Thursday, November 15, 2012

French Vanilla Sugar (法式香草糖)

One of my favorite flavorings that I use a lot in baking is vanilla. I especially love real, fresh vanilla beans. Whenever I can for certain recipes, I've always tried to use the fresh, real thing such as in ice cream, custard, flan, or even jam (check out my strawberry-vanilla jam).

The leftover vanilla pod from my strawberry-vanilla jam recipe, dried and broken into 2 pieces.

The only downside is that using fresh vanilla beans is more expensive than using vanilla extract, and because of that, I don't like to waste any bit of it. Very often, recipes that call for fresh vanilla beans will use only the seeds inside the beans and tell you to discard the pods. This is a perfect opportunity for you to gather those unwanted, scraped vanilla pods and reuse them. 

An old unused but dried out vanilla bean doesn't have to be wasted

To make this vanilla sugar is super easy and requires nothing but sugar, some fresh vanilla beans and your leftover vanilla pods (if you happen to have any). The result is heavenly and I promise you that you'll want to open the sugar jar and sniff it everyday. Yes, it's that addictive! It also makes a perfect gift, since I don't know anyone who doesn't like vanilla. And certainly, you'll want to add this sugar in just about everything that could benefit from a boost of flavor, including any baked goods...even your tea!

Fresh vanilla beans

 Vanilla Sugar (Makes two cups)

1 vanilla pod that is left from baking (opt.)

1 fresh vanilla bean or 1/2 if it's very large (If you don't happen to have any leftover vanilla pod, just use 2 vanilla beans or 1 whole large one instead)

2 C sugar of any kind (cane sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, sucranat....etc)

one 2-cup glass jar for storing

1. Let the leftover vanilla bean sit out one day to dry (if it's wet from cooking). Break the whole pod into 4 pieces when it's completely dried.

2. Use a small pairing knife to slice open the vanilla pod lengthwise and use the tip of the knife to scrape out all the seeds inside the pod. Cut the pod into 4 pieces.

3. In a bowl, put all the sugar, vanilla pod pieces and vanilla seeds in there and use a fork to mix everything around and separate the seeds.

4. Pour everything into your sugar jar. Close the lid tightly and let it sit for 2 weeks before opening. (I'm using a small 2-cup jar, but if you're using a larger one, you'll need to adjust the amount of the recipe.)

*When using the vanilla sugar for baking, take out the vanilla bean pieces. You may add them to your coffee or tea, but don't eat them. 


(For more photos, please see below after Chinese text.)



今天要介紹的「香草糖」製作程序非常簡單!! (甜點初學者可以提起勇氣試試喔 ^_^.. 老妹,看得粗乃我在暗示兼明示妳吧!!!!) 只需準備糖、用過剩下的香草以及新鮮的香草棒。相信我,它的味道,會讓你每天聞它千百回都不厭倦呢! 你可以將它作為禮物可以將它加在任何甜點上,或甚至茶與咖啡! 味道會立刻變得更有層次感,香氣會昇華得更誘人喔!


2杯糖 (可用一般砂糖,紅糖,黑糖…等等)


一根或半根大條的新鮮香草 (若沒有做甜點剩下的香草豆莢,可用2根或一根大條的新鮮香草)


1. 如果做甜點剩下的是濕的,將它放置一天直到乾燥。乾燥之後用手將它折斷成四小段。

2. 用小刀將香草莢剖開,以小刀的尖頭刮出所有的籽,將外皮切四小段。
3. 將所有香草莢,籽及糖全部倒入一個盆中用叉子將黏在一起的香草籽稍微分開,和糖混合均勻

4. 把和香草混合好的糖倒入糖罐內,緊閉密封,每日稍微搖晃糖罐幾下,放置2星期後等香草的香味溢出即可食用。

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