|It looks like really stewed tea!|
A month or two ago, I watched a programme where a scientist analysed vanilla flavouring and extract available to the public. This included the synthetic version, which of course contains no vanillin whatsoever, to the most expensive vanilla extract which to his amazement contained so little vanillin, it was impossible to measure. I use vanilla regularly and although I use the seeds themselves often, I rely on a bottle of what Ina Garten, bless her, calls good vanilla. Keep the jar on the kitchen table and you'll find as I do, your visitors will do the shaking for you.
I set about making my own vanilla extract and here is my recipe.
|Crystals of vanillin on vanilla beans|
It doesn't stop there; I plan to put the contents of the jar along with a third bottle of vodka into a blender and blend for a minute before returning the mix to the jar and leaving for a few weeks. This should produce a third and last batch of intense vanilla extract.
This vanilla keeps indefinitely so if like me, you use it regularly, having a litre and a half of it in the store cupboard will not be unwelcome. However, you may well choose to do this with a friend or two and share the results or give it away to friends who bake, as gifts. Either way you'll find that the overall cost ends up being a fraction of the cost of flavouring commercially available and of course it will deliver a far better flavour.
Since the flavour of the vanillla is so strong the vodka can be the cheaper variety
Ive just read the ingredients on the (expensive) bottle of vanilla extract in my cupboard, it reads, Water, Alcohol (36%) bourbon-madagascar vanilla bean extractives. What exactly are extractives? it sounds very much to me like a customised word that allows for some sort of practice that is best hidden.