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homemade vanilla extract, vanilla & salt

Posted May 13 2012 11:51am
This is a post about Mothers Day.

Well, my Mothers Day gift to be more precise.

I love making kitchen gifts for my family and friends. It gets harder to buy gifts for people when we get older, because if someone really needed something, they wouldn’t wait around for someone to get it for them – but they would just go out and get it themselves!

So at least this way my gifts are personalized and hopefully none of my siblings have the exact same thought.


Homemade gifts take some prior thought.
What am I going to make? How long will it take? What ingredients am I going to need?

I start thinking about these things about 2 months before hand, and this time for Mothers Day I came up with the idea of giving a vanilla gift package – with salt, sugar and extract.

Vanilla is a bit of a safe option for mothers. It’s a beautiful smell and everybody uses it at some point!

The vanilla extract would take some time though. About 6 weeks of infusion time, so I needed to act pretty quickly.

Jumping online I ordered a 250g bag of Madagascan Vanilla Beans for $38!
When they arrived I was so excited and blown away by the 80 odd beans I now had at my disposal.

I got straight to work.

Vanilla Extract


Ingredients

(makes 200 ml)

5 vanilla beans
200 ml vodka*

Split the vanilla beans in half and stuff them into a sterilised 200 ml jar or bottle.
Top with the vodka.
Store in a cool dry area.
Shake vigorously twice a day for a week.
Then once a day for the week after that.
Then at least once a week after that, for up to 6 weeks.
After the 6 weeks is up, you will have your homemade vanilla extract.

Tip: when you have used about half of the vanilla extract you can top it back up with vodka, shake and infuse for a further 2 weeks. 
Then you should be right to go again.

*doesn't need to be the highest quality


Vanilla Sugar

Ingredients

(makes 300 ml)

300 ml raw sugar
1.5 vanilla beans

Split the beans in half length ways and scrape out the seeds.
Combine the seeds and sugar in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Place the empty vanilla pods in a sterilised 300 ml jar and pour the sugar mixture on top.
Seal and you're done!


Vanilla Salt

Ingredients

(makes 300 ml)

300 ml rock salt
1.5 vanilla beans

Split the beans in half length ways and scrape out the seeds.
Combine the seeds and salt in a mortar and pestle, mix until thoroughly combined and the rock salt resembles fine crumbs.
Place the empty vanilla pods in a sterilised 300 ml jar and pour the salt mixture on top.
Seal and you're done!


This Mothers Day we were away canyoning, so last week Mum, my sister and I went out for a girls night. We had dinner and a movie, and afterwards we went to a café and each had a steaming cup of Madagascan Vanilla Tea – ironic huh! Mum didn’t even know that was the theme for her gifts.



I love my Mother and this is only a small token of my appreciation.

How she puts up with my endless ramblings, I’ll never know!

Love x

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