ponderiffic Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 11:52pm
post #1 of 121

Food for thought...

I recently discovered the joys of making my own vanilla extract. I found the recipe online, ordered some vanilla beans on eBay, and 6 months later I had a beautifully fragrant vanilla extract ready for all my baking needs. I also saved a ton of money over store bought extract.

I ordered a 1/2 pound of Madagascar beans and it came with 10 free Tahitian beans. I made separate batches so I could see the difference in the flavors. I LOVE them both, but they are completely different.

Yesterday I mixed the Tahitian extract into a batch of IndyDebi's buttercream and I was in heaven. The Tahitian extract is a softer, more floral scent and it made the buttercream feel lighter and creamier. I am in love with that buttercream recipe again! I really didn't think that the extract made that big of a difference but it really does. I will not be switching back to the store bought stuff ever again!

120 replies
patrice2007 Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 12:11am
post #2 of 121

I love homemade vanilla......... thumbs_up.gif

Bluehue Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 12:12am
post #3 of 121

Excellant -
Isn't it great when you make your own - i love it.
And the stronger you want it the more beans you can add.
Did you use Vodka?

Its also great to make up and then pour into little bottles and give away as gifts...........with a fresh split VB in each bottle.

Yes, you sure can notice the difference in taste from the store bought can't you?

Welcome to the Home Made Vanilla Bean Club thumbs_up.gif


Bluehue icon_smile.gif

sweetjan Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 12:14am
post #4 of 121

would either of you share this wonderful recipe you're talking about? reading your posts made me hungry!! sounds yummy and fun, too!
thanks for sharing~

Bluehue Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 1:22am
post #5 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetjan

would either of you share this wonderful recipe you're talking about? reading your posts made me hungry!! sounds yummy and fun, too!
thanks for sharing~




I split 10 Vanilla Beans and put them in a 500mil bottle of Vodka
Give a good Shake.
Then pop in the bottom of my pantry for 5-6 months.
Taking it out every month to give a good shake.

I just sterlize my bottle first - thumbs_up.gif
Truely - its that easy.

You can add as many or as few VB's as you like.


Bluehue icon_smile.gif

Bluehue Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 1:24am
post #6 of 121

Sorry - forgot to add....


Some people prefer Brandy - but i prefer to use Vodka.

I save my Brandy for my Fruits Cakes..................... and us icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif


Bluehue icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 1:54am
post #7 of 121

We told you gals a long time ago, right here on CC, about the merits of homemade vanilla. Glad to find out we were right. LOL!

I use Ina Garten's recipe.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/vanilla-extract-recipe/index.html

Theresa icon_smile.gif

simplysouthern Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 2:00am
post #8 of 121

Thanks for sharing this info!! I've never made my own but wow if its that easy what am I waiting for??? Question.....what kinda vodka?? Like the good good stuff or just anything??

trishvanhoozer Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 2:03am
post #9 of 121

I actually ordered 8 oz. bottles from sunburst bottle company and I made vanilla extract for christmas presents this year. I used 4 Tahitian beans per bottle, and filled with a decent vodka. I put them up for two months and put a decorative note with instructions on what to do with it (keep in dark dry place, shake, etc.) and when extract is gone, to bury the VB in sugar for a week or so, stirring often, to make VB Sugar. It was a hit!! I saved 12 of them for my personal use!! LOL

quietude Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 2:09am
post #10 of 121

Never thought of this, thanks for sharing!

zespri Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 2:12am
post #11 of 121

me too, this sounds so easy, why haven't we all been doing it?!

playingwithsugar Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 2:20am
post #12 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplysouthern

Thanks for sharing this info!! I've never made my own but wow if its that easy what am I waiting for??? Question.....what kinda vodka?? Like the good good stuff or just anything??




