My latest vanilla indulgence has been infusing sea salt with vanilla bean seeds. It adds a nice note to both sweet and savoury dishes. I’ve tried it on my version of Bob Blumer’s Bee Stings, a delightful and easy appetizer that combines cheese, honey and truffle oil. The vanilla sea salt elevates this recipe to a new level. I’ve also sprinkled it on popcorn, roasted potatoes, porridge, and on top of chocolate brownies that have been drizzled with caramel. Bvox adds it to her chocolate chip cookies and swears it makes them the Best Chocolate Chip cookie in the Whole World. I made a large batch of this vanilla goodness recently and have been sharing it with family and friends. – Steph McVox
Adapted from Bob Blumer
- ¼ cup good honey
- ½ tablespoon truffle oil
- Vanilla Sea Salt
- 6-ounce aged white cheddar or manchego (Bob uses parmesan)
In a small bowl, combine the honey and truffle oil . Just before serving, use a paring knife to chisel cheese into irregularly shaped nuggets about ½ inch big. Drizzle the truffled honey over the cheese nuggets and sprinkle with vanilla sea salt.
Vanilla Sea Salt
- 2 cups flaky sea salt (I prefer Maldon’s)
- 4 vanilla beans
Cut vanilla beans in half and split them lengthwise to scrape out the seeds. I find it easiest to do this with the back of a skinny spoon to get right in the bean and get every precious seed out. Combine sea salt, vanilla seeds and scraped out pods in a large bowl. You might have to use your fingers to rub the clumps of vanilla seeds right into the sea salt until it is thoroughly combined.
Transfer salt and empty pods to a large glass jar; cover and store in a cool, dry place. Give it a good, hard shake about once a day as the salt tends to clump. After a couple of weeks, the moisture should be gone and it will no longer clump as much (some batches have more moisture than others and need more shaking).