Please Pass the Recipe

sharing recipes from one generation to the next

DIY Vanilla Essence


There have been numerous occasions in my cooking past that I have looked at vanilla beans sitting in the strainer, refuse from passing a custard and thought there must be some way I can exploit the remaining fragrant flavour from those expensive wonders. I have tried rinsing and drying them, but the fats clinging on the bean have turned rancid and rendered the bean useless.

A blog I follow, maggiesonebuttkitchen has provided the perfect answer to this dilemma, make vanilla essence. Rinse the vanilla bean after it has been used, dry it on paper towel and then drop it into a jar of brandy. The vanilla will infuse the brandy with all its heady fragrance and the brandy will preserve the bean.

I started a batch of vanilla essence a few months ago after reading this handy tip, it’s taken a while for the flavour to develop because vanilla beans are not an everyday ingredient, but I think I have reached critical mass now, 6 beans to 200mls brandy. Bean number 6 was added about 2 weeks ago. I think if you intend to start a vanilla essence jar, allow 3 months for a good flavour to develop. Just keep adding beans and topping up the brandy as needed.

Thanks Maggie, and I hope your one butt kitchen will be in working order again soon.


About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

2 comments on “DIY Vanilla Essence

  1. Pingback: Apricot Jam with Vanilla and Kernels « Please Pass the Recipe

  2. marymtf
    October 28, 2012

    This recipe isn’t much use to me as I’d be scoffing down the brandy before the beans matured. What a fabulous combination.


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This entry was posted on October 27, 2012 by in Baking, Food, Pantry Essentials, Preserves, Syrup and tagged , .
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