Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vanilla Extract (homemade)

Homemade vanilla extract is known for its full, rich flavor; much better than the vanilla that you purchase at a grocery store.

List of ingredients:

3 vanilla beans
4-5 oz of 35% + alcohol.  
1 glass bottle or jar (I used a small canning jar to put it in.)

The rule of thumb is 5 beans to 1 cup of alcohol - I didn't have 5 beans so I adapted the recipe to what I had on hand. I purchased the beans before I looked up a recipe.

I used Bacardi rum because it was what I had on hand. (The bottle cost $11.99) and the vanilla beans were purchased from a local health food store. I paid $3.99 for 3 whole Madagascar vanilla beans, non-irradiated.
  • The original recipe said to split the vanilla beans lengthwise and add to alcohol; making sure that the beans are always submerged in the alcohol. I split mine lengthwise but then I cut in in half again so that all the beans remained below the alcohol level. I didn't want them sticking out.
  • It will be ready to use in 8 weeks. It recommends that you remove the vanilla beans  after the 8 week wait  because if the vanilla beans are left in the jar, the flavor will continue to evolve.
  • Since I made mine today; I will be able to use it on 2/7/13.
I did a bit of research on making this and learned that any type of alcohol can be used, but vodka is most common because it doesn't add any additional flavors. Bourbon, rum, and brandy can also be used.

The reason homemade vanilla extract is so much better than store-bought is because you have control over the quality and type of vanilla bean used. When using a premium grade of vanilla beans it provides a better flavor and aroma than store-bought.

If you want a "Bold & Smokey" flavored vanilla extract try a Mexican vanilla bean.

If you want a "Rich & Creamy" flavor, use the Madagascar vanilla bean. (that's what I used)

If you'd like a floral aroma and a cherry-chocolate flavor try a Tahitian vanilla bean.

Wanna be real bold and adventurous! Blend various varieties together!

This would be a great gift idea! You may want to consider decorative glass bottles or jars! icon

I think a pretty canning jar with a cloth square is just as pretty!

I didn't have good lighting for this photo.

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea! I bought some Madagascar vanilla beans from Amazon for Christmas cooking. The price for 16 was excellent, and now I know how to use the extras. Thanks for submitting it to my How To Tuesday link party!