Homemade vanilla extract

I decided I'd try my hand at making vanilla extract today.  I understand the homemade stuff is far superior to most that you can buy, so I'm giving it a try.

Homemade Vanilla Extract: Day 0
It's easy enough to make. You just need alcohol and vanilla beans.

Homemade Vanilla Extract: Day 1
Take 250 ml of alcohol - I used an inexpensive vodka.  Split 3 vanilla beans lengthwise and then in half and add them to the vodka in a sealable bottle.

Put in a dark place like a cupboard for 2 - 3 months.  Shake occasionally.

After 3 months, decant out a small amount and use as you would bought vanilla extract and top up the rest with fresh vodka. You can keep your original stock going quite a while.

So mine is in the cupboard.  I hope I remember in October.  I shall put it in my diary!
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Making hazelnut butter

I've mentioned before on this blog about how I love hazelnuts and as I was looking at some recipes, I came across one for hazelnut ice cream.  One of the ingredients was hazelnut butter, but I've never seen that in the stores.

So a quick rummage through my fridge led me to a small handful of hazelnuts.  There were probably only about 20 or so left, but they were tasty.  I thought I'd give them a whizz and make my own hazelnut butter - not enough for ice cream, but just a test to see how it would work.

I used my immersion blender fixed onto it's dry food grinder.   The dry food grinder makes it really into a tiny food processor.

It blended those hazelnuts brilliantly - and quickly!  Yes, no other ingredients - just handful of hazelnuts and switch on the machine.  Yummy, creamy hazelnut butter in about a minute...now I just need to buy more hazelnuts and make some more and then make the ice cream!

I wonder what nut butter I should try next.... I've done almond, cashew and now hazelnut...maybe some green pistachio for St Patricks Day????  What is your favorite nut butter?

(PS I HATE peanut butter! Ugh, even the smell is ghastly!)
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