Making Vanilla Extract.

I found myself a project. Do you know Joy the Baker? She is fantastic! This lady is an awesome baker, funny and witty, and delivers her great recipes with funny personal anectodes. Absolutely the best! I’m practically raiding her site for recipes…and found this. “How to make your own vanilla extract.” Perfect. As I currently live in Belgium, it’s a bit difficult to get my hands on real vanilla extract. There are other things: vanilla aroma, some powdered horror, but not the extract. The one I’m using is from an English shop in Waterloo… ridiculous. To go to Waterloo every time I’m in need of vanilla extract. I’ll just make my own instead.

The easiest recipe ever: we only need two ingredients – booze and vanilla beans. I actually wanted to try more than one extract with different kinds of alcohols, but booze is expensive and we don’t drink that much at all. I settled for fum only, and this way I’ll not get stuck with bottles of alcohol we’ll never drink… So rum it is with Madagascar vanilla beans. I bought this pretty Italian jar. Just priceless.

The ingredients
The ingredients

I chose Bacardi because it has a beautiful bottle. 🙂

So let’s see. We need the following:
– high-proof alcohol – vodka, rum, bourbon, Hungarian pálinka etc. – I actually wanted to use the raspberry pálinka i have at hand, but I guess the fruity flavour would have ruined the extract a little.
– vanilla beans (3 beans per 1 cup of alcohol)
– air-tight container

Measure the booze into the jar, make a lengthwise incision in the middle of the beans and put them in the jar. Store in a dark place for 2 months. Done!
Can’t wait. Two months? Oh dear. I hope my current extract lasts until then.

I have the impression that you are not supposed to cut the beans into two, but this is just what I did. They wouldn’t fit into the jar otherwise. We’ll see how that works out. 🙂
I’m so excited!

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