Homemade vanilla extract and paste will liven up your cakes, cookies, ice creams and other recipes. The effort to bring beans from the vanilla orchid to your market requires pollination of every flower by hand. This labour-intensive growing requirement means that real vanilla beans come at a high price, but their flavour more than makes up for the cost.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 12 whole vanilla beans
- Paring knife
- 1 pt. glass jar with lid
- 1 3/4 cups vodka
- Parchment or waxed paper
- Spice or coffee grinder
- Mixing bowl
- 4 tbsp corn syrup (light or dark)
- Air-tight storage container
Split eight vanilla beans lengthwise down the centre. Leave the seeds in the pods.
Place the vanilla beans into the bottom of a pint glass jar.
Fill the jar with vodka, almost to the top, to completely cover the beans.
Tightly seal the jar and store in a dark, cool pantry.
Let the vanilla extract cure for at least two months before use, shaking the jar weekly and just before using in your recipes.
Split four vanilla beans lengthwise down the centre, leaving the seeds inside the pods.
Lay the bean halves in a single layer on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper in a cool, dry place. Air dry the vanilla beans until brittle. This usually takes anywhere from two days to a week.
Transfer the dried beans to a spice grinder and pulse several times until the beans become a powder.
Combine the vanilla bean powder with the corn syrup in a mixing bowl.
Store the homemade vanilla paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Tips and warnings
- Vanilla extract and vanilla paste can be interchanged in equal amounts in recipes.
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