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Spice up your recipes with



eilala Vanilla (pronounced ‘hey-la-la’) began as an aid project in one of the world’s most beautiful and remote places – Vava’u Islands in the Kingdom of Tonga.

The Vava’u Islands were hit by a cyclone in 2002 and a New Zealand family lent a hand building homes, falling in love with the Tongan people and the environment. In 2005, Heilala Vanilla (named after the national flower of Tonga) was born – a true partnership of two South Pacific families. Heilala Vanilla practices true sustainability with the local village enabling resources for education and infrastructure, which the community otherwise may not have had. It is recognised by the local Agriculture Ministry as a true example of a Pacific partnership in practice. A blend of Pacific families passionate about celebrating and honoring the many wonders of pure vanilla. Grown in organic virgin soil on coconut frames, Heilala Vanilla is hand pollinated and then dried under the Pacific sun before heading to Tauranga, New Zealand, where it is used to make a growing range of 100% Pure Vanilla Products. This tender love and care has resulted in the Asia Pacific region’s richest grade of vanilla known for its distinctive aroma, shine and plumpness, all coveted by chefs and foodies alike around the world.

Vanilla & Citrus Cured Salmon


Vanilla, Lime & Ginger Fizz Cocktail


Prawn, Rocket & Mango Salad with Vanilla Citrus Vinaigrette


Slow-cooked Beef with Vanilla and Capsicum


Vanilla Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis


Vanilla Bean Teacake with Vanilla Sugar Topping


Crême Brûlée


Plum & Vanilla Upside-down Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone


Vanilla Cheesecake with Vanilla-poached Berries


Tips, Measurements & Conversions


Enjoy this selection of recipes featuring Heilala Vanilla, transforming both sweet and savoury dishes.



Tip Serve with crostini, cream cheese and dill.

Vanilla & Citrus Cured Salmon The vanilla and citrus flavours infuse the cured salmon to produce a delicious and tasty alternative to cold smoked salmon. 500g salmon fillet 3 tablespoons vodka or sake ½ cup sugar ¼ cup sea salt seeds scraped from 1 Heilala Vanilla Bean ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


• Trim the salmon and remove the pin bones. Place the salmon on several large sheets of cling wrap. • Combine the vodka or sake, sugar, salt, vanilla bean seeds and lemon zest and rub the mixture into the salmon flesh. • Cover the salmon with the cling wrap and place it in a shallow ceramic or glass dish. Place another flat ceramic or glass dish on top of the salmon and weight the top dish with several heavy cans. • Refrigerate it for 2 days. Once the salmon is cured it will be firm and an intense dark pink. Wash off the cure mixture and pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Slice into paper-thin slices against the salmon’s natural grain to serve. Serves 8 as an appetiser.

Vanilla, Lime & Ginger Fizz Cocktail This is a refreshing summer drink. Use Heilala Vanilla Syrup as an alternative to sugar syrup for cocktails. Or try it drizzled over vanilla ice cream or on pancakes instead of maple syrup. Sugar frosting lime wedge Heilala Vanilla Sugar

Cocktail 4-6 cracked ice cubes, plus extra to serve 3 tablespoons vodka 2 tablespoons lime juice 1 tablespoon Heilala Vanilla Syrup ginger beer to top up lime wedge to garnish

• To sugar frost the glass, rub the rim with a lime wedge and dip it into the vanilla sugar. • Place the cracked ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour over the vodka, lime juice and vanilla syrup. Shake vigorously until a frost forms on the outside of the glass. • Half-fill a long glass with the extra cracked ice cubes and strain the mixture over them. Top with the ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge. Serves 1.


Prawn, Rocket & Mango Salad with Vanilla Citrus Vinaigrette The vanilla in this citrusy vinaigrette adds a subtle complexity that complements the prawns beautifully. Vinaigrette ¼ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 teaspoon brown sugar seeds scraped from 1 Heilala Vanilla Bean or 1 teaspoon Heilala Vanilla Paste

Salad 1 large mango 1 avocado juice of 1 lemon 120g packet baby rocket 350g peeled large prawns, cooked fresh mint leaves • To prepare the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Set aside the vinaigrette while preparing the salad. • Peel the mango and carefully slice off each fleshy side close to the stone. Cut the mango flesh into thin slices. • Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone. Peel and cut the flesh into thin wedges. Drizzle with the lemon juice. • Place the rocket on a salad platter. Top with the sliced mango, avocado and the sliced prawns. Drizzle over the dressing and garnish with the mint leaves. Serves 4.



