Vanilla is such a magical product. The amount of work that goes into producing this most fragrant spice is astounding.
My recipe uses a generous quantity of beans for an intensely scented and flavoured sugar.
You can always “dilute” your vanilla sugar down with plain sugar if you require a more subtle vanilla hit.
Keep a big jar of this beautiful ingredient on hand so you always have the luxury of this luscious sugar for your baking and dessert recipes.
Sweet, pure, delightful.
If you make your vanilla sugar the sweetrosie way, you’ll have a precious supply of vanilla sugar, flecked with vanilla and exquisitely perfumed.
You will need:
»»1kg of caster sugar
»»6~8 vanilla pods
»»1 large glass jar for storing the finished sugar
»»1 large container, with a lid for preparing the sugar
»»1 small jar with a lid for preparing the sugar
Put about a 1/2 cup of sugar into your small glass jar.
Empty the rest of your sugar into the large container you are using to prepare your vanilla sugar.
Split your vanilla beans along the length (I use scissors) and with a smallish knife, extract the seeds, or “caviar”, as it is also known.
Just, slowly, and gently run the tip of the knife along the entire length of the bean, collecting the seeds as you go.
Put the seeds into your small jar with the bit of sugar in it.
Stir the seeds around with a flat blade knife.
Vanilla seeds can be hard to evenly incorporate into other ingredients, this next step will help you achieve an even distribution of seeds in the sugar.
Put the lid on the jar and spend a little bit of time shaking the jar and stirring with your knife until all your vanilla seeds are well mixed throughout the sugar.
Now you can tip this sugar, along with the pods into your big container of sugar.
Using a spoon and/or your hands, mix it all together really well.
Transfer into your large glass storage jar and poke the vanilla pods in there as well.
You can top up the sugar as you use it, but of course, the more you do this, the less intense in flavour your vanilla sugar will be.
When you finish using your sugar and you’ve topped it up as much as you can, don’t despair, vanilla is the spice that keeps on giving.
The pods in the sugar jar are absolutely divine when infused in liquid, think custards or chai tea!
I have another use for those hard working pods that I think you might like.
Using a blender or coffee/spice mill, grind the pods into a powder and mix with about 10% volume sugar. This vanilla powder is wonderfully economic and still packs a luscious vanilla punch to your recipes.
Vanilla pods are readily available, in bulk, online.
Vanilla Plantations Australia offers free worldwide delivery for their products, I haven’t tried their vanilla but the prices certainly seem reasonable.
Sunshine Vanilla also has a nice range of vanilla products, including bulk vanilla beans. Again, I haven’t bought from the company but it’s a nice website.
I believe that Amazon sells vanilla beans, in bulk at very reasonable prices. I haven’t really looked on Amazon and I can’t say whether it would be a viable option for Aussie buyers, but who knows? maybe the shipping is cheap 🙂
I liked this US site. The website contained lots of very interesting vanilla information and the prices seemed very affordable.
It’s just not economical to use the little packs of pods from the supermarket, so make that quite reasonably priced investment and reap the rewards.