Do you make your own vanilla extract?
As a baker, believe it or not, I never did! What?! Yup, and I really don’t know why I haven’t done something so simple. 🤔
I must say, I always use good quality vanilla even though it may cost more. There is something about knowing your baked goods have good quality vanilla! I usually use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla. Their extracts are great with intense flavor. I have been using it for a very, very long time.
However, good quality vanilla over time can get a little pricey. Lately, I have come across videos, cooking shows, and posts where bakers and chefs pause to mention that they make their own vanilla extract.
I said to myself, “Now why haven’t I made my own?”
So headed over to Amazon to get some Vanilla Madagascar Bourbon Beans Grade B. Then, I went to a local store to buy a big bottle of cheap vodka. I chose Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans because that is what I’m familiar with and I like the flavor. You can also use Tahitian or Mexican vanilla beans. Which once this recipe is a success, I may decide to have a variety of extracts using the different beans!
Even though it is only two ingredients, I needed to have an idea of the ratios. So I researched seasoned bakers, chefs, and reputable food magazines. They were all slightly different so I took the information and kinda met in the middle and came up with the following:
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Easy Pure Vanilla Extract
- Make a slit lengthwise on each vanilla bean.
- Scrape the caviar from 5 of the vanilla beans and add the caviar to the bottle. (This is optional. You can skip this step and only do the slits on the beans).
- Place ALL the vanilla beans into the bottle. If the bottle or jar is not tall enough, cut the vanilla beans in half.
- Pour the16 ounces of 80 proof vodka into the jar or bottle.
- Close the jar or bottle and shake it.
- Place it in a cool, dark place but where you can remember to give it a shake from time to time.
- May be ready between 3 to 6 months or longer. The longer it sits the better it gets.
- When the vanilla extract has a nice dark amber to brown color with an intense vanilla aroma it is ready!
- Vanilla should always be submerged in alcohol. Once the vanilla beans are beginning peaking through the alcohol, you can add more vodka.
- After using the vanilla for quite some time, once the color starts to get light, the aroma is faint, it may be time to add fresh vanilla beans but I learned it will be a long while before you need to add more vanilla beans.
There you have it! I just started making my own vanilla extract on November 8, 2021, so it is not ready. I will be sharing my process on social media and with my email subscribers. If you haven’t already followed me on social media and subscribe to my email list where I get a little more close and personal!
Since my vanilla is not ready yet, I can’t demonstrate the end result. However, if you notice the cover picture, I took that pic the very next day. It was already changing color and the aroma was no longer alcohol but a sweet vanilla smell. As I mentioned, I will share the process in social media and update this post once the vanilla is ready for use along with gifting ideas 🤩