Slow-cooked Beef with Vanilla & capsicum The addition of a vanilla bean to this dish gives it an extra flavour dimension. 750g beef stewing steak 2 tablespoons each: flour, olive oil 1 red onion, peeled and sliced 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 celery stalks, sliced ½ cup red wine 1 cup beef stock 1 Heilala Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped ½ teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground black pepper 1 each: red, yellow capsicum, sliced • Preheat the oven to 160°C. • Cut the beef into large chunks. Place the flour on a plate, add the beef and toss to coat the chunks evenly in the flour. • Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef for 3-4 minutes in batches. Place the beef in a casserole dish. Add the onion and garlic to the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes, or until they are golden brown. • Add the cooked onion and garlic to the casserole dish along with the celery, red wine, beef stock and vanilla bean and seeds. Season with the salt and pepper. • Press a piece of baking paper onto the surface of the meat and liquid then cover the casserole dish with a lid. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 1 hour. • Add the capsicum and cook the casserole for 1 hour further, or until the beef is very tender. Serve with soft polenta or mashed potatoes and green vegetables. Serves 4.



Vanilla Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis The soft tanginess of the yoghurt and the subtle vanilla flavour enhance this Italian classic. Panna Cotta 2½ teaspoons gelatin ¼ cup lukewarm water ¾ cup cream ¾ cup milk ¼ cup caster sugar 1 Heilala Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped or 1 teaspoon Heilala Vanilla Paste ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 1 cup Greek-style yoghurt

Coulis 250g frozen raspberries, thawed 2 tablespoons icing sugar • Brush the base of six ½-cup-capacity pudding moulds with a little sunflower oil. • To make the panna cotta, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and set aside. • Put the cream, milk, caster sugar, vanilla bean and seeds or vanilla paste and lemon zest into a pan. Heat over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is almost at a simmer. Do not let it boil. • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture. Cool to room temperature. Remove the vanilla bean, then stir in the yoghurt. • Carefully pour the mixture into the moulds. Cover them with cling wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight. • To make the coulis, place the raspberries in a food processor and whizz until they are smooth. Sieve the mixture to remove the pips, then stir in the icing sugar. • Unmould the panna cottas by dipping each pudding mould briefly into warm water. Invert each onto a serving plate and drizzle with the raspberry coulis to serve. Serves 6.



Crème Brûlée This rich vanilla custard is topped with a layer of crisp toffee.

Vanilla Bean Teacake with Vanilla Sugar Topping With its delicate texture and tasty vanilla sugar topping, this teacake is perfect for afternoon tea. It’s also quick and easy to make. 65g butter ½ cup caster sugar seeds scraped from 1 Heilala Vanilla Bean or 1 teaspoon Heilala Vanilla Paste 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup self-raising flour ½ cup milk

Topping 1 tablespoon each: butter, melted; Heilala Vanilla Sugar


• Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the base of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper. • Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla bean seeds or vanilla paste into a bowl and, using an electric beater, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. • Fold in half of the flour, then half of the milk. Fold in the remaining flour and milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. • Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the teacake to stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack. • Brush the top of the cake with the melted butter, then sprinkle it with the vanilla sugar. Serve warm with whipped cream flavoured with a dash of vanilla bean paste. Serves 6.

600ml cream ½ cup milk 2 Heilala Vanilla Beans, split and seeds scraped or 2 teaspoons Heilala Vanilla Paste 6 egg yolks ½ cup white sugar ¼ cup Heilala Vanilla Sugar • Preheat the oven to 150°C. Put the cream and milk into a pan with the vanilla bean and seeds or vanilla paste. Place the pan over a medium heat and bring just to boiling point, then remove it from the heat. Set it aside to infuse for 5 minutes. • Place the egg yolks and white sugar in a large bowl and whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is pale. • Remove the vanilla bean, if you are using, from the cream mixture and discard it, then pour the hot cream mixture slowly over the egg yolk and sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. • Strain the custard mixture into a large jug then carefully pour it into six ½-cupcapacity ramekins. Place the ramekins in a deep roasting dish. Pour boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Loosely cover the dish with foil, allowing some air to enter the sides. • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until just set. The custards should still have a slight wobble when done. Carefully remove the ramekins from the roasting dish and leave to cool. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. • Preheat the grill to its hottest temperature. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of raw sugar on top of each custard and use the back of a teaspoon to spread it evenly. Place each custard under the grill until the sugar is melted and dark golden. Alternatively, use a blowtorch to caramelise the sugar. Leave the sugar to cool and harden for a few minutes before serving. Serves 6.


