Monday, 12 November 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, I'm another year older and to celebrate my Family gave me this......

And I thought I couldn't have loved my Kitchen Aid more, turns out I was wrong.  I couldn't wait to try it out so I promptly whipped up a batch of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.  Now I'm an Ice Cream novice so I didn't have a recipe of my own.  I used this Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe from David Lebovitz.  What can I say, it was perfect and I wouldn't change a thing about it.  Thumbs up from the rest of the Okanay team as well.

To make the Ice Cream I had purchased some Vanilla Beans and had one left over as well as the used bean from my ice cream.  So I've decided to make my own Vanilla Extract.  Considering how simple it is to make along with the fact that many of the "vanilla extract" products out there contain little to no actual vanilla beans and can contain a host of other unnecessary ingredients, I thought it would be a nice thing to have around the house.  And whats more, once the solution is ready all you have to do is top it up with more vanilla beans and alcohol and you'll have a never ending supply.

If you fancy having a go at making your own vanilla extract here are the steps I followed.  I'll post some updated pics of mine as it matures (it takes about 2 months before it's ready).

You'll need:

1or 2 Vanilla Beans to every 236 ml (1 cup) of alchol
A clean jar to keep it in

You can use any alchol, but vodka is the one most commonly used.  Brandy is another popular choice. I've used Vodka for mine.

To start off you'll need to sterilise your container and lid in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.  

Once boiled (and cool enough to handle) you can fill your container with alcohol.  I've used an old jam jar and added 236 ml Vodka to my jar.  

Next split the bean to expose the seed inside and place the bean in the jar.  

Tighten the lid on the jar and give it a good shake.

Place in a dark cool cupboard.  Take out once a week and give it a shake.  It should be ready to use in 2 months time.   Again, I'll post photos as mine matures as well as the finished product when it's ready in January :)