Who knew making your own “vanilla extract” at home could be so simple? Not me.
I used to make-do with the imitation vanilla extract that we find here in India for quite sometime, till I tried the “real” thing. And once you do that, you will NEVER want to go back to the cheap thing. But yes, the real thing doesn’t come cheap and that is if you ever find vanilla extract in Hyderabad. I was never able to.
So when I read this I had to try it. Now, we do get good vanilla beans in India. Tip: If your friend is travelling to Kerala, ask them to carry some for you. Like my friend Rutuja did for me! Thanks Rutuja. Or go to FabIndia and ask for vanilla powder.
To make the vanilla extract, you need just 2 ingredients and little bit of patience. You can use any type of alcohol, though vodka is recommended because it will not add any additional flavors to the extract. Bourbon, rum and brandy can also be used.
It takes about 8-10 weeks for the extraction process to complete and be ready to use. If you want, you can remove the vanilla beans but if the vanilla beans are left in the bottle, the flavor will continue to evolve (make sure that the beans are submerged in alcohol). If you choose to remove the beans, dry them and add them to your jar of sugar for some vanilla sugar.
- 250 ml Vodka / Rum / Brandy / Bourbon
- 5-8 Vanilla beans (the best you can get!)
- Split the vanilla beans lengthwise in half and immerse them completely in the vodka bottle. Thats it! We are done.
- Now the patience bit. You have to wait for 8-10 weeks for the extract to be ready to use. Keep the bottle in a cool and dry place and don't forget to give it a good shake every week.