Throughout this year, I've been making all kinds of infusions in all kinds of things. This particular infusion is one I keep coming back to. It's easy to make, fun to do, and smells so delicious it's pure pleasure for the nose.
I mean, who doesn't love the scent of vanilla?
As you can see from the picture, you don't need all kinds of things to make a great vanilla-infused oil:
- Vanilla beans
- Sweet Almond Oil (or Jojoba or Apricot Kernel)
- Clean jar with tight-fitting lid (canning jars are perfect)
Shall we get started?
But First, Let's Talk VanillaI know it can be tempting to buy bargain-priced vanilla. I realize it costs far less than the pricey stuff. My pocketbook can attest to this fact.
But guess what.
Yeah, I know you already know this. The good stuff is pricier for a reason.
I did a few comparison tests, and here's what I found.
The bottom (bigger) vanilla bean cost far more than the 2 top beans (and a few more) together. The top beans definitely smell like vanilla, and if I had not set out to compare, I might never have been the wiser.
But I did. And here's how I put them to the test.
Sniff TestThis test was quite simple: Sniff, then note down immediate reaction
Bargain Beans: yup, that's definitely vanilla
Pricey Beans: intoxicating vanilla-delicious nose candy
On the left: pricey beans after slicing
On the right: bargain beans after slicing
The beans were sliced right where you see them on the board. The plump juiciness of the pricier bean is pretty evident, don't you agree?
No? Ok, let me remove the beans so you can get a better look.
See what I mean?
OK, let's infuse and see if the difference is still evident!
Formula For Infusing Oil With Vanilla Beans
- 1 part vanilla beans
- 10 parts oil (I used sweet almond)
- Slice beans
- Place in clean jar
- Pour oil into jar
- Seal jar
- Place in a sunny semi-warm spot (24° - 28°C / 75° - 82°F)
- Agitate daily while infusing
- Infuse for 10-14 days
You: What? That's sounds wrong! Normally infusing oils takes WEEKS! MONTHS! Not a mere 14 days?!
Me: In this particular instance, all normal rules are out the window. You see, vanilla beans are magical. They need only 14 days (and the right temperature) to infuse.
Stay tuned for a fun straining tip and the final comparison.