Vanilla Extract – Week 2

October 17, 2010

I now realize that there will be no surprises with my vanilla extract. More beans equals stronger flavor. Period. After 2 weeks, the results are based entirely upon the amount of beans used in the extract. Recipe #4 (the strongest) is still only 50% of McCormick’s and is now on par with the imitation vanilla. Neither of Chris Kimball’s recipes are doing well; Recipe #2 barely tastes of vanilla, and I declared Recipe #1 a failure last week.

Week 2 Results (the recipes are here):

  • Recipe #1: 0-star. Very weak. Recipe is a failure. Because I filtered it last week it will not improve beyond zero stars. I probably won’t mention it again.
  • Recipe #2: 1 star. Very weak. Barely a hint of vanilla flavor.
  • Recipe #3: Ready on December 1. Not sampled.
  • Recipe #4: 2 star. About 1/2 potency of McCormicks.
  • McCormicks: 4 stars. Classic vanilla flavor, but $4 per ounce. Corn syrup added.
  • Imitation Vanilla: 2 stars. Similar, but off flavor. Made from wood by-products and chemicals. Yuck.

It seems clear at this point that it takes months to make vanilla extract. Chris Kimball’s promise to accomplish it in weeks is pure fallacy.  There is such a discrepancy in these recipe, that I see no point in testing anything again for at least a month.

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