Hello folks! We are at the fag end of this year. Christmas is just around the corner and yes, there will be a lot of festive baking happening starting with Diwali which is two weeks away. If you love baking then this is one baking essential that you must have handy around the pantry. So what compelled me to make my own vanilla extract? Well, you see, I heavily relied on the store bought vanilla which I knew was synthetic but didn’t know any better. After coming to Dubai I used to buy pure extract which again was not true vanilla extract owing to the fact that it contained no alcohol. To add to my woes, a tiny bottle was super expensive and most times I’d buy the synthetic one. Eventually I began to search for recipes that would help me make my own vanilla. I realised that it was actually super easy! I bought a few vanilla beans, put them in a jar filled with vodka and forgot all about it. The jar was just lying there, in the corner of a cabinet in the kitchen. A year later, I found it, the alcohol was no longer clear, the vanilla had beautifully infused into the vodka and turned the liquid a jet black. I started using it in my baking and I have never gone back to buying commercially available vanilla. Ever!
The best part about this recipe is that you can reuse the same beans by adding more vodka to it. It is a magic potion that never really runs out! I somehow find that my cakes taste better because of this albeit minuscule but pure extract. I have been making it so frequently now that I have lost track of the dates of when I made the last bottle. I knew that I had to shoot a video and this recipe had to go on my blog. What with the festive season lurking around the corner, it was the perfect time to share this recipe. If you set to work quickly, you can have a beautiful bottle of your own homemade vanilla extract before you start baking your Christmas cake and other festive goodies.
Don’t forget to buy the best vanilla beans you can afford. The Madagascar vanilla is supposed to be the best, I have never used it. I have used Indian ones in the past gifted to me by a friend. I did not find any on Amazon Dubai but Amazon India and Amazon US have them. I have shared affiliate links to them below. Do check them out! Don’t forget to check out the video that I have shared down below either.
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Homemade vanilla extract is an easy, simple alternative to its expensive store-bought version. Make aromatic & intensely flavourful extract that you can use in your baking and other recipes
- 4 vanilla beans
- 250 ml (1 cup) unflavoured vodka
Using a sharp knife, slit the vanilla beans vertically on a clean chopping board. Transfer them into the sterile glass bottles
Pour the vodka into the bottles, using a funnel if required. Seal the lid and store in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks before using. Shake the bottle at least once a week to help infuse better
Use as required in baking or other recipes. Once it gets over, do not discard the vanilla beans, instead add more vodka to the same bottle to make more extract. You could add a new vanilla bean or two to enhance the flavour.
You can gift vanilla extract - they make great edible gifts. They make for beautiful festive decor too.