Bourbon vanilla in ice cream

We at Royal Polak Spices are all about spices. Cinnamon is our King of spice, but Bourbon vanilla is for sure our Queen. We love the specific flavor which comes from these black pods and that’s why we asked a professional to see what his take on Bourbon vanilla is.

Hans Kennis has been a “SVH Meesterijsbereider” for 25 years. This is the highest grade achievable for a Dutch ice cream chef. He has his is own artisanal ice cream production facility and owns several ice cream` shops.

Hans attaches great importance to authenticity and quality.

Here below you can read why Hans is a strong advocate of natural Bourbon vanilla.

Vanilla remains one of the most preferred ice cream tastes. Together with chocolate and strawberry, vanilla is an all-time favorite. This might be because of the subtle flavor of vanilla, which makes it widely acceptable and easy to combine with other ice cream flavors like chocolate, yoghurt and passionfruit. Besides in ice cream, vanilla also pairs well with a range of various toppings like butter crumbles, cookie doughs, caramel and white chocolate. The possibilities are endless!

There are many vanilla origins to choose from, but the most complete flavor profile comes from Bourbon vanilla. Vanilla can only be called Bourbon vanilla if its origins from Madagascar. The flavor is very well balanced and strong, hence a relative low dosage level is required to get the full warm taste of real vanilla. Other origins are less intense and complex in flavor, so you need a higher dosage of this vanilla to get a similar impact. Therefore, the best and tastiest ice cream is made with 100% natural Bourbon vanilla.

Synthetic vanillin is also used in ice cream. It is lower in price, but it is far away from real vanilla in taste, as synthetic vanilla only contains part of the taste element that can be found in real Bourbon vanilla.

Besides the flavor profile, black spots are also a key addition to the appeal of vanilla ice cream. They indicate that real vanilla has been used in the product. After all, the eye wants something too and ice cream with these dots gives the ice the authentic look expected from vanilla.

How to process the vanilla the best way in the ice cream?  The trick is to extract as much flavor as possible from the pods. To do so, the pods are cut in half and the black seeds are scraped out as they provide the most flavor. The vanilla pods and seeds are heated in milk to 45°C. Afterwards the mixture is set to cool off and stored refrigerated for one night. This allows the milk fat’s to take over the vanilla taste. Secondly the pods are removed, dry, and grinded and add them to the mixture.

  • It is possible to speed up the process by using grinded Bourbon vanilla or vanilla extracts. Both items will save time as no manual prepping of the vanilla is necessary.

Result; delicious vanilla ice cream!