Monday, August 8, 2011

How to make your own vanilla extract

Vanilla Extract

Christmas Gifts in August, why am I thinking about Christmas you may be wondering! Well, I have seen numerous recipes online for making your own vanilla extract and I have so been wanting to try this since last Christmas, but it was a little late, so this year I am planning ahead to be ahead of the game!!! and so can you........................

All you will need are two ingredients: Vodka and Vanilla Beans


20-25 vanilla beans (approximately 1/4-pound of beans)

I bought my beans from a seller on ebay Vanilla Products USA. Save yourself some time, I scoured the Internet for a few hours looking for the best prices of beans and this is where I found mine, they seem reasonably priced and have lots to choose from.
I made a small mistake by buying Prime Madagascar Bourbon Beans, as I wanted the best, but I could have got away with buying extract grade which would have been much cheaper, and some recipes mention extract grade beans are the best to use when making your own vanilla extract,live and learn. I could not believe the aroma when I opened the vanilla beans, WOW they smell absolutely divine.

1.75 liters 80-proof vodka
I used Three Olives Vodka, because a. It is made in England and being English I wanted to add a little bit of English to this! LOL and b, because this vodka is also put through a process of quadruple filtration and distillation, which I have read makes for a more superior and smoother vodka. The downside of this is that it was a little more expensive but I guessed that as I was going to be making this for Christmas gifts, I didn't want to scrimp over a few dollars and have extract that was not good. However, saying all that I am going to try this at some point with a cheap bottle of vodka and see if it makes any difference.

Product of England

1. Pour about a cup of vanilla out of the bottle, your going to need some room for all those beans.

2.Cut the vanilla beans open length-wise, I found this easier to do with a pair of scissors and did not cut right to the end, leave about an inch, so the vanilla bean stays as a whole (if you know what I mean) then scrape out the seeds (caviar), using a blunt knife.

3. Put vanilla seeds and pods into the vodka.

4.Seal tightly, label the bottle with the date (so you have an idea when it will be ready) and shake, like a crazy thing.

5. Place the bottle in a dark place if possible, or away from sunlight and shake that little baby once a day for the first week,and I guess when you remember after that, I have put my bottle in my pantry so at least I will see it and actually remember to give it a good shake.

It is only one day since I did this and already you can see a change in the colour of the vodka.It smells absolutely delicious, just think what it will be like in a few months time!

Now this is as far as I have got with the whole process, but just so you know the rest of the process this is the next stage and what I plan to do.

From what I have read the vanilla extract takes approximately 6 weeks. But if you want to wait even longer then I think that would be even better, the vanilla flavor will be much stronger, so the longer you wait the better it will be. Which is why I am posting this now, in plenty of time for you all to make fantastic Christmas gifts for all your friends.

At this very moment whilst I type this I am sitting here drinking a bottle of this

and there is a method behind my madness. These bottles are the perfect size for the vanilla extract, and its a win win for me because I get to drink it LOL. I plan on drinking just enough of these between now and when my vanilla extract is ready and with the help of a few girlfriends I am sure I will be able to achieve this.

I will then design a label for the bottle, decant my extract into the bottles, add a vanilla bean and finish off by decorating the bottle with some ribbon.

Apparently this vanilla extract can be good for near on 6 years, you just keep topping up the vodka and adding a bean every now and then!!!

Along with the vanilla extract I have made some vanilla sugar, this is so easy just fill a jar with some sugar and add a few vanilla beans, and soon you will have vanilla sugar.

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1 comment:

  1. I've heard you can also add some pure extract to help speed up the process... I have beans and a plan.. but no vodka..Awesome thanks for the reminder! LOVE the idea as gifts.


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