December 9 – vanilla

Profiterole mound for Christmas
Get the recipe for choux pastry

Today I’m thinking about one of the deep mysteries of being a cook – what the heck does vanilla add to the mix?  Particularly at Christmas, vanilla seems to be in everything but the bath (and there too sometimes!) – but it remains a cooking mystery to me.  The amount in any given recipe is usually nominal, and in the volume of some recipes it seems against the odds that it could possibly add anything – but, based on experimenting when there was a shopping malfunction and we ran out of vanilla, the taste always seems wrong without it.  No doubt someone out there in googleville can enlighten me, but in any case, experience says don’t leave it out!

So those thoughts led me back to vanilla everything – choux pastry flavoured with vanilla, filled with vanilla flavoured whipped cream and dusted with a vanillan sugar chaser.  Here’s one I prepared earlier, and you can too – choux pastry is really a good place to start with pastry, and – lacking patience – pretty much where I end with pastry through most of the year!  This stack looked lovely, while it lasted, on a rather nice seasonal serving plate that was a present from my sister Roslyn.


  1. Robyn Murphy says:

    I’m loving your bloggs Mz Carolyn. A girl after my own pastry heart. Funny, can being a foodie have genetic possibilities? We seem to have quite a few in the family.

    I too have a flair for culinary arts, nothing in particular just exquisite tantalising tasty temptations. Not so much these days, the old black dog keeps me out of the kitchen. Not to worry, there are plenty more kin following in the wake of family foodtastic cooks.

    We have others that have come up through the ranks from beginnings of simple pancakes to everything foodie. All three of my children have artistic flare in foodie fashion. Shayne, Aaron and Em are the house cooks in their little families.

    My sisters have the same passion, what about your siblings Carolyn, I have no doubt that they too are as equally talented. Your mum, Aunty Minni as I recall always produced cakes that left an indelible imprint in my memory.

    Then there is Grandmas scones, Yuummmmmmm!! I recall the taste, reproduced, and added personal secret ingredients now my own pumpkin scone recipe. These exotic secret ingredients have been judged by Sydney show judge and, have won first place ribbon at Kyogle Pumpkin Festival.

    Even now to the next generation, my grandson Beau, with his monster blueberry pancakes. Worth eating straight out of the mixing bowl, whole hand in, forget about the cooking!

    My oldest son Shayne and my daughter in law Natalie are soon to opening bespoke bar “To All My Friends”.This has been an exciting venture in the making as they have included a wood fire pizza oven into the plans. This along with Natalie’s cafe “Little Oink”, have given the local patrons in Cook shops with a welcoming relief to explore for the foodieology.

    I am sure that your not so new oven has been getting a pretty hectic workout in prep for the festive season (oven envy here Carolyn, we are renting and I have the cheapest, smallest “Chef” oven that could possibly be got!).

    Well mate I am totally loving reading your bloggs. I look forward to the next instalment. Love your quirky Titles-wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas season. Xx Robbie

  2. mumchefoz says:

    Thanks for the very kind words Robbie, and yes, I have to agree – the gene pool definitely comes with a love of wielding the wooden spoon. Rosie’s daughter Lillie is one of my pinups on this, as is our elder son Alan. In fact, Alan talked cooking all around Tassie when we took Mum and Dad around for a month in a motorhome when both boys were still in school – they had a fab time rating the cafes and eating the things that they would never bother to try at home!!
    PS looking forward to some updates on the foodie venues!!!

Comments are closed.