Plum & Vanilla Upside-down Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Instead of plums, use any fresh fruit in season for this upside-down cake, eg, peaches, pears, pineapple or apricots. 20g butter ¼ cup brown sugar 6-8 black or red plums, depending on size 125g butter, extra 1 cup caster sugar 1½ teaspoons Heilala Vanilla Extract 3 eggs 1½ cups self-raising flour ¼ cup milk

Vanilla Mascarpone 250g mascarpone 1 teaspoon Heilala Vanilla Paste 2 teaspoons icing sugar • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper. • Melt the first measure of butter and the brown sugar in a small pan. Pour it into the base of the cake tin and spread evenly. • Cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Arrange the plum halves, cut side down, on the butter and brown sugar mixture. • Put the extra butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and, using an electric beater, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. • Fold the flour into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Spoon the cake mixture evenly over the plums. • Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. • Leave the cake in the tin for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the mascarpone, vanilla paste and icing sugar. Turn the cake out onto a platter and serve with the vanilla mascarpone. Serves 8.



Vanilla Cheesecake with Vanilla-poached Berries This vanilla cheesecake with vanilla poached berries is a special occasion dessert, ideal for summer. Base


175g digestive biscuits ½ cup toasted almonds 100g butter, melted

½ cup caster sugar ¼ cup water 1 Heilala Vanilla Bean, split and seeds scraped 1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved 150g fresh or frozen raspberries 150g fresh or frozen blackberries

Filling ½ cup water 4 teaspoons gelatin 500g light cream cheese ½ cup caster sugar seeds scraped from 2 Heilala Vanilla Beans or 2 teaspoons Heilala Vanilla Paste ¼ cup lemon juice 1 cup cream

• Line the base of a 22cm springform cake tin with baking paper and lightly grease the sides. • To make the cheesecake, place the biscuits and almonds in a food processor and process until crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl, add the melted butter and mix well. Press the mixture into the base of the tin. Chill while preparing the filling. • To prepare the filling, place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatin. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Allow to cool slightly. • Beat together the cream cheese, caster sugar and vanilla bean seeds or vanilla paste until smooth, then beat in the lemon juice and cream. Stir in the gelatin mixture. • Spoon the mixture over the crumb base. Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours, or until it is set. • Meanwhile, to prepare the poached berries, combine the caster sugar, water and vanilla bean and seeds in a pan. Cook over a low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the syrup thickens slightly. • Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in the berries. Transfer the berries and syrup to a bowl, cover and refrigerate. • To serve, slice the cheesecake into wedges and serve with the poached berries. Serves 8.



Tips, Measurements and conversions


anilla has been referred to as the “underwear of baking”, a wonderful flavouring and an invisible essential. It supports, balances, mellows and gives depth to dishes. It can also be a star on its own – lending a distinctive taste to ice cream, custard, panna cotta or crème brûlée. Used in varying amounts and concentrations, vanilla can enhance the flavours of chocolate, coffee, nuts and fruit. When used with citrus, for example, it tends to cover the acid bite. Heilala Vanilla is 100 per cent pure vanilla and tastes nothing like imitation vanilla products. The recipes in this booklet are based on using Heilala Vanilla, which is vanilla in its most pure and natural form, direct from our plantation via Tauranga to your pantry. We don’t guarantee you will get the same results if you use synthetic and chemical vanilla flavourings rather than pure Heilala Vanilla.

Measurements One Heilala Vanilla bean gives the same flavour as one teaspoon of Heilala Vanilla Extract or Paste, so you can use any of our three baking products in a recipe that asks for a Vanilla Bean, Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Paste. Heilala Vanilla is very interchangeable as it’s 100 per cent pure vanilla!


he Pacific Islands have an abundance of superb products, but many never leave their home shores.

The True Pacific mark is helping bring the best of the Pacific to New Zealand and, in time, to other markets around the world. You can be assured that goods carrying the True Pacific mark are authentically produced and meet the highest quality standards. By purchasing products carrying the True Pacific mark, you are also supporting the communities where they are produced and helping to strengthen the export industry in the region. Heilala Vanilla is proud to support and be part of True Pacific. It assures our customers that Heilala Vanilla is sourced from the South Pacific and that it is helping create a sustainable business for the community of Vava’u in Tonga.

Storage Store your Heilala Vanilla products in a cool and dark environment, such as the pantry. This will ensure they remain fresh and provide plenty of pure vanilla flavour. For more recipes, tips, answers to frequently asked questions and plantation news, see You can also “like us” on Facebook – www.facebook/com/Heilalavanilla – and “follow us” on Twitter



Our Product Range The Vava’u Islands in the Kingdom of Tonga lie in the most beautiful and unspoilt part of the South Pacific. Here, in partnership with the local community, we have developed our organic vanilla plantation. The fresh and plump vanilla beans grown here are sent to Tauranga in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty where they are transformed into a range of 100% pure vanilla products.

Vanilla Beans Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Paste

Organic Vanilla Sugar Vanilla Syrup

There are more 100% Pure Vanilla products to come, so keep up to date to receive tips, recipes for every occasion and plantation news.

Recipes with Heilala Vanilla  
Recipes with Heilala Vanilla  

Spice up your recipes with Heilala Vanilla