Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Making Vanilla Extract

 The beans are really the seed pods of the vanilla orchid. They are fermented prior to being extracted. These were black and soft and a little wrinkled. I slit the pod along one edge. I think I should have cut it in half, but hindsight is wonderful.
The seed inside the pod were like other orchid seeds that I am familiar with, very tiny. These were black and the inside of the pod had a greasy feel. I suddenly realized what the black specks are in Breyer's ice cream and other strong vanilla tasting food- it is the vanilla seed.

Posted by PicasaPut the seed pods in a colored bottle and add 1 cup of vodka for two beans. Allow them to soak for a while. The longer they soak, the stronger the extract will be. When the extract is used up, you can add more vodka and re-extract, but the second time around may produce a weaker extract. You can add more vodka when the extract is half used up.

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