Wednesday, June 30, 2010
HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT AND VANILLA POWDER
Last year I ordered vanilla beans and vanilla powder from Beanilla Trading Company. I had read good reports about this company’s products and services, and I was not disappointed. My order arrived quickly, and the packaging was high-quality. The vanilla beans have been stellar, with generous amounts of “caviar” in each bean. Beanilla’s prices are good, too, especially for the quality. I’ll be ordering from them again, to be sure. (Please note that I am not being compensated in any way for this endorsement. In fact, Beanilla is totally unaware of it.)
One of the reasons I wanted to order vanilla beans was so that I could make my own extract. It’s not a hard thing to do, it’s just time consuming. Six months of time to be exact. That’s how long the beans must soak in alcohol for the full flavor to be extracted.
Here are the jars when they were first filled:
Here are the jars after 6 months:
You can see that I recycled a green wine vinegar jar, a brown jar and a clear jar. They were all thoroughly washed and rinsed, then sterilized, before using. You can also buy colored glass or clear glass jars from Beanilla. If you really want to make life simple, just open a new bottle of vodka and slip your spliced vanilla beans right into that, using 1 oz., or about 3, beans for every 8 oz. of vodka. You’ll have a ton of vanilla extract, but, really, what great Christmas gifts they would make. Just buy or recycle smaller bottles for gift giving.
P. S. Several readers have asked which mixture I preferred. Unfortunately, novice me should have used one type bean in 3 different alcohols. Because I didn't do that, I can't really say which bean I prefer. But I can say that the bourbon vanilla beans soaked in Barbados rum were by far my favorite mixture. I also, at a later date, purchased Tonga beans, but was underimpressed with those.