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Making Homemade Vanilla Extract - Page 4

post #61 of 64
Yum! Looks great. Can't wait to start using my extract. Quick question - are you using grade A or B beans and why do you cut them in small pieces?
post #62 of 64
Thread Starter 
The beans I buy from Vanilla Saffron Imports in San Francisco are grade A because that's what they sell. Grade B is fine though from what I've read.

Why cut in small pieces? Splitting 100 beans is not my idea of fun, all Zen aside. I bunch 20-25 beans together and cut them all into small pieces with a large knife. Fast, easy, and it doesn't seem to make any difference in the taste.

Cutting into small pieces also gives the alcohol immediate access to the caviar and all sides of the bean.
post #63 of 64
Thread Starter 

What to do with the extracted beans when you get to the bottom of the bottle?  Why not make vanilla paste!  I'm sitting here after processing the extracted bean pieces and I smell like a vanilla factory!  Ahhh, aromatherapy.


I have a Blendtec blender that will pulverize a small car.  I don't know that this would work with your standard, Oster-type blender.  Below is the process.


Here is what is left of the very first bottle that started this thread.  You can see the cut up pieces of vanilla bean in the second picture. 




After I emptied the contents of the bottle into the blender jar, there was quite a bit of vanilla "caviar" left in the bottle.  I added a little more cheap vodka and got most of it.  Progress seen below.





Then I ran the "Smoothie" cycle on the blender three times, adding a little more cheap vodka a couple times because the paste was too thick.  After the first time I ran the cycle, I could still see some "grassy" filaments from the beans.  By the time I finished the third cycle all I could see was paste.  Here is the final result. 



I needed to taste test the result, so I went into the refrigerator and filled a small bowl with plain yogurt, added some simple syrup for sweetness, then about a half teaspoon of the vanilla paste.  IT WAS FANTASTIC!  Way better than the vanilla yogurt you buy at the grocery store. 




Thanks for looking!

post #64 of 64
Awesome Ray, I'll have to remember this when we get to the end of ours ! icon14.gif
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