Vanilla Sugar:

To make:  1 vanilla bean is sufficient for 1 kg of granulated sugar.

Place a cleaned vanilla bean on a baking sheet at very low temperature until dried.

Grind, strain and add to a container holding  super-fine or granulated sugar. Cover the container tightly.  The sugar will be sufficiently scented with vanilla to be used in a week or so. 


Vanilla Extract:

Pure vanilla extract is made by soaking beans in alcohol and water for several months. The brown liquid that results is richly fragrant, unlike imitation vanilla, which is completely artificial and often bitter.


Homemade Vanilla Extract: (Makes 8-ounces)

 1/2-pint Vodka or Brandy

4 Vanilla beans

Seal tight bottle or container

. Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut a lengthwise slit down the middle of each vanilla bean.

. Pour vodka into your container and add beans and shake.

. It will take 30-days for the vanilla extract to mature. Once each day, vigorously shake the container for 30-seconds.

. Once the 30-day cycle has finished, strain the liquid through a colander or coffee filter and place in decorative bottle. FOR even stronger, more potent vanilla extract, allow the liquid 6 months to one year of sitting time


To Flavour Milk for Custards and Souffles:

For 1.25 litres of milk ( 2 pints) use ½ pod Vanilla – split it lengthwise, scrape seeds into milk and add the pod too. Bring to boil over low heat, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes on lowest heat. Leave in warm milk to infuse for another 15 mins and then strain.


Vanilla Pouring Custard

 A simple custard to pour over fresh fruits, dessert or cake.

 2 cups milk

1 vanilla bean, split down center

6 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Combine egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and beat until thick and pale lemon coloured, 1 to 2 mins.

Scald milk with vanilla bean and then allow to cool to 100 degrees or so.

Add to the egg mixture. Stir, then pour milk/egg mixture back into saucepan.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring till it thickens without coming to a boil. Mixture will be ready when it coats the back of a spoon.

Strain custard and then scrape seeds from vanilla bean into mixture. Stir in vanilla extract. Cool, stirring occasionally, then cover and chill.


Vanilla Cream sauce

 1 cup sugar

 4 teaspoons arrowroot

 1 cup whole milk

 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk

In medium saucepan combine all sauce ingredients, whisking until well blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.

To serve, spoon warm fruit mix into individual dessert dishes. Top each with sauce.


Vanilla Syrup

1 vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 for extra vanilla taste)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Cut your vanilla beans in half – you can slice them open and scrape out all the seeds. If you prefer a purer looking syrup, just halve the vanilla bean then slice down the middle, not scraping out the seeds.

Combine water, sugar and vanilla beans in a saucepan, stir well. Bring to a boil and boil for 4-5 minutes. Strain your syrup through a fine strainer. Cool, cover and let sit in the fridge for 3 hours to allow the flavors to mingle.  Use warm later over ice cream, pancakes etc.
This will keep 3 weeks in your fridge.


Chocolate Custard Cream:

175 g plain chocolate, broken into pieces

¼ lt water

1 vanilla pod

6 egg yolks, well beaten

30 cl double cream, whipped

 In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate with the water and the vanilla bean. When the chocolate is smooth and glossy, add the egg yolks. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate cream thickens and is perfectly smooth. Remove from heat, take out the vanilla pod, and leave the mixture to cool, stirring a while. Pour it through a fine sieve into 6 ramekins or petits pots, filling to three-quarters full. Top each with a dome of whipped cream.


Vanilla Coffee liqueur

Homemade liqueur that is similar to Kahlua!

4 cups Sugar

1 cup instant coffee powder

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

1 cup boiling water

3 cups brandy, vodka or bourbon

Mix together sugar and coffee powder, add the boiling water to it and stir till well dissolved and blended. Place the vanilla beans in a bottle, pour in coffee mixture and add alcohol. Let it rest at least 30 days in a cool dark place, turning and shaking gently every few days.


Hot Fudge Sauce

Serve warm or hot to get the full, fabulous effect of this rich sauce

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 ½ cup vanilla sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or more to taste)

 In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter.  Remove from heat and mix in the sugar and salt, stirring with a wooden spoon.  The mixture should look thick and grainy.  Blend in the cocoa and heavy cream and return to the heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth and heated through, about five minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. This will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.


Vanilla Mousse

1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup water

8 egg yolks

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

1 quart heavy cream

pure vanilla extract to taste

 Boil sugar, water and vanilla bean rapidly for 5 minutes.  Cool. Beat egg yolks on top of a double boiler and whip into the syrup gradually.  Cook custard over very hot, but not boiling water, stirring constantly, until it becomes creamy and thick.  Remove vanilla beans and scrape out seeds. Rub custard through a sieve and stir over a bowl of ice water until it cools.

 Whip 1 quart heavy cream until it is stiff enough to hold a shape, add vanilla extract to taste, and fold the cream into the cooled custard.

 This mousse can be spooned into cups and served chilled.  Serves 6 to 8


Vanilla Chiffon Sauce

 1/3 cup butter, softened

 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar

 1 egg, separated

 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 1/2 cup heavy cream

 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract; blend well. Beat cream until stiff; fold into butter mixture (sauce will be foamy). Sprinkle with nutmeg.


Double Chocolate Icecream (using Jack Daniels)

1 vanilla bean, split
2 c. milk 
2 c. heavy cream 
8 egg yolks 
3/4 c. sugar 
1 c. bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces 
1/4 c. Jack Daniel's or to taste 
1/4 c. bittersweet chocolate, melted

Heat vanilla bean with milk and cream in large saucepan until liquid boils. Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until foamy. Whisk half of hot milk mixture into sugar and egg yolks, then return to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until custard coats back of spoon. Do not let boil. Strain custard into a large, cold bowl. Stir chocolate pieces into hot custard until melted and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate until chilled.

Stir in Jack Daniel's, then pour custard into ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. While ice cream is freezing, prepare chocolate chips: Heat a heavy baking sheet in preheated 350 degree oven. Spread melted chocolate over baking sheet, making a thin, even layer. Chill until hard. Score chocolate with sharp knife into small squares, about 1/4 inch in size. Scrape chips from baking sheet and freeze until needed. When ice cream is ready, transfer to cold, freezer-proof bowl. Fold in chocolate chips. Makes 2 quarts.


Vanilla Butter sauce

Try the following sauce on fresh shellfish, such as prawns and lobster, as well as with grilled fish

2 shallots, minced
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups dry white wine
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 ounces cold butter (8 tablespoons, or 1 cube)
salt and pepper to taste

Place the shallots in a saucepan with the vanilla bean, wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce mixture until 1/4 cup of liquid is left.
Add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and bring mixture back to a boil. Add the butter, cut into pieces, and mix with a whisk until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

Remove vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste


Vanilla Mojito

(an exotic cocktail)

3 cups Fresh mint leaves

½ cup lime juice

9 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Angostura bitters

1 ½ cups light rum

 6 cups crushed ice

6 lime slices

6 sprigs mint

 Crush mint leaves, sugar, bitters and vanilla extract with a wooden spoon in a bowl till the oils of the mint leaves are fragrant. Add the rum and lime juice and stir till sugar dissolves. Let it rest for two hours.

Strain mixture into a large pitcher. Add club soda. Fill glasses with ice, pour in mixture and garnish with mint sprigs and lime slices.


Vermicelli Payasam

Thin vermicilli - 200gms
Sugar - 3 cups
Sweetened condensed milk - 200gm
Milk - 1 litre

Vanilla Bean –1/2 pod
Ghee(clarified butter) - 3 tbsp
Unsalted raw Cashew nuts - 50gms
Black raisins - 50gms
Cardamom powder - 1tsp (optional)

 To prepare milk: use ½ pod Vanilla – split it lengthwise, scrape seeds into milk and add the pod too. Bring to boil over low heat, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes on lowest heat. Leave in warm milk to infuse for another 15 mins and then strain.

Take a heavy bottom flat vessel. Add the ghee. Fry the cashew till golden brown and remove. Add the raisins and stir for a minute and remove. Add the vermicilli and roast till golden brown. Add more ghee if required. Add the sugar and stir for 5 minutes. Be careful that the sugar does not stick to the vessel. Add the prepared vanilla  milk and stir on low flame. Take another pan and boil 3 cups of water. Off the gas and add the sweetened condensed milk to the water and dissolve it. Meanwhile the milk would be boiling. Check if the vermicilli is cooked. Do not over cook it. It should be just done. Add the diluted condensed milk and keep on stirring. Check the sweetness. Add more sugar if needed. Keep on stirring till the mixture starts getting thick. Turn off the gas. Add the fried cashew nuts and raisins. Add the cardomom powder and keep covered. Can be served hot or chilled. If the mixture gets thick add some boiled milk to the payasam.


Vanilla Bean Icecream

1 quart heavy cream

1 1/4 cups milk

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 1/4 cups white sugar, divided

10 egg yolks

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and milk. Place vanilla bean and scrapings in pot, and sprinkle with half the white sugar. Allow to just come to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together with the remaining sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl. When the cream is ready, pour a third of it into the egg mixture, and whisk. Pour egg mixture into remaining hot cream and return to the heat until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil.

Strain custard and chill until cold. Then pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.


Portuguese Chocolate Liqueur

1 quart whiskey

1/2 lemon

4 1/2 cups white sugar

1 quart milk

6 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

2 vanilla beans

 In a gallon container combine whiskey, lemon, sugar, milk, chocolate squares and vanilla beans. Keep at room temperature for 10 days, stirring once a day.

After 10 days, remove the lemon half, chocolate and vanilla beans. Insert a coffee filter into a large funnel. pour the liquid through the filter into a gallon jug. Change filter as needed. A clear yellow solution should result. This liqueur can be stored in a sealed bottle at room temperature.


White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

6 egg yolks, beaten

5 tablespoons white sugar

1/4 cup sifted cornstarch

2 cups milk

1 vanilla bean, halved

2 tablespoons butter, diced

3 ounces white chocolate, melted

8 ripe bananas

1 lemon, juiced

1 pint whipping cream

1 fluid ounce white chocolate liqueur

1 fluid ounce banana liqueur

12 ounces white chocolate

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish

To Make White Chocolate Pastry Cream: In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Whisk in cornstarch. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and vanilla bean to just below the boiling point. Slowly whisk a small amount of hot milk into egg yolk mixture, then stir egg yolk mixture back into pan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.

Stir in butter, then strain mixture through a sieve. Place plastic wrap over the surface of mixture to keep a skin from forming. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in melted white chocolate. Chill pastry cream.

Slice bananas and toss with the lemon juice to keep from discoloring. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whip chilled whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into pastry cream, then fold in bananas and liqueurs. Fill tart shell with banana cream filling.

Top generously with white chocolate curls, then dust with cocoa. Serve soon after assembling so crust doesn't get soggy.

To make white chocolate curls, carefully draw a vegetable peeler across the broad, flat surface of a room-temperature (about 80 degrees) chunk of white chocolate to make large, thin curls. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Home made Kahlua:

2 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons
instant coffee
3 tablespoons water
2 cups brandy
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

Bring 2 cups water and sugar to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Dissolve coffee in 3 tablespoons boiling water in a cup, then stir into the sugar mixture. Add brandy. Pour into two 1-quart Mason jars (about equal level in the two jars). Attach a string to the vanilla bean halves and submerge in the two jars. Drape the ends of string over the lips and screw on lids.

Place in a cool, dark place. Remove beans after 6 weeks and enjoy!


Vanilla Infused Hot Chocolate Recipe

Ancient Aztecs and Mayans drank ground up cocoa beans mixed with water in a beverage that was called xocoatl, or bitter water. Europeans later added sugar and spices, such as cinnamon and vanilla, to make the drink more agreeable to European tastes. This beverage evolved into the more familiar hot chocolate that is enjoyed today. This recipe makes 6 eight ounce servings.

1 vanilla bean

4 cups milk

 2 cups heavy cream

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cut the vanilla bean in half length wise and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to a large sauce pan. Add the milk and cream to the sauce pan and place over medium heat. Cook until the liquid is well heated being sure not to scorch it.

Stir in the chocolate chips, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir continuously until the chocolate is thoroughly melted.

Pour into individual mugs.


Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee

6 large egg yolks

6 tablespoons sugar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

6 teaspoons granulated sugar (or 8 -12 teaspoons packed brown sugar).

 Preheat oven to 325°F.

Whisk yolks and 6 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl to blend. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Gradually whisk the cream into the sugar.   Divide mixture among 6 - 3/4 cup custard cups or ramekins. Arrange dishes in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dishes.

Bake custards approximately 35-40 minutes until the custard is set.  Do not overbake or your custard will be rubbery.   Remove the pan from the oven and remove custard cups from the water.  Allow custards to cool before placing in the refrigerator. Chill overnight.


Two hours before serving:
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar atop each custard. Place dishes on small baking sheet. Broil until sugar just starts to caramelize, rotate sheet for even browning, about 2 minutes. Chill until caramelized sugar hardens, about 2 hours.


Simpler ways to use Vanilla Beans:

For those who are daunted by the thought of using vanilla beans, here are some quick and easy ways to use them!

Even if you don’t feel inspired to make your own granola, put a vanilla pod in your granola or cereal container. It will fragrance the grains without any effort on your part other than to slice the vanilla bean and put it in with the cereal.

Roll and loosely tie up a vanilla bean and put it into your sugar jar. It will mildly flavor your sugar and make your coffee more enjoyable!