Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vanilla & Whipped Cream

Vanilla and whipped cream are two things that can be really pricey at the grocery, but are also super easy to make. I made vanilla for the first time recently and finally used it to make whipped cream yesterday. It was easily the best whipped cream I have ever made. I'm attributing it to the homemade vanilla and thought since it was so good, I would have to share with all of you.

Making Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup 100 proof vodka
vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Glass jar with Lid

You can make as much as you'd like, but keep the ratio 3/4 cup of vodka to one split vanilla bean. Place the split vanilla bean in the jar and pour the vodka over it. Be sure the entire vanilla bean is covered in vodka. You screw the lid on tight and let it sit for one month. That's it. It will turn a very nice caramel color. You remove the beans, strain the vanilla (if any of the seeds are sitting at the bottom) and have some great vanilla.

If you dry out the vanilla beans they can still be used to make vanilla sugar. I haven't done that yet, but know that it can be done.

This picture is about two hours after I put it up, it gets a much deeper color before it's ready.

Making Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pour the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and mix together. Once everything is combined, place the bowl and what you're going to use to whisk it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This is not necessary, but I find that it helps it become whipped cream a bit faster. After that 30 minutes (or immediately if you'd like) you need to whisk it, whether by hand, handheld beaters or a kitchen aid, until it forms soft peaks.

If you're like I was when I first made whipped cream, you'll wonder what does that mean. Imagine what any whipped cream or even cool whip has looked and felt like when you've put your finger in it to taste some. It forms a soft peak when you pull your finger out.

Also, I can't tell you how long to whip it because it depends on the speed you use and how much you're making. However, I can warn you not to whip it too long. If you pass the point it will start to get thicker, almost like an icing and if you go past that it will turn into butter. And not yummy butter, but sweet vanilla butter - which I can tell you from experience is not very good.

So, that's how to make vanilla & whipped cream. Two easy things that everyone is impressed by when they hear you've made it at home. Enjoy!


ColumbusGEEK said...

You are awesome.

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