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what's difference between the vanillas?

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koreen | 03:42 Sat 04th Nov 2006 | Food & Drink
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what's the difference between vanilla essence, vanilla extract? can i substitute vanilla extract when vanilla essence is called for? o. does vanilla extract expire? there is this sudden white residues inside my vanilla extract. they float when i shake the bottle but then they sink afterwards. what happened?

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Vanilla beans can be used in raw form as a flavoring, which is probably the best way to impart the most flavor of vanilla into a food or food ingredient. In addition, the beans can be used to make vanilla powder, vanilla extract and vanilla essence. Vanilla powder is a substance made by grinding the beans into a powder form. It is most often used to flavor baked foods, since the powder form retains its flavor when exposed to heat. Vanilla extract or single strength vanilla extract is a stronger, liquid form of the flavoring and is often used to flavor brownies, cookies and a variety of cakes. Extract is aged from 2 to 6 months and contains a minimum of 35% alcohol. If the extract does not contain the minimum amount of alcohol, it is considered a flavoring, not an extract. Vanilla essence, double strength extract or double fold vanilla are all stronger forms of the liquid flavoring and should be used sparingly when added to foods. British vanilla essence, however, is the same as single strength vanilla extract.

Vanilla extracts can be stored indefinitely without losing much flavor. Similar to the bean, keep the extract in a cool dry area away from heat.

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