Regular vanilla extract, that you buy in the store, is about 35% alcohol, so you can go with a 70 proof vodka, very inexpensive, if you can find it. You can buy any brand of vodka you want. I use Smirnoff 90 proof, which is about 45% alcohol. I keep the good vodka for my screwdrivers.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

crp7 Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 2:47am
post #13 of 121

Where do you get your vanilla beans?

Bluehue Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 5:05am
post #14 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by crp7

Where do you get your vanilla beans?





You can buy them online - in bulk - or just browse in your local supermarket.

Bluehue. icon_smile.gif

simplysouthern Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 5:41am
post #15 of 121

Thanks Teresa!!

sweetjan Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 11:59am
post #16 of 121

Wow, what a fun thread! Thanks to everyone! And thanks for the info about the bottles, too! Can't wait!!

Claire138 Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 12:16pm
post #17 of 121

This sound easy to make and good to taste, thanks for the recipe, I'll definitely be making this

esq1031 Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 12:36pm
post #18 of 121

I just checked out the Ina Garten recipe and she only stores hers for a month. Could that be right given most other say to store for 5-6 months??? I don't know if I could wait that long...LOL

Bluehue Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 12:45pm
post #19 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by esq1031

I just checked out the Ina Garten recipe and she only stores hers for a month. Could that be right given most other say to store for 5-6 months??? I don't know if I could wait that long...LOL






esq - it really it up to you of how long you store it for - me, i prefer to store mine for 5 Months.
The flavour is more intense and the colour deeper.
Again - it depends how many VB's you pop in the bottle.

After a Month there is really no lime frame...its up to each individual.

LOLLL - you can't wait that long - then pour some out into a smaller bottle - then pop in a few more fresh VB's - top up with Vodka - give a good shake then hide it back in the bottom of a dark cupboard until you need it next - that way you can use some after a Month thumbs_up.gif - and have some *ageing* for Months down the track... icon_smile.gif

Boluehue.


Bluehue.

playingwithsugar Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 1:27pm
post #20 of 121

I make mine every year, right after the winter holidays (I have a bottle brewing in the basement as we speak). I do not open it until it's time to bake for Thanksgiving.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

BCo Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 1:53pm
post #21 of 121

Does it matter what grade bean I use? I see there are Grade A Gourmet beans and then Grade B (extract grade) beans. I'm assuming it doesn't matter if I use either - just that the grade A may be preferred for other cooking applications and if you're going to just stick a bunch in vodka to make extract then the grade B is acceptable....

I actually have a bottle that I bought at HomeGoods that was sold as a package with vanilla beans inside to make your own vanilla. I have no idea what grade the beans are and it only came with 3 beans that were pretty dried up. It's in my pantry now and it's been in there for about 5 months but I think it still could use more time. It's not very dark and still has more of a vodka smell (not that vodka smells like much) then a vanilla smell...I'm hoping the fresher beans will produce a better product.

thanks!

Bluehue Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 3:12pm
post #22 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bturpin

Does it matter what grade bean I use? I see there are Grade A Gourmet beans and then Grade B (extract grade) beans. I'm assuming it doesn't matter if I use either - just that the grade A may be preferred for other cooking applications and if you're going to just stick a bunch in vodka to make extract then the grade B is acceptable....

I actually have a bottle that I bought at HomeGoods that was sold as a package with vanilla beans inside to make your own vanilla. I have no idea what grade the beans are and it only came with 3 beans that were pretty dried up. It's in my pantry now and it's been in there for about 5 months but I think it still could use more time. It's not very dark and still has more of a vodka smell (not that vodka smells like much) then a vanilla smell...I'm hoping the fresher beans will produce a better product.

thanks!





Add more VB's - add lots more VB's... thumbs_up.gif
Otherwise your just end up with the pale stuff that sits on supermarket shelves...Truely.
Pop another

No - on 2nd thoughts - scratch all that - if they were dried up in the first place start again - it will be worth it.
Start with at least 8 fresh beans - and vodka.

You want to start with nice plump VB's....your end product will be as good as what you start with.

HTH's

Bluehue

BCo Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 3:48pm
post #23 of 121

Thanks BlueHue - I figured as much with the dried beans so I went ahead and ordered some fresh ones and I'll just scrap that one and start over...

Can't wait to try it! I've been looking at my bottle waiting and waiting to use it but I guess I'll have to wait some more!

Bluehue Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 3:53pm
post #24 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bturpin

Thanks BlueHue - I figured as much with the dried beans so I went ahead and ordered some fresh ones and I'll just scrap that one and start over...

Can't wait to try it! I've been looking at my bottle waiting and waiting to use it but I guess I'll have to wait some more!





I know its a wait for you - but it will be worth it -

Blue.

LindaF144a Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 4:05pm
post #25 of 121

I was just pondering this subject in my head last night.

Did you use dark bottles? I read somewhere that you need to use dark,but I can't find them.

If you are using vodka, why can't I just slip the beans in the bottle the vodka is in, after pouring some out.

I wouldn't use too cheap a vodka. I bought some Skol to paint with. Within a week it turned from clear to a pale yellow and has a definite off putting chemical, rubbing alcohol smell to it. I would move up to at least the $10 range. Although I am a liquid snob, so I would have to try very hard not to go for the Grey Goose on this. ( as my friends affectionately call us)

Bluehue Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 4:22pm
post #26 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

I was just pondering this subject in my head last night.

Did you use dark bottles? I read somewhere that you need to use dark,but I can't find them.

If you are using vodka, why can't I just slip the beans in the bottle the vodka is in, after pouring some out.

I wouldn't use too cheap a vodka. I bought some Skol to paint with. Within a week it turned from clear to a pale yellow and has a definite off putting chemical, rubbing alcohol smell to it. I would move up to at least the $10 range. Although I am a liquid snob, so I would have to try very hard not to go for the Grey Goose on this. ( as my friends affectionately call us)




You can use any coloured bottle you wish - the darker the glass the less light gets through...
If you have a green Olive Oil bottle - you could wash that out - sterilize it and use it.
Most of our Olive Oils come in dark green bottles....

Keeping the mixture in the bottom of a pantry/dark cupboard helps with it not fading due to sun light....as it matures.

Yes, you can use your Voddka Bottle...

Perhaps not the one that smells like rubbing alcohol icon_wink.gif

Grey Goose - no, keep that for drinking thumbs_up.gificon_smile.gif


Somewhere in between... icon_smile.gifthumbs_up.gif


HTH's


Bluehue

ponderiffic Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 7:21pm
post #27 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by crp7

Where do you get your vanilla beans?




I ordered my beans on eBay because they were WAY too expensive in the grocery stores here. 2 beans for 9 bucks! Yeah, um no! I bought a 1/2 pound and it came with 10 free beans extra too. I made 7 cups of vanilla extract and still have about 30 beans I saved for other baking needs.

Best wishes on your vanilla adventure!! icon_smile.gif

ponderiffic Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 7:25pm
post #28 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bturpin

Does it matter what grade bean I use? I see there are Grade A Gourmet beans and then Grade B (extract grade) beans. I'm assuming it doesn't matter if I use either - just that the grade A may be preferred for other cooking applications and if you're going to just stick a bunch in vodka to make extract then the grade B is acceptable...




I used grade b because I was just planning on extracting the beans. I would also encourage you to get both Tahitian and Madagascar beans so you can see which type you like for different applications. Also, if the bean is dried and not bendable, throw it away! I used about 10 beans per 8oz of vodka to make mine. Yum! Yum!

BCo Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 7:32pm
post #29 of 121

Thanks - I ordered from ebay too so I get the 10 free beans with my order so I will be able to make 2 different batches with 2 different beans! Can't wait - thank you all for the advice!

ladybug614 Posted 7 Jan 2011 , 7:35pm
post #30 of 121

Will it turn your white buttercream a different color?

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