Fresh thinking vanillas for the bakery market from Cornelius

Fresh thinking vanillas for the bakery market from Cornelius

(Posted on 24/05/16)

In a market where food manufacturers are being increasingly drawn towards more exotic and unusual flavours, vanilla is often viewed as the Plain Jane of ingredients.

Even the adjective vanilla is defined as 'unexciting, conventional and boring'.

Rachel Fordham, dairy, desserts and beverages sales manager at Cornelius Group, argues that this thinking couldn’t be further from the truth and food manufacturers in the bakery sector are missing a trick by removing it from the mix or simply overlooking the impact it can have on recipes.

"The story of vanilla, its versatility, varieties and striking flavours, make it appealing and ideal for so many different applications,” said Rachel. “Whilst ice-cream is by far the largest market we supply to, vanilla can be used in so much more than just desserts and is a great partner to many other food flavourings.

"Vanilla has masking notes so can be added into spicier, more savoury bakery products to tone down stronger flavours, yet it can also be used to bring out the flavour of other ingredients. It enhances our ability to taste other flavours by intensifying them without being overpowering. For example, it can boost the inherent flavours found within certain spices, coffee and nuts – all ingredients used within the sweet and savoury bakery sector."

Rachel added: "Bakers and food manufacturers should remember that there is not just one type of vanilla available. Each variety has its own unique flavour so making sure you are using the right one for your application is key to getting the very best out of this distinctive ingredient."

Having also launched a new health and nutrition business in the Nordic region in March, we are able to offer a range of vanillas to the food industry through a number of suppliers including Nielsen Massey Vanillas, a leading producer of vanilla extracts.

Beyond the creamy, more traditional Madagascan vanilla, Mexican vanilla has a combination of sweet and woody notes with a deep spicy character. It pairs well with chocolate, citrus fruits, cinnamon, cloves and other warm spices and can be used in baked goods and frozen desserts. The vanilla’s spiciness also enables it to complement the spice of tomato and barbecue sauces and salsas by smoothing out their heat and acidity.

Tahitian vanilla offers a more bespoke flavour making it a favourite with pastry chefs around the world. It features a fruity, floral, cherry flavour, which adds a delicate hint of vanilla to pastry creams, fruit pies and sauces, puddings and custards.

Anything that is slow-baked benefits from Indonesian vanilla which has a sharp, earthy taste, whilst vanillas from Uganda and India offer a slightly different profile and contain a complex array of flavours which can add a new twist to classic bakery applications such as cookies, cakes and chocolate recipes.

Rachel added: "Bakers and food manufacturers are increasingly looking to push the boundaries to meet consumer demand for exciting new taste innovations. As trends in the sector move towards big, bold, exotic and more unusual flavour combinations, such as sweet with savoury, more tropical-inspired fruits and spice extracts, vanilla should not be seen as unfashionable or old fashioned. Its ability to intensify and complement so many of these new in-demand flavours, whilst different varieties bring a new dimension to traditional baked goods, should be embraced by the sector."    

For more information, please contact Rachel Fordham on 07801 638 030 or