How to choose and use Vanilla ?

Vanilla is a rare and inestimable ingredient. Now that you know everything about how it is produced, we want to take how you work with vanilla a step further by sharing our observations and tips, so that you can bring a well-balanced and enlightened approach to vanilla’s uses in your recipes.

Aromatic profiles Vanillin is a natural aromatic chemical compound that develops in the bean. It is not the only aromatic component – hundreds of others are produced throughout the bean preparation stages, giving vanilla all its aromatic complexity. But Vanilin is the most important and characteristic of the various components that make up vanilla’s natural flavor. It accounts for 2% of the bean’s weight. So the level of Vanilin is key for excellent-quality vanilla. But it is not the only characteristic to consider when you choose vanilla. The moisture content and the color are two other indicators of good-quality.


If you want to make sure that you’re looking at the best quality product, all you need to do is trust your senses.
AROMA Recognize the perfumed scent of vanilla and the different aromatic profiles depending on the variety.
LOOK Choose a bean that is shiny but not too moist. The color should be uniform and it should not have any spots, scars or tears.
FEEL The vanilla should be flexible. You can feel the pulp by rolling it between your fingers, and when you bend the bean, it shouldn’t break.
FLAVOR Just by adding a few seeds to a recipe, quality vanilla has high aromatic power and is capable of infusing your dish with its delicate perfume.
Because it manages every stage in the vanilla supply chain, Norohy is able to select the finest “black non-split” fine vanilla.

Vanilla from Madagascar and from Tahiti have different aromatic profiles that you can find above, so you can choose the right one for your recipe.

If you choose Vanilla from Madagascar, make sure it is a Bourbon vanilla. The “Bourbon vanilla” label was created in 1964 to identify vanilla produced from vanilla planifolia plants in the Indian Ocean as opposed to vanilla produced elsewhere, it indicates that the beans have been prepared in the traditional way.

Tahitian vanilla is much sought after by pastry chefs but very rare (less than 10% of the world’s vanilla). Vanilla x tahitensis has a thinner stem and leaves. Tahitian vanilla is bursting with an aromatic bouquet made up of over 200 molecules. Its oily, aroma-rich beans offer intense aniseed and floral notes with a hint of almond, tonka bean and balsamic vinegar.

Quality vanilla


1- Infusions

You can infuse vanilla beans in milk or cream, because fat particles hold onto flavors. For instance, cream is better at taking on a vanilla flavor than milk when we use the same weight of bean and infuse it for the same length of time. Sugar is also capable of taking on aromatic notes.
You can infuse it hot or cold. The vanilla aromas will come out in different ways, depending on the kind of infusion you choose:

Hot or cold infusion

You can use two different techniques for infusing vanilla, whether for hot or cold infusions.

In both cases, on a general manner we recommend using 8g of beans for 1L of liquid but, of course, you can adapt it to your taste and recipe.

The “CLASSIC” INFUSION consist in splitting and scrapping the beans to extract the seeds. The harder you scrape, the more pulp you will get in the preparation. Its tangy flavor can very interesting but that will change the look.

Steps: Scrape the vanilla beans and incorporate them in the milk or cream as soon as you start making your recipe. Heat at 175°F (80°C) for 20min. Sift the liquid to remove any pieces of the bean.

Scrapping the vanilla to infuse
Cutting the vanilla to infuse


The ALTERNATIVE INFUSION consists in cutting the beans into pieces, then blending them with milk or cream for stronger aromatic quality. The results have a very high seed content, as well as very intense woody aromas. Aromatically, it is a complex blend of vanilla seed and woody casing.

Steps: Cut up the beans but don’t scrape them and incorporate them into the milk or cream base. Heat at 175°F (80°C) for 20min. Blend the beans once they have infused. Strain.


Please don't throw them away!

- You can add your beans to syrup, oil or rum as a flavoring.
- You can dry them and turn them into a powder (leave them in the oven at 195°F or 90°C before grinding). You can also use the powder to make a vanilla-flavored sugar.


2- Paste

Vanilla paste has several advantages: it saves you time, it avoids waste & it provides intense woody flavor.

Here are some hints and tips for making your own vanilla paste:

  • 250g NOROHY Madagascan or Tahitian vanilla bean
  • 250g Invert sugar

Freeze the whole vanilla beans.
Combine the frozen vanilla beans and invert sugar in a blender.
Mix them together as thoroughly as possible.
If you need to, put the results back in the freezer, then repeat.

We recommend storing it at 40°F (4°C) or -1°F (-18°C), depending on how often you use it.

Vanilla Paste


Essential recipes





NOROHY Vanilla is committed to creating links throughout the value chain from grower to chef. NOROHY cultivates quality vanilla beans from terroirs that have been carefully selected because they produce some of the best vanilla plants in the world. The goal is to offer customers optimal traceability so that they are assured their ingredients are both delicious and ethical. NOROHY Vanilla is proud to be part of the Valrhona Collection family of brands. You can expect the same premium level of quality, service, and expertise as from the entire family of Valrhona Collection brands.


Norohy Vanilla