Vanilla cakes, slices and desserts for morning tea

The classic dessert spice is timeless, but never boring.

There's nothing 'vanilla' about this recipe collection. These beautiful cakes, slices and cookies are all packed full of flavour and are wonderfully sweet. We've also got homemade desserts like panna cotta, creme brulee and citrus-spiced tarts, all with the addition of beautifully fragrant vanilla. You'll find a homemade ice-cream recipe, plus some lovely French-style macaroons for morning tea. Take a flick through and see what catches your attention...

How to use vanilla beans

There are a couple of things you can do, though, to get the most bang for your buck, as our Test Kitchen experts show.
When you're buying vanilla beans, opt for plump ones as they tend to have more flavour.
Start by flattening the bean with your fingers then, with a short, sharp knife, cut horizontally along the bean.
Use the tip of the knife, blunt side down, to remove the seeds, running it from the tip to the end.
If you're infusing a liquid (like in milk, for an apple crunch pie with vanilla custard) add the seeds and the bean to the pan.
After cooking, though, don't throw the bean away; you can add it to a jar of sugar, where it will continue to infuse for a deliciously fragrant vanilla sugar that you can use in vanilla strawberry swirl macarons.

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