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Vanilla Bean 1: The Uprising

Photography by Frances Eden Creative
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**If you are new to this movement or have forgotten its purpose, take a peeksy at the INTRO to catch up to speed**

Alright freedom fighters, the time has come to make our move! It goes without saying that this series is for the Artificial Vanilla Flavouring [shudder] users. They weaken our society with their faux-vanilla usage. Their callous contempt for true depth of flavour is shown every time they prepare a recipe with an inexpensive grocery substitute! And it falls to us, Citizens, to show them the error of their ways. How will we do this, you ask? Not with protests or riot gear or the burning of our undergarments, but instead, we will win them over one taste bud at a time. We will prepare sweets, not speeches! We will share our creations, then sit back and watch the flavour of truth light up their eyes.

The Vanilla Bean is not only willing, but eager, to have its innards scraped out for our culinary delight. We will impale, split it in half, drown and suffocate this unassuming ingredient in the name of good taste! Sure, it might get a bit messy. Yeah, we may gain a few pounds. But its all for the cause!!! Are you ready? Lets do this sucker!


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Vanilla Extract Ratio

1 cup- 100 proof vodka or bourbon whiskey : 5 vanilla beans

How I do It: Cut your beans in half lengthwise, chuck them into a clean jar that has a tight fitting lid and pour in your booze. You want the beans to be completely downing in the liquid so hack them up as necessary to make sure they are totally submerged. Put the lid on it and give it a good shake. Store it in a cupboard, shaking again on a weekly basis while you wait. I’d say that 6 weeks is a good amount of time to let it brew before you start using it, but the longer you leave it the better.

To Note:

-I don’t bother sterilizing the jar cause it 100 proof alcohol going in there for gosh sakes, you could disinfect an O.R. with that stuff.

-Because this isn’t made with water, added caramel colouring or otherwise, it tends to be a lot more burley then the store bought extract. Start with using half the amount of extract the recipe calls for and adjust to your taste preferences.

-When the jar is half full, refill it with booze and let it brew again. You should be able to do this about 3-4 times before those beans will have given all they have to give.

-It is possible to get totally hammered on extract. Wikipedia even notes HERE that there have been two documented cases. Brew responsibly.

-You can make HUGE batches of this stuff. Just use the 1:5 ratio and multiply! When October rolls around start brewing a monster batch and then you will have lots to bottle and give away as Christmas gifts.


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Vanilla Sugar Ratio

2 cups sugar : 1 bean

How I Do It: Measure your sugar into a container with a tight fitting lid. Slice your beans in half lengthwise and scrape out the innards. Stir the bean guts into the sugar and then bury the beans themselves. Put the lid on and let it marinade for a week if you are really impatient, two weeks if you have self control. Once again, the longer you leave it the better.

To Note:

-Use any sugar you like! My favourite is coconut sugar, I sprinkle it on my grapefruit, all vanilla infused and wonderful. Its like a tropical getaway for your tastebuds.

-Same as with the extract, you can constantly refill the container with sugar as you use it. The bean will infuse the sugar for months but if you begin to doubt its influence, pull it out of its sugary grave and drown it in the vodka with the others.

-Stir this into your morning cup of joe, eeeeermagerd!!! Or just lick your finger and dip it in, your dentist will love that.

-Make a mondo batch and package for gifts! Include a tag or whatever so people know what it is and don’t think you are giving them dirty sugar.



The Revolution has begun. Get to work and I’ll see you back here soon for the second instalment of the Vanilla Bean Series!



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