There is definitely something more rewarding about homemade food. Whether you are baking treats or cooking up a meal from scratch, using your own ingredients allows you to be in complete control of what goes into your body. But choosing your own packaged products, we are sorry to say, does not count – because these products can contain additives.
Cooking extract for example is one product that is usually store-bought. The tiny bottles of flavour can do absolute wonders for your lemon cake but did you know that there is a simple, cost-effective way to make your own selection of flavourings from scratch? That’s right, it is time to ditch your Betty Crocker because we have the complete method below for homemade vanilla, mint, lemon and orange flavour extracts.
It must be said first and foremost that all extracts contain a special ingredient that you probably did not even know about: vodka. Pure alcohol is in fact used for the liquid base in all extracts. What? I’ve been putting alcohol in my cookies? This may be surprising to you but do not worry because you will only need to use several drops of the stuff when you infuse your dishes.
– 4 Four ounce bottles
– Vodka (or bourbon)
– 3 Whole vanilla beans
– ½ Cup mint leaves
– 1 Large navel orange
– 1 Large lemon
Now you know that these extracts will not intoxicate you, let’s get to the best part: the method. The coolest thing about making your own extract is that you only need two ingredients: the purest and freshest form of the flavour (whole vanilla beans, mint leaves, an orange or lemon) and your alcohol base. Then the rest is easy.
In your own extract bottles, fill all four of them with vodka and then insert your fresh ingredient into each one
The alcohol needs to extract the flavour so each jar needs to be left in a cool, dry place for at least five weeks
After you have waited those five weeks, viola
From flavouring your teas and baking delights to yogurts, these homemade essences will give your dish natural vibrant flavour
You will notice over several weeks that the colour has changed and has gotten increasingly vibrant by the fifth. The best thing about your homemade extracts? They can be topped up with more vodka as you use them.
Soon you will never have to buy another bottled extract again. Many of the products in grocery stores are riddled with lower-grade alcohol and they also use corn syrup which is known to be bad for our bodies. Amazing right? And these are products that can be used in a variety of dishes. If you are making any kinds of sorbet, be sure to use orange essence to really make it kick and vanilla extract is also excellent in any kinds of strong coffee.
The perfect lemon flavoured cheesecake can be made with the homemade extract but if you want to give yourself an extra treat, you need to try this s’mores cheesecake. Heaven on a plate? I think yes.
Wow. Who is craving cheesecake now? That may just be the best thing since sliced bread. Or perhaps even better?