⁄2 a teaspoon of
vanilla paste or vanilla essence. Add the remaining
ingredients. Spread the mixture onto crostini or
crackers. Makes about 1 cup.
Vanilla is an exotic that flourishes in the
tropics so when I heard someone was
growing it in Tauranga I had my doubts.
But locals Jennifer and Garth Boggiss
together with Jennifer’s father John Ross,
have established an ‘indoor’ plantation in a
hothouse environment. “Why not?’ they say.
Their inspiration came when the family
visited Tonga and fell in love with the
people and environment. Using their
horticultural background skills plus
extensive research, they helped establish
the Heilala Vanilla plantation in partnership
with local Tongan people. The project
assists a village in one of the most
beautiful and remote places on the globe,
the Vava’u Islands.
Organic growing principles are practised.
The vanilla is grown in organic virgin soil, on
coconut husk frames, hand pollinated and
dried under the Pacific sun. Young plants
from the Tongan project were used to
establish the indoor plantation in Tauranga.
Heilala Vanilla is the richest grade of vanilla
in the Asia Pacific region.
Various grades of beans are available;
there is also a strong vanilla extract or
essence produced using a cold extraction;
and a convenient vanilla paste containing
the extract or essence and the beans. All are
available from selected delis and specialty
Vanilla is a variety of orchid.
In some latitudes vanilla does not
flower every year - the farmer must
help the plant to reach ‘flower
Curing vanilla is not just a drying
process, but a more complex
3⁄4 cup butter
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
1 3⁄4 cups flour
Add variations to the
mixture each time you
bake a batch. Top with
nuts, sprinkle with sugar
or add five spice, chopped
chocolate or crystallised
ginger to the dough. Vanilla
extract can replace
Beat the butter, sugar and salt with
an electric beater, until creamy. Add
the egg yolks one at a time beating
well after each addition. Add the
vanilla paste. Add the flour then beat
until it is incorporated. Turn out onto a
sheet of wax paper.
Roll out to form 2 logs about 23cm
long and 4cm in diameter. Wrap and
The dough may also be frozen for up
to 2 weeks.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut as
much dough as is required for one
batch of biscuits into 1cm-thick
rounds. Bake for about 20 minutes or
Makes about 40.
Vanilla Panna Cotta
An alternative to a latte.
2 cups milk
1⁄4 cup cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 whole vanilla bean
Split the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise and save
one half for another recipe. Combine the milk, cream
and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the
vanilla pod and add to the milk mixture. Slowly bring
to boiling point. Remove from heat, and steep for 15
minutes. Strain and reheat. Blend until frothy and
pour into coffee mugs. Serves 2.
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