I did intend to post that recipe here today. Hardly had I seen off my husband, an urgency brought me the woes of travel with my little one and I was left in the dark to post no Fruit cake for Christmas here. The camera and the card which hosted all those treasured photographs of my cake stayed back home, miles away from where I am currently. But then lady luck played the Santa’s charm when I discovered that my post for homemade vanilla extract would be apt as Christmas gifts for your family and friends. Oh yes, for sure I made some gorgeous vanilla extract last month, scraping off all those seeds and freshness off the vanilla pods, dunked them into a bottle of vodka to permeate and mature into that million buck extract.
A couple of years ago, on our getaway trips to Munnar and Kodai, I had seen vanilla pods on sale at dirt cheap prices of Rs. 10 a pod. I hadn’t bothered stocking them then, because the vanilla essence at 20 bucks lasted for years and seemed worthy. It’s only after I got a few bottles of pure vanilla extract from Munnar, did I sense the bliss of using pure, fresh and natural extract. Making mine at home is not just easy, but indeed satisfying.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
5-6 Vanilla Beans
1 Bottle of Vodka, but you can also use Rum or Brandy too
Using a knife, split the bean into half. Scrape the vanilla beans into the bottle of vodka. Alternatively, use them into desserts, like puddings, custards and ice creams. Scrape off as much flesh as you can from the bean. Don't discard the skin. Instead place the entire bean into the bottle. Place about 4-5 vanilla beans pieces in each bottle for an intense flavoured vanilla extract. Close bottle and store in a cool, dry place for at least 2 months. Give the bottle a vigorous shake every week or so.
Now that’s what I call a realm of goodness in a bottle! Bottle them, label them and they'll make good for gifting this season!