It's always great fulfilling the challenge and mastering a skill and this year has been all about learning new skills. This week’s, it is flavoured extracts and it was such a pleasure researching and making these up - I felt that I should have my lab coat on. They are so simple to prepare.

Important tips when preparing flavoured extracts.

  •  They take 4 to 5 weeks to infuse.
  •  Leave them in a dark, cool place.
  •  Use glass bottles or jars, never plastic or metal.
  •  Ensure that you are using sprigs of herbs that are washed and dried thoroughly. 

DIY Flavoured extracts

  • These take five weeks to infuse so they will be ready for Christmas baking. You can then just keep rolling out new extracts like coffee and lemon.
  • Your glass jar must be sterilised.
  • If you want an option for a non-alcoholic one, use liquid glycerine. There are two recipes below for you. 

Homemade Vanilla Extract
Makes: 100ml        

Ingredients

  • 100ml vodka*
  • 2 vanilla pods, cut to size

Method

  1. Pour the vodka into a sterilized glass jar and add the vanilla pods. Seal.
  2. Leave to infuse for 5 weeks in a cool dark place.
  3. Gently shake twice a week.
  4. Once infused, take the vanilla pods out.  You can use these pods again.

vanilla

Homemade Orange Extract
Makes: 100ml

Ingredients

  • 100ml vodka
  • 4 x 4cm orange peel pieces

Method

  1. Pour the vodka into a sterilised glass jar. Add the orange peel.
  2. Seal and leave to infuse for 5 weeks in a cool dark place.
  3. Gently shake twice a week.
  4. Once infused, take out the orange peel pieces and discard.

Note: You cannot use the orange peel again.

orange

Homemade Mint Extract
Makes 105ml

Ingredients

  • 80ml liquid glycerine
  • 25ml cold water
  • 5 mint sprigs, washed (ensure that the sprigs are completely dry before using)

Method

  1. Pour the liquid glycerine into a small, sterilised bottle.
  2. Pour the water in and carefully shake.
  3. Push in the mint sprigs and seal the bottle.
  4. Leave it in a cool dry place for 5 weeks, carefully shaking twice a week.
  5. When infused, remove the mint sprigs and discard.

mint

Homemade Almond Extract
Makes
105ml
 
Ingredients

  • 40g blanched almond slivers
  • 80ml liquid glycerine
  • 25ml cold water

Method

  1. Place the almond slivers into a small, sterilised glass jar and pour over the glycerine and cold water.
  2. Leave to infuse for 5 weeks. Shake twice a week and leave in a cool dry dark place.
  3. The extract will be slightly cloudy after a week or so.
  4. When ready, sieve the mixture into another sterilised bottle. Discard the almonds.

almonds

*Always drink responsibly