5 Steps To Making Vanilla Extract

Are you looking for that nice vanilla taste for your dishes?

If you want to make some vanilla extract, it’s actually quite easy. All you need are two ingredients – obviously some vanilla beans and some vodka.

Don’t be too concerned with the vodka brand or type. Nor does the actual type of vanilla bean matter much. Obviously, with the different brands and types, you will get variations in the final taste of your homemade vanilla extract.

  1. To keep it simple, for every three full vanilla beans that you use, you’ll need one full cup of vodka. However, if you wanted to add beans to a full bottle, then you can start off by pouring out about one cup or so from the vodka bottle. You’ll want it later on then so just set this aside for now.
  2. You split the vanilla beans right down the middle,scraping the beans out of the pod with a sharp knife.
  3. Add in your vanilla beans and pod to your vodka.
  4. Once you have completed this step with all of your beans, then you need to add that poured cup full of vodka in until the vodka bottle is actually full. Now, you need to shake the vodka bottle and put it into storage for two to four months.
  5. On a frequent basis, maybe every week or at least when you remember to do so, you need to give the bottle a good shake. Inspect the bottle after two months or so. At this stage, it should now have a very strong vanilla smell, be very dark in colour and have a somewhat syrupy texture. However, if it doesn’t appear to be this way, then simply put it away again for a few more weeks, continuing to check on it periodically. When you do check on it, give it a good shake.

Tip: When it is ready for adding to your cooking or baking, then you can just divide it up into little bottles or else just store it in the same bottle so you know where it is and what it is!

Extraction complete!

So now that you have made your very own vanilla extract, let’s look at some of the great uses for this tasty ingredient.

You can use vanilla extract to add richness of flavour to sweeten up dishes, whether they are sweet already or if they are savoury based dishes either. It enhances all of the flavours already there from other ingredients in the recipe.

  • You could add it into your typical cake recipe to notice a difference.
  • You could also try using it in custards, in dressings for your salads, as a marinade or add some into your sauces for dessert!

Another useful tip: Often times we find odours taking over our fridge, giving us an unpleasant waft when we open the door. Fear not! Vanilla extract is here. If you wipe down the insides of your refrigerator with some of your newly made vanilla extract, it should definitely help quench the stench!