Whilst looking up recipes for a vanilla cupcake recipe for an upcoming baby shower, I came across this recipe for Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes. After reading Dorothy's description of the sinful sounding vanilla she had going on there (who knew VANILLA could be sinful?!?!), I was convinced I needed to get me some vanilla bean paste. I researched a bit. Apparently it's not that easy to come by. Since I have been so busy with work lately and a deadline coming up, I opted to order some online from amazon. I grabbed some of this Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste and got 2-day shipping (never so happy I forgot to cancel our Prime membership, I love the free shipping!).
First of all, it smells divine, looks like syrup and comes in an old-timey looking bottle, I was pleased. I tried it out on the Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes recipe I mentioned above. They turned out pretty decent. They didn't quite dome the way I like them to but they were definitely delicious.
Instead of the frosting and vanilla filling, since this was a test batch, I opted for some of the homemade caramel I had in the fridge with a little ground sea salt on top. Wowza. Simple and not overly sweet or complex. Just simple vanilla and caramel with a touch of salt to keep that sugar in line. Next time I make caramel I will definitely post my pictures but this is the video I used to figure out how to make caramel without a candy thermometer! I didn't use the recipe in the video but her how-to is clear and easy to follow.