Posts Tagged With: Vanilla Experiment

My Vanilla Experiment- The Results

Eight weeks ago I decided to try making my own vanilla extract. I had seen it floating around the web, so when I finally got my hands on some vanilla beans (they are ridiculously expensive in my little town) I wanted to make something that would make these suckers last. Enter My Vanilla Experiment.

So now I have a mason jar full of dark amber liquid that smells very vanilla-y…. but its it good?

I thought I would whip up some vanilla pudding and find out.

I pitted my result against a real deal vanilla bean, and the store bought stuff. And the verdict?

In one pudding there was a vanilla bean, and the other two there was 2 tsp of either vanilla.

Mr Ginge, his mom, and myself all agreed that the real deal vanilla bean was the clear winner. Plus all of the seeds looked so pretty in the pudding.

The (close) runner up was my homemade vanilla. Mr Ginge had a hard time deciding between the two. I thought that it was maybe just a tad mild.

And the store bought brand?  Well lets just say it did not fair too well. The flavor was much more intense and it plain didn’t taste as nice.

So while my experiment lost out to the actual vanilla bean, we completely favored it over the store bought. We did decide however that it needed a few more weeks, especially since we made ours in such a large quantity.

Funny though, since the taste test, my store bought vanilla has mysteriously disappeared…..

 

-Mel

 

 

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My Vanilla Experiment-Part 5

Yay! It’s officially Fall!

Which also means it has been eight weeks since I started my vanilla experiment, and I should have wonderful homemade vanilla extract waiting for me in that mason jar. How exciting!

When I started the experiment, it was just a few beans swimming in some vodka. Vodka is a relatively neutral base, but my research showed that rum would also be an excellent choice ( I’m not a fan though), and I had a friend suggest using whiskey.

While eight weeks was the recommended steep time, I decided to check on it periodically.  I was amazed at how much color it had after only a couple weeks. It still smelled mostly of vodka though. So I added a few more beans.

After four weeks, the color was considerably darker, and it smelled so strongly of vanilla, I wanted to test it out right there and then! Some how I found the patience, and set it back in our “wine cellar” where I was keeping it.

After six weeks, it was darker still, although by not as much.  Most of the little seeds would sink to the bottom, so both Mr. Ginge and I would give it a shake every once in a while.

And this is what it looks like after eight:

I will admit I was expecting a darker, richer color. However, it smelled UH-maz-ING. You can still smell the alcohol in it, but vanilla is definitely what you smell first. I have yet to taste it yet, but if it doesn’t turn out, Mr Ginge is more than willing to adopt it for his bar ( secretly he’s been wishing this from the start!).

Compared to the store bought bottle, the color is waaaayyyy off. I have 9 beans in my jar, it just over 3 cups of liquid. Not sure if more beans would deepen the color, or letting it steep a bit longer. Or maybe I’m competing with coloring. I had to rip the label off to take a picture an never thought to look. Oops…

All that is left to do is the taste test…. 🙂

-Mel

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My Vanillla Experiment- Part 4

Guess what.

Only two more weeks to go and I’ll be testing my vanilla! I’m so excited!

So this is what it looks like after 6 weeks. Little bit darker. Lots of vanilla aroma. Hopefully the flavor will stand up in my baking!

Any ideas on what I should test it out on first?

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My Vanilla Experiment- Part Trois

Half way through my experiment/ project, and this is what it looks like:

Such a beautiful dark amber colour, however I was expecting it to be a bit darker.

When I opened the jar, I immediately smelled vanilla, and not any of the vodka-ey alcohol smell. I had to give it a good shake because most of the little seeds were on the bottom and there was little droplets of oil floating on the surface.

It mixed in tough after a gave it a good shake.

So… four more weeks to go, an I can’t wait to test it out and see how it turned out. 🙂

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My Vanilla Experiment- Part Deux.

So this is what copious amounts of vodka and a few vanilla beans look like after a week:

Cool, isn’t it?

Smells exactly like strong, slightly vanilla-y vodka too…. who’d have guessed?

I did add a few more vanilla beans a couples days after I started, only because I used such a large amount of vodka.

So, now there is only 7 more weeks to go…..I’ll keep you posted

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My Vanilla Experiment- Part 1

I love vanilla. I won’t lie, when a recipe calls for it, I usually end up doubling it. I buy mega-size bottles and go through them like mad.But making it? That thought had never really occurred to me.

Originally, I had seen Michael Smith’s jar of homemade vanilla on his Food Network show. It was novel idea and I was enthralled. But I never really got round to it, of a myriad of reasons.

Then I started seeing it around the web… and the seed stuck.

So when Mr.Ginge brought me home some vanilla beans this weekend, I could hardly wait to try it out.

I grabbed a big mason jar, some vodka from his bar, and stuck those beans in. ( I followed this method here). And now I am  in for a long wait.I was really surprised at how beautifully amber the liquid got after two days.  I’m already excited to use it, and its not going to be ready until October! Oh well.

Mr.Ginge can’t wait either. He wants to pour some over ice cream, or if all else fails, have some really great vanilla vodka to add to his bar. 🙂

I will keep posting periodically on the progress!!

-Mel

Categories: Misc. | Tags: | 1 Comment

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