Thursday, December 11, 2014

One Ingredient Challenge: Vanilla Extraction--Part II

Part of an ongoing series of cooking from scratch. That is, we cook something from basic items that don't have multiple ingredients (e.g. store-bought spaghetti sauce includes all sorts of spices and maybe other stuff too; we'd start with tomatoes and individual spices and add them together to make our own sauce). See other challenges here.

Three months ago we began our home-made vanilla. You can read about that part of the project here. The extraction process is done at this point, so we opened the mason jar that was waiting patiently at the back of a kitchen cabinet.

Like Waldo, where's vanilla?

Light outside, dark inside

Opening the jar was an exciting moment. We all gave it a whiff. J proclaimed, "That's the best smell ever!"

St. Nicholas blesses our vanilla

The open jar

To test the flavor, we made ice cream. The recipe calls for one to two teaspoons of vanilla. We maxed it out because we are fond of flavorful food.

First teaspoon

Second teaspoon

Into the mixer

We didn't strain the vanilla before spooning it out since the top was clear. We did transfer the vanilla extract to another jar and used a strainer to make sure none of the old beans and bits transferred over.

The blender did its job well, mixing the milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla. We poured the mixture into our ice cream maker and let it run for about half an hour. The end result was delicious, a definite success. The next morning we used the vanilla in our baked oatmeal recipe and that came out well. We look forward to our Christmas baking with this vanilla and will probably start another batch.

Mixing in

Fabulous result #1 (many more anticipated)

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