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Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques Hardcover – October 2, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“…snappily written homage to the underrated flavor…”—7x7 Magazine

“If only you could lick the pages of this slim, one-subject volume.”—Tampa Bay Times 

About the Author

Shauna Sever is the author of Marshmallow Madness! (Quirk, 2011). She writes the popular dessert blog Piece of Cake and is a host and reporter for food-related television. Her work has been published in O Magazine, Daily Candy, Huffington Post Food, Working Mother, Food52, and more. She also runs Bake Sale Bakery, a dessert catering business in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159474596X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594745966
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I will never underestimate the magic of vanilla again. We use the term 'vanilla' derogatorily, to mean plain, boring, ordinary. How completely misguided! Having spent the last week scraping the caviar out of the beans, infusing syrups, steeping pods, and immersing vanilla in salts and sugars, I see vanilla for the complex, exotic, and intriguing ingredient that it is. And, as Shauna writes, "It's high time to catapult this delicious ingredient into the superstar stratosphere where she so deserves to be!"

Before launching into her original recipes, Shauna encapsulates an almost 400-year history of the vanilla bean into nine points, taking the reader from the Aztecs conquering the Totonac Indians of Mexico in 1519 to Thomas Jefferson, then the U.S. ambassador to France, carrying a bundle of beans home to Monticello in 1789. In 1841 the 12-year-old son of a slave devised a way of hand-pollinating vanilla orchids; his process is still employed today.

She details the various forms of vanilla - yes, you can get it in more than just beans and extracts - provides tasting notes, and fields FAQs: Why is vanilla so expensive? How do I store vanilla? And what is French vanilla?

Her writing is accessible, her directions clear, and her recipes inspiring. I find this book to be pure inspiration. I'm looking forward to trying her Tangy Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta and will certainly be toasting with a Vanilla Martini at some time in the near future.

If you want to learn more about vanilla and get inspired in the kitchen, check out Shauna Sever's Pure Vanilla. It's truly delicious!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book that celebrates chocolate's alter-ego. As I have grown older I have come to appreciate the taste of vanilla. Good vanilla. In fact, I keep vanilla beans in my freezer so I always have them on hand. I make my own vanilla extract because it's cheaper and far, far better than the stuff you buy in the store. The only thing this book used that I didn't have on hand was vanilla paste and you can bet your last bean that I'm going to buy some the next time I place my big flour order. I am very intrigued...

For bakers that don't have a ready supply of beans on hand there is a conversion chart so you can still indulge in the delicious recipes using pure vanilla extract which is readily available in stores. Please, PLEASE use PURE extract. The artificial stuff will just ruin a good recipe and when your treat is all about the vanilla you want the flavor to be true. It is worth the money to buy as good as you can afford so that your baked goods sing with real vanilla flavor.

The book is broken down into sensible chapters with recipes therein using all of the vanilla products. Ms. Sever first explains vanilla, its origins and the reasonings behind using each vanilla enhancement. The recipes are well thought out and easy to follow. I can see myself turning to this book over and over again for baked goods to complement chocolate offerings on dessert buffets. It's a great book to add to a baker's cookbook library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Twinkie Bundt Cake is the only reason you need to buy this book until you try Vanilla Cloud Cake and Triple Vanilla Pound Cake, Big soft frosted vanilla Sugar Cookies, salted vanilla chip cookies.Okay so you get the picture; I am working my way through the baking chapters and I haven't found a thing to complain about. The recipes are easy to reproduce and the results are flawless. This is a well writen and informative source on everything you ever wanted to know about vanilla.
Thank you Matt from Baked Bakery for the recommendation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book, the recipes are so good, love the beautiful pictures
and if you want some nice cupcake recipes, this is the book for you.
I have a nice collection of cookbooks and this is top notch.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am now an expert on Vanilla> In one night I have made Vanilla Syrup, and also Vanilla Sugar. Now I like Vanilla Mousse better than the Chocolate!!!! Which is a surprise for sure!!!
This book will give you a comprehensive education of this spice!!! History, cultivation, process it goes through from pollination to curing and storing of the beans. And so many delicious receipies I will be busy for quite some time!!!!
I found this book and author because of her other book on marshmallow's!!! It is also just as good!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I’ve always felt a bit bad for vanilla. Just because it plays well with other flavors doesn’t mean it doesn’t have complexity in and of itself. Pure Vanilla shines the spotlight on it with recipes from the simple Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding to the more challenging Glazed Vanilla Bean Doughnuts. I was most tempted by her Vanilla Cloud Cake, and it turned out as light and dreamy as its name implies. The book also explains everything you need to know about vanilla, including information on different varieties, the history of the spice, and even how-tos on making vanilla extract and other things you never knew could be homemade. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with vanilla, I think that Pure Vanilla is the best cookbook for the job.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pure Vanilla is truly a cookbook most will want in their collection. I have this fine book on my shelf. It has many offerings to tempt the cook into trying so many different recipes just for the joy of cooking. It even tells the difference between the many kinds of vanilla available on the market from the standard ones on the shelf your mother used, to use to the more pricey offerings.
The pictures are wonderful. I don't know many who wouldn't want this book for themselves or as a gift to their favorite cooking companion. Nothing beats the great food that is made from scratch in my opinion. I'm sure it won't disappoint in any way. It's worth the money...truly.
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