Homemade Vanilla Extract!

IMG_4833Happy Sunday! I hope you have all had a lovely week? Unfortunately I have not been so lucky as I have been struck down with the lurgy and am spending my days battling tonsillitis! Yuk!

Luckily for you lovely lot, ‘here’s one I made earlier’!

I don’t know about you, but I spend a fortune on vanilla extract from the supermarket or at online stores – a bit of a perfectionist, I always look for quality and choose extract over ‘Vanilla Flavourings’ as these lack a full flavour and aroma.

Besides, the more natural the better, right?

One off my ‘To Do’ list (the one I’m clearly ignoring when I think of new things to do or bake!) I’m happy to get another item ticked off the list and this recipe couldn’t be simpler!

Just two ingredients – Vodka & Vanilla Beans! Perfection in a bottle!……With a little patience 😉

Enjoy! x

IMG_4824IMG_4825IMG_4833

 

Ingredients:

  • Bottle – I used a 1ltr Kilner bottle
  • Vanilla Beans – (rule of thumb is 4-5 beans per 8 ounces of alcohol)
  • Vodka – (at least 80 proof)

Recipe:

1. Split the vanilla beans. Slice each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. I used these Madagascan Vanilla Beans

IMG_4828IMG_48342. Place the sliced vanilla beans in a clean jar or bottle. Cover them with the Vodka. I used 17 Vanilla Pods for the full 1ltr bottle

Tip: Make sure that your vanilla beans are completely submerged

3. Close the lid tightly and give the jar or bottle a good shake
IMG_4829IMG_4830IMG_4970

 

 

 

 

4. Store your newly created vanilla extract in a dark place for at least 2 months, shaking it from time to time. After a few days the mixture will start to darken as the vanilla infuses with the vodka. Taste the extract and let it infuse longer if you prefer a stronger flavour

Tip: You may wish to use the vanilla extract as a gift and decant some of the extract into  pretty bottles. The seeds can add more of a homemade touch, but if you want a clear extract you can strain the extract using a coffee filter or some cheese cloth

You can keep the vanilla beans in the bottle and top up as and when required, ensuring that you periodically refresh the vanilla beans to keep the flavour strong.

It really is that simple!
Why not play around with flavours? You don’t have to use vodka, you can use Rum, Bourbon or Brandy! As well as all sorts of different varieties of Vanilla Beans. I went for a classic combination this time but I’m super excited to try a Rum based Vanilla Extract with Mexican Vanilla Beans that should compliment each other perfectly! 🙂

Bon Appétit!

Love Steph ♡ x
IMG_4831
Advertisements

Birthday Cupcakes for a Birthday Girl

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11588343/?claim=tzb8a42rj58″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a> IMG_2990Well……the last 2 weeks have been busy to say the least! I’ve just finished Jury service which was quite an experience! Absolutely exhausting (and freezing cold!!) but definitely not boring….!

You wouldn’t believe it but I’ve actually done loads of baking of the past 2 weeks…..and I didn’t photograph any of it!! Why? No idea….

I did however get asked by a lovely work colleague to make 36 cupcakes for her daughters 13th birthday party! Naturally I happily obliged and set to work on a bit of a brief….which is exactly what it was! The birthday girl wanted 18 vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and 18 vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing…..that’s pretty simple then!

I wanted to girly them up a little as I was aware that the birthday girl was indeed a ‘girly girl’. With this in mind I settled on using edible glitter in 2 different colours and using an edible paint in pink to paint the ’13’s’ I would be using as decoration on the cakes.

(Click on the smaller picture of the vanilla cupcake on the right hand side below – looks better when you see it close up!)

IMG_2905IMG_2914IMG_2936

I cut the number 13’s out of white icing 4 days before they were needed in order to let them dry and stiffen and 2 days before the party, I painstakingly painted each number pink!  It took me over an hour to do but I was really happy with the result!

No recipe here as this was just my standard vanilla cupcake recipe but I was so pleased with the results that I wanted to share them with you 🙂

IMG_2959

IMG_2964IMG_2966


Its difficult to tell from the snaps (phone camera – sorry!) but there is a ton of glitter on these babies! I also used my
newest piping nozzle – I already know that I shouldn’t love it quite as much as I do!!! 

Thanks,

S & P x

IMG_2991