Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Make your own Pure Vanilla Extract

It really is very simple to make your own pure vanilla extract and more cost effective. Vanilla extracts will keep indefinitely as long as they are stored in a cool dark place such as a pantry or cupboard. Extracts can be made from either Tahitian or Planifolia vanilla beans. Their aroma is quite distinct from each other.

Use these pure vanilla extracts in whatever recipes that calls for vanilla and you won't regret it. This will make the end result taste so much better.

It is quite neat watching little jars of newly made extract turn a darker shade of brown almost daily and the aroma is just divine.

Pure Vanilla Bean Extract

3 vanilla beans
250ml vodka

1. Split the vanilla beans with a paring knife or scissors. Cut to fit into your bottle.

2. Pour vodka to completely cover the beans.

3. Leave in a cool dark place giving it a shake every now and then. The vodka will slowly get darker. Leave for at least 2 months before using.

Bottles of pure vanilla extract
Vanilla extract at different stages of developing

I ran out of small bottles so ended up using jam jars to brew my extract.

1. After using vanilla beans for any ice creams (vanilla, peach yogurt or strawberry yogurt) the beans will still have plenty of 'life' left in them. Do not throw it away. Rinse and dry the beans in the sun. When completely dry, drop them into their own bottle of vodka.
I keep these vanilla extract separate from those made from 'clean unused' beans. Most of my bottled extracts are made from pre-used vanilla beans. Label them so you know which is which.

2. If you have only scrapped the seeds to use in a recipe, the discarded vanilla beans need not be washed or dried but can be put directly into vodka. The only thing missing from them are the seeds but they will still pack a punch in your extract.

3. I have bottles of vanilla extract at various stages of brewing. One can never have enough.

4. It does not matter if you put too many beans in a bottle. It is better to have a more concentrated extract than a weak one. If too concentrated, use half the amount stated in the recipe or add more vodka to dilute the extract at a later stage.

5. If you do not want to make any more extracts from your 'used' vanilla beans, put them into sugar bowls to make vanilla sugar.

6. We even put our used beans into salt to make vanilla salt.

7. Or put the used vanilla beans into your coffee container for vanilla flavoured coffee.


Unknown said...


thanks for sharing.

Sinner said...

Hi Lilyng, thanks for dropping by :)

Anonymous said...


i juz discovered ur blog n i love it. i tried the scezchuan chicken n it was nice. do u have any recipe for marmite chicken n butter chicken?


Sinner said...

Hi Carole,
Welcome. No recipe for marmite and butter chicken - have not eaten those dishes before. Thanks for the feedback.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! Vanilla extract is so hard to find here - they don't exist in the normal super/hypermarkets! I've to stock up when I'm on vacation or on business trips... I use vanilla extract a lot for baking.

I'm just wondering if you have/had any recipe for the Chinese sweet creamy peanut soup dessert? :)

Sinner said...

roxkitty, it will definitely be more cost effective if you make your own extract. No recipe for creamy peanut soup as I don't eat those.

Family First said...

Ooh, never knew it was really that easy! Thanks for showing us!

Anonymous said...

Hi May here from Malaysia, do u know where can buy vanilla bean in Malaysia.

Sinner said...

I have no idea. Maybe readers from Malaysia can help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

I have a few questions which I am not too sure.

1) Do you mean the vanilla stick together with the bean to soak with the vodka? OR

2) Just take out 3 beans from the vanilla stick & soak the beans will do?

Sorry I am not very familar with vanilla bean as never get a chance to see the real vanilla beans. But I am really interested to know & will try to get my friends to help purchase the vanilla bean from overseas as I dont know if Singapore sell it. I always use vanilla essence to bake my cake.

Thanks for your advise.


Sinner said...

Hi Mixue,
The vanilla bean is like a seed pod with hundreds of seeds inside.

1. In this recipe, I cut the new beans in half and then soak it in the vodka together with the seeds.

2. If you have already used the vanilla beans 'seeds' for your ice cream or even cakes, then you will only be left with the 'stick' to soak.

If you are interested in getting some beans from Sg to try, you can get in touch with my Sg blogger mate here. She would be able to sell you some.

Once you use pure vanilla extract you will never go back to essence.

Anonymous said...

May here again,

Really looking forward to buy vanilla bean in Malaysia. Can anyone tell me any place that sells this kind of bean in Malaysia.(Chinese, Indian or Malay stalls ??) Hope to get your reply.

Sinner said...

How about 'Bake with Yen' ?

Anonymous said...

May here,

Sorry to trouble you. Can i know what is'Bake with Yen'? is a store? a blog?
Anyway, thanks for your help.

Sinner said...

Bake with Yen is a store. I have never been there myself but have heard it mention in the cyberworld.
Do a google and you will see the store location. If you are in Msia, you can always ring them up and query about the vanilla beans.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

I will do the search. Thanks for your help.

Sinner said...

No worries, May. Do keep me posted. Would love to know when you finally manage to track down some beans.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

May here, just to let you know i finally got to buy my beans online wth the google search. im going going to try i this weekend.

Thank you

Agus Ramada S said...

Nice information. I am Vanilla Farmer from Indonesia (Organic Indonesian Vanilla)

FATMUM said...

Hi Sinner I have made mine and link you to my blog. thanks for sharing this.

Sinner said...

Hi FATMUM, you are most welcome.

Unknown said...

Hi..juz wanted to ask whether vodka cn be replaced with other non-alcoholic liquid.. we muslims cnt use tht you know..hope u cn help

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