Chefs’ Pro-Tips to Make Your Homemade Meals Stand Out

We know that putting delicious, high-quality meals on the table takes time and effort, and we applaud your attempts to go the extra mile. To support your culinary endeavors, we have rounded up some vanilla and flavor pro-tips from seasoned chefs that you can use when you cook and bake at home. Give yourself a pat on the back – by using Nielsen-Massey products, a favorite of the pros, you’re already halfway to kitchen success!


Tip #1 – Add Vanilla at the End of the Baking or Cooking Process

Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extracts infuse your dishes with a creamy, mellow flavor that award-winning pastry chef Josh Johnson values. We use a proprietary, cold-press extraction process that does not expose the beans to high heat, allowing the more than 300 unique flavor compounds found naturally in the bean to shine through.

In order to let those same flavors stand out when you are in the kitchen at home, Chef Johnson suggests adding the vanilla at the end of the cooking or baking process. This exposes the vanilla to less heat and helps it retain its full-bodied flavor.

Pouring Vanilla into Measuring Spoon


Tip #2 – Add Flavor Extracts to Butter, Margarine, Heavy Cream or Oil

Whereas you should add vanilla as late as possible to avoid heat, the opposite is true with flavor extractsChef Scott Green advises you to add flavors to the fat (ingredients like butter, margarine, heavy cream and oil) early in the recipe. According to Chef Green, “fat creates strong bonds to flavor, but it can take a while to happen.” He likes to add his flavor extracts into recipes as soon as possible to let them infuse into the fat to get a richer, bolder flavor. Try it out with these Lemon-Almond Cream Scones. 

 Lemon-Almond Cream Scones


Tip #3 – Use High Quality Ingredients

Cooking or baking from scratch is a labor of love. When you put that kind of effort into crafting something delicious, it is worth using high-quality ingredients. Chef Eric Lanlard says “It’s no secret, both for cooking and baking, always use the best ingredients. What’s the point of investing time to create something and use average ingredients?” The sweet payoff comes in the form of a dish that your family appreciates, your friends love and you are proud of. 


Tip #5 – Try Different Types of Vanilla Products 

Vanilla extract is an ingredient most people are familiar with but some of our other vanilla products are a bit more mysterious. To help you get started branching out with your vanilla flavors, Chef Maura Metheny has some tips.

Try adding Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder to hot chocolate and substitute Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste in place of vanilla extract for dishes like Crème Brulee or Vanilla Ice Cream. Both can be used as a one-to-one equivalent – if you normally use one tablespoon of vanilla extract, just swap in one tablespoon vanilla powder or bean paste. 

Check out this flavorful Crème Brulee recipe:

Our vanilla bean paste makes this  Vanilla Ice Cream recipe one to remember.

We hope these tips inspire you to tap into your inner chef and whip up something delicious! If you try any of these tips in your own kitchen, share with us on social media using #NielsenMasseyInspires. We love hearing your tips and tricks for getting the most out of Nielsen-Massey products.  

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