I go through a fair quantity of vanilla extract. While folks agree that for most baked goods it really doesn’t matter whether you use the real stuff or not, I also use it in situations where it would and for that reason I stick to the real deal.
Making my own vanilla extract was the driving force behind my vanilla purchase, but I also had other plans for the beans – in addition to the usual dessert dishes that ask for whole beans or seeds, I have at least one savory dish. And there would be plenty to share in case folks wanted.
Jaden pimped Vanilla Saffron on her blog and that was my starting point for looking around, but they ended up being the one I went with and I’m glad. In addition to the beans, I also splurged on a bottle of chocolate extract, which I’d been wanting to try and unable to find locally. I was less than a dollar short of their ‘free gift’ threshold, but they threw both in anyway, which is pretty much a guaranteed way to ensure a repeat customer as far as I go. (Fast service and no screw-ups helping, too, obviously.)
The beans were lovely and oily and the chocolate extract, thus far, has been fun to play with, too. I made the requisite vanilla sugar – two batches, one for me to bake with and one for Best Friend to use to defile perfectly good coffee – and threw a bean into a jar with some rooibos. But vanilla extract was still the goal.
There’s no real rule regarding making extract. I think I used Elise’s post as guide for my first time, but it’s pretty much anything goes.
The first step was to buy cheap vodka, since I didn’t want to use rum. I’m pretty sure Georgi is one small step up from paint thinner, but it’s good enough for this.
Three split beans, some vodka, a jar, and a measuring cup.
Twenty-nine days later.
So I’m about halfway to potent extract. I should find a nice bottle to decant to, since this isn’t meant to be the permanent storage, just the master glass.