So let's pick a base Custard to work with. That will likely get us on the right track to tackling those focal points. Lots to choose from, but I usually stick to one of these 2 because I've had the most success with them. Inawera Custard or Capella Vanilla Custard. Inawera Custard is lighter. Lighter on the vanilla and egg, and not quite as thick. Almost like the custard in a creme brulee or a flan. Still very delicious but I wanted a very thick, eggy and buttery type of cream base. Capella's Vanilla Custard fits that bill. I usually use this around 4-6%. This time I let it settle in right at 5%. Lately I've been applying a simple formula to starting off my custards. I pick a base, then add a support vanilla, a support cream, and some kind of bakery texture like a cookie/biscuit/graham cracker.
Let's look at our vanilla options. My go-to vanilla’s are usually DIYFS Holy Vanilla or INW Vanilla Shisha. Holy Vanilla is a lot like vanilla extract, a dark and bold flavor that is reminiscent of true cracked vanilla beans. It can get pretty creamy at higher %s which is what I wanted, but sometimes I feel because it's so distinctive it can be rather distracting. Although I love this flavor, I decided on using something with a little more body and creaminess. Something that would blend into the custard, brighten it up, but also to make it thicker. Vanilla Shisha does just that. It has a very bright vanilla taste very reminiscent of what you might expect from vanilla soft serve ice cream. Simple and straightforward, this was going to fit the profile I was looking for.
So we've got a custard base, a support vanilla, and now it's time for a support cream. This is often where I have the most trouble. I love cream. It’s so hard for me to pick one because of the subtleties each one offers. Some of the usual contenders I go for are FLV Cream, TFA Bavarian Cream, FA Fresh Cream or TFA Sweet Cream. But because the recipe I was looking to create called for a maltiness I decided to look outside the box. FA Vienna Cream is super rich and silky smooth after a 2 week steep. It's a velvety, vanilla sweet cream not unlike freshly whipped cream, and I remembered using it in a few milkshake recipes to add intrigue and a perceived maltiness. I gave it a go and it ended up working beautifully.
Now we’ve got our Custard base movin’ and groovin’. Custard+Support Vanilla+Support Cream. Next up is that bakery texture. Usually I play with things like JF/INW Biscuit, FW/CAP Graham Cracker or even CAP Sugar Cookie. This helps the body and builds some contrast within our recipe. Those grainy cookie/bakery notes really help flesh out our vape and usually seamlessly blend in with our creams. Building blocks, my dudes. Because of what the profile called for, maltiness, I started taking a look at another bakery. TFA Cheesecake (Graham Crust) is something I've used in milkshakes for that grainy malty flavor and I figured it would also bring those same notes to a custard recipe. It also lends creaminess and is truly an awesome blending tool when it comes to cream recipes. 2% is all we need to help boost that creamy maltiness alongside our other flavors. It also brings that graham cookie texture to the body of the vape.
Custard+Support Vanilla+Support Cream+Bakery. Done and done.
Let's look at some accents to step this up to the next level. If I'm making a malty custard, I want it MALTY.The right accents can be game changers. Little touches of things can really define your mix, and round them out. TFA Malted Milk can be used around 1-1.5% but I'm just not a fan of it. It can become overpowering in my opinion and has a few off notes that I don't care for. There are better options. One of the most popular ways to achieve perceived maltiness is nuts. That's why I, and many others, use FW Hazelnut between 0.5-1%. I like it right around 0.75% and this adds a pleasant malty creaminess that really elevates our vape. It's rich and it's sweet and it helps our other creams drive home that malted flavor. Lastly, we use a final accent to boost maltiness, creaminess and sweetness. INW Marzipan is an almond paste that helps boost our vanilla and our cream. It's slightly nutty, adds a touch of crunch, it's milky and it's buttery. (as mentioned, this flavor can carry a cherry note to some palettes). All of these things are beneficial to our final product. These concentrates nestle in together to create, in my opinion, a well thought out mix. And that's it!