vanilla extract

i love making food from scratch, specifically foods that are not so commonly made at home, such as coffee ice cream or limoncello for example. vanilla extract is one of those specialty foods, so when i came across a recipe on travelers lunch box for it, i had to do it.

buy good (not necessarily expensive) vanilla beans. i went on ebay and ordered from vanilla products USA 2 kinds of vanilla beans; madagascar bourbon planifolia and grand A gourmet tahitian vanilla beans. the organic vanilla bean company is also a good source. 1/4 pound bag contain plenty of vanilla’s to go around so i would not order more than that per bag.

buy a 4 oz. bottle of vanilla extract. buy something good. i got a nielsen-massey bottle. anything goes just make sure it is made from real vanilla extract. if you can not get your hands on a good quality vanilla extract, its ok, it will just take for your vanilla extract longer to be ready.

buy 2 bottles of booze. anything with around 40% alcohol is good; such as vodka, light rum and bourbon. buy the cheapest you can find. it is not about the taste of the alcohol it is about the alcohol itself. the vanilla’s flavor will eventually dominate.

get a 1 quart/liter glass container with a lid. you can use anything from a jar to an old liqueur bottle. just make sure its very clean and the lid is closed tightly.

pour one bottle of the store-bought extract and one bottle of th
e alcoholic liquid into the container. now start adding your vanilla beans. if you have used ones by all means throw them in. if not use new ones. start with 4-6 beans cut down the middle. put the lid on tightly, shake it and put the container in a cool, dark cupboard.

every few weeks add vanilla beans to the container. if you use them in your bakings throw them in after a nice rinse.

give your bottle a light shake every week. at first it will strongly smell like alcohol, but within time the vanilla flavors and scent will start to take over.

after 9-12 week it should be ready. decant into a clean bottle or small bottles if your going to give some away. do not discard the beans, add your second bottle of vodka and start all over :)

*תמצית וניל


Michal Rosen said...

do you use it as a syrup or just flavor adding to cooking?

sarit said...

vanilla extract is used for flavoring. it is very powerful, and few drops sufficing for most uses. its is mainly used for baking and cooking.