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Homemade vanilla extract made it extra yummy - Page 6

post #76 of 121
It will make a huge difference. You will never buy it again. The taste is that different.
post #77 of 121
It sounds like people make pretty large quantities of this, which I'd love to do but I'm worried I wouldn't use it fast enough. How long is it good for?
post #78 of 121
You don't have to make a large quantity. You can make 1 cup. I use 8 beans per cup with Grey Goose vodka. Your results will be reflective of the quality of the ingredients used and the amount of beans used.
post #79 of 121
Right...but if I do have this sitting around for a little while (even if I make just a cup) does anyone know when I should be throwing it out? Or if I give it as a gift, it seems like I should tell them when it expires. Normally I would base shelf life of a product on the ingredient that has the shortest shelf life itself. (ie, milk in american buttercream.) In this case, vodka stays good for...well, a really long time. So it seems that the vanilla beans would be the "rate limiting factor", to borrow a phrase from my chemistry days. I know vanilla beans are pretty useless ("expire") when they dry up but obviously that's no longer an issue when they're in an extract. So I'm not sure how I should gauge the "life expectancy" of homemade vanilla.
post #80 of 121
Right...but if I do have this sitting around for a little while (even if I make just a cup) does anyone know when I should be throwing it out? Or if I give it as a gift, it seems like I should tell them when it expires. Normally I would base shelf life of a product on the ingredient that has the shortest shelf life itself. (ie, milk in american buttercream.) In this case, vodka stays good for...well, a really long time. So it seems that the vanilla beans would be the "rate limiting factor", to borrow a phrase from my chemistry days. I know vanilla beans are pretty useless ("expire") when they dry up but obviously that's no longer an issue when they're in an extract. So I'm not sure how I should gauge the "life expectancy" of homemade vanilla.
post #81 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarabara

Right...but if I do have this sitting around for a little while (even if I make just a cup) does anyone know when I should be throwing it out? Or if I give it as a gift, it seems like I should tell them when it expires. Normally I would base shelf life of a product on the ingredient that has the shortest shelf life itself. (ie, milk in american buttercream.) In this case, vodka stays good for...well, a really long time. So it seems that the vanilla beans would be the "rate limiting factor", to borrow a phrase from my chemistry days. I know vanilla beans are pretty useless ("expire") when they dry up but obviously that's no longer an issue when they're in an extract. So I'm not sure how I should gauge the "life expectancy" of homemade vanilla.



The sites I came across for these tutorials said to just refill the bottle with vodka as it gets low. It never expires. I personally would replace the beans every 6-12 months.
Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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Started my business legally February 2012! Commercial kitchen and all!
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post #82 of 121
I made my first batch in Jan 11. I started using it in May. It hasn't gotten stronger. I think it is important to srerilize the jar and measuring cup because the impurities are what will ruin it. Alcohol is a preservative. It doesn't go bad any more than drinking alcohol will go bad (the creams do) over time under proper production and storage. I do shake all of my bottles about once a week, plus I cut my beans in half (as well as split them) so that all is submerged most of the time. I don't plan to add to or reuse the beans. I want consistency in flavor and potency. But I have a bakery. Do what you want at home and seewhat works for you.

Before you buy, read about the proper beans for extract. They shouldn't be super plump, as those have too much moisture for extract. A moderately moist bean works best. So the priciest bean is not the best. I get 16 beans from JR Mushrooms on Amazon for I think $14.00 (free shipping). I purposely don't buy more than I can use at one time.
post #83 of 121
If you give it as a gift do you have to put the bean in it. If you don't put the bean in will they have to shake it if the beans were not split to start with? Thanks.
post #84 of 121
After it gets to full strength, the bean is unimportant. I split the beans and cut them in half. Be sure to sterilize your knife. You don't want any impurities in the jar.
post #85 of 121
wee I'm so trying this! Van extract is always so expensive here in South Africa, so I use vanilla essence. Well, if this works out, no more essence for me!! icon_biggrin.gif
A down-to-earth South African who has a growing interest in fondant cakes...I've been bitten by the cake bug!
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A down-to-earth South African who has a growing interest in fondant cakes...I've been bitten by the cake bug!
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post #86 of 121
I realize that it's important to make sure the jar is clean--maybe even boil it--but realistically this isn't going to be a sterile process. I'm not going to have a truly sterile cutting board and knife unless I take this into the OR wih me and wear sterile gloves and use a sterile surgical tray, right? (And i don't think the hospital is going to go for that.) I mean, the freaking vanilla bean isn't sterile...how carried away with this do I need to get? Pretty hard for bacteria to grow in alcohol (if it doesn't contain any cream) since it is an antiseptic itself--even if it's not super high proof.
post #87 of 121
tara, every site, including the FDA site stresses the importance of sterilization. Think of the canning process. My hot water is very hot. I run my jar, the knife, and the measuring cup under it for awhile. I use a clean surface of parchment to prepare my beans. I wear food handlers' gloves. Things can grow in the alcohol. One CC member reported it. So if every site stresses it, I would think that it is important. I have $40.00 in every 2 cups, so I'm not going to prove them wrong.
post #88 of 121
Yeah, I thought someone might bring up canning. That process IS sterile, with
sterile products going into a sterile container. Vanilla beans are not sterile--unless you boil them first and have a no-touch system for getting them into the container. Just pointing out that we too often call things "sterile" when they're really just "clean", and there's a significant difference there. For a surgeon, it's the difference between good medicine and a lawsuit.
post #89 of 121
Ina squeezes the seeds out after the beans are soft. Do you do that?
post #90 of 121
I'm so excited to try this. I really want to give homemade vanilla as part of Xmas gifts. I found a few bottle options. Does anyone know if a corked bottle will work for the homemade vanilla extract of if I should only use the screw top kind?
Visit me at www.keeponcaking.com for tutorials and other cake stuff.
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Visit me at www.keeponcaking.com for tutorials and other cake stuff.
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