It is always great when you find an ingredient that you really love cooking with and with me, that ingredient is vanilla. Having a really good quality vanilla to use in your kitchen, whether it is in the form of vanilla powder or in the form of pure vanilla extract, is essential; unfortunately, it can also be very expensive.
One of the methods that you can use to control this expense is to learn to make your very own authentic vanilla extract. If you learn to make your own extracts and use the very best possible quality beans, like Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans – you will end up with your very own great vanilla product. Your pure vanilla extract will be absolutely free of all the artificial colors and chemicals that might be found in store bought products or even in the high quality authentic vanilla powders.
If you enjoy the process of making your extract with whole vanilla beans then you can always make lots of bottles of it whenever you have the time and then give them to your friends and family as great gifts that will be wonderfully infused with Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans. They make excellent gifts and best of all, last for ages.
Now, on to the details about how to make up your own extract. Firstly, you need to transfer the vanilla flavor and aromas of the beans into alcohol. Normally people will use vodka, however, you can also use brandy or even rum, the choice is yours. The reason that vodka is often chosen is because it has the most neutral flavor and also it does not ruin the beautiful taste of the Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans or whichever beans you choose to make your extract with.
If you choose to use different liquor other than vodka, do be aware that other flavors from the liquors may be contributed. I just always tend to stick to vodka because I always have a bottle in the house! Now to sum up the entire process in a very speedy manner, you must firstly get your whole vanilla beans, chop them and then mix them with the alcohol and water, age it and then you filter out whatever solids there might be.
In lengthier terms; you must remove about 1/2 a cup of vodka from the bottle in order to make room for your Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans, then using a sharp knife and chopping surface, you must split each of the vanilla beans lengthwise along an entire side. Then take a dull knife, for instance a butter knife, and scrape the seeds from inside.
A blunt knife will ensure that you are able to harvest the seeds without damaging the skin of the Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans any more than you might have already. You can then place the beans into the vodka, seal the top and give it a good shake. You should then store the bottled vanilla extract for around 2-3 months. It is best to do so in a cool, dark room, away from sunlight.
To ensure that your own pure vanilla extract is forming well, it is recommended to give the bottle a shake about once a week or so. You do this to agitate the vanilla beans and speed up the flavor extraction process.
By now you will want to know when you can use the extract made from the flavorsome Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans - well the answer is you can use it after about 1 month, although the extraction of flavor will continue for up to 6 months, and your extract will also continue to age, just like a fine wine.
I guarantee that after giving your extract a smell week after week, the smell will make your mouth water and you may even consider bathing in the stuff it smells so good!
After about 6 months though it is probably a good idea to filter out the beans as they will have aged and you do not want them to go stale and ruin the taste of your extract. You can always add more vanilla beans anyway. Please remember that you shouldn’t be throwing away those beans you have just removed from the extract...grind them up and make them into a vanilla powder.
Article By: Sarah Neil