GROW: The Book
Who makes their own extracts? What have you tried?
I have done vanilla, orange, lemon, mint & cinnamon. I would love to make others.
I do vanilla and mints, flavors are so much more intense. The citrus ones are on my to do list.
My mother's favorite was always black walnut extract. It's quite simple to do, and combined with either maple or chocolate is the perfect addition to buttercream frosting on a white or yellow cake. Not particularly healthy, but will also flavor ice cream or frozen yogurt.
It would be an interesting type to try if I had black walnut. 😞 It sounds tasty!
@RICHARD How did you make your Black Walnut extract? And what part(s) did you use?
I've only made vanilla extract. I've never thought about making any other flavors until I read all of you guys posts.
I am interested in this whole concept and have only looked at my own vanilla before. Is it basically the same process as making the vanilla?
@bejer19 j Yes it is!
@kbmbillups1 Go for it! It can be quite rewarding.
If you have a good organic peppermint essential oil (steam distilled but that is all I've ever seen) you can add 1-2 drops in an ounce of alcohol.
I looked into making my own vanilla extract a year or two ago, but the vanilla beans were all SO expensive. Where do you all get your vanilla beans? And what's your alcohol of choice for extraction? (Do you have a favorite brand?)
www.olivenation.com for vanilla beans
Yes, they are expensive, but it makes a lot and the taste can't be beat. Then when you're done with the extract, you place the beans in jars of sugar and shake every time you think of it for vanilla sugar. That is excellent in coffee or topped on sugar cookies, etc.
I often give the vanilla extract out as gifts in 1-2 ounce bottles.
I haven't tried anything other than vanilla, unless it's more of a medicinal tincture.
For cinnamon, do you use the sticks?
I like to buy mine at https://www.vanillafoodcompany.ca/Gourmet-Vanilla-Beans-s/3.htm
The company is in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
You get the extract grade for extracts. As you can see, the prices are as gold. The reason is typhoons, etc. widely destroying vanilla plantations. Considering, I haven’t bought any for quite some time now.
Use real ceylon cinnamon sticks (it is delicate), not the other (cassia...thick & hard rolls). I made some with cassia but then never used it because I read that too much cassia is not good for health. The extract is quite burnt orange-red in color.
@Karyn Pennington How many vanilla beans do you use in your extract, and what's your ratio to alcohol, if you don't mind sharing? Thanks!
@Merin Porter I use brandy, Raynal makes a nice extract.
I know you directed this question to Karen. What I have read is that in order for an extract to be considered an extract and not just flavored liquor, is 6 beans:1 cup. Double strength is of course, double that amount of beans.
Brandy can be used, but will certainly alter your end flavor. This is why it is generally recommended to use vodka.