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I understand there is a clear vanilla, could be pure, just bleached somehow.
- Desiderius Erasmus
Remember Pepsi Clear? eeeyyuuooo. That flavor is just not natural!!!
It would help if you could verify your source... I don't believe it is true. Logic would say that the purest vanilla extract is NOT clear. Why? Because vanilla beans are dark brown as are the seeds. Have you used fresh vanilla beans/seeds in your recipes?
I think it's an oxymoron to say that clear vanilla extract is pure. Have you ever noticed that brown vanilla ice cream has more of a vanilla flavor than white vanilla ice cream especially when homemade? Usually this is because they used fresh vanilla seeds instead of any type of extract at all.
Why don't you try making your own homemade vanilla extract? I can't imagine anything being more pure than making your own.
The following recipe for homemade vanilla extract is from our fellow forum member logose, posted November 22, 2000 06:35 AM under [The Inside Scoop » Making Food Gifts For Christmas]
- Desiderius Erasmus
I'd assume the "extract" itself would be so minute as to just flavor the main ingredient that it wouldn't be enough to color it.
FYI (I found this interesting):
Here are two recipes for "kirsch/homemade brandy":
From Kitchen Cordials by Nancy Crosby and Sue Kenny:
3 cups cherries
3 cups 80-proof brandy
1/2 cup sugar
Pierce cherries with a fork and put in glass jar along with 2 cups brandy. Be sure fruit is covered. Leave for 1 month. Strain and filter. Add additional cup of brandy and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir well to dissolve. Leave until clear.
Decent flavor additives: cloves, cinnamon, mace.
From Sweet Sips 2 by Charles Thomas:
2 pounds Royal Anne or other yellow-red variety of cherries
2 pounds sugar
2 1/2 cups brandy
1 1/2 cups vodka
Wash and stem fruit, then cut each sherry open with a knife, exposing the pit. Put cherries in a large, clean jar and cover with sugar, stirring well to cover all the fruit. Let sit for 3-4 hours. This allows sugar to pull juices from the fruit. Stir in
the vodka and brandy until most of the sugar is dissolved. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for 2-3 months, stirring or shaking occasionallt (once or twice a month) to enhance flavor extaