Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Update

A few months ago, I posted about making homemade vanilla. I had used four different beans (Madagascar, Tahitian, Mexican, and Indian) to make four different vanilla extracts and one blend. My alcohol of choice was white rum.
Well, it's been a couple of months, just the right steeping time for those beans and I've begun to use them in my baking. The results are phenomenal. Storebought vanilla is much harsher in flavor and scent when used in baking than homemade vanilla is. My homemade vanilla is subtle, smooth, and floral and just beautifully enhances my baked goods. Of course, I haven't mentioned that homemade vanilla is much more inexpensive than storebought. This is a project that is certainly worth the time and effort, in my opinion.
At my cookie swap held this past weekend, I gave out small samples of both my Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla extracts. I hope my friends can enjoy them as much as I have been lately.


  1. How did those turn out? I get beans online as well, but we end up using them by scraping the seeds and adding directly to dishes - I love the ever so slight crunch of the tiny seeds between the teeth at the bottom of a crème brûlé pot! Most often though, recipe call for extract instead.

  2. Olivier,
    It was the best $60 I've spent. The extract is beautiful. It's flavor is pure and more wholesome than those storebought brands. Plus you can refill the jar with whatever liquor you use and you can have an endless jar of vanilla. I suggest you store this for at least 2 months prior to using it as the flavor will become much stronger with time.
    As a side note, you can replace vanilla extract in any recipe with scraped vanilla beans, vanilla paste or ground whole vanilla beans. The vanilla flavor will be more intense if used this way, which I generally love in desserts.

  3. Also, if you make vanilla extract at home, it ends up being much cheaper than buying it premade. $60 bought me over $60 beans and I was able to make 5 large jars of extract with about 10 beans left over for other stuff. I get my beans from www.beanilla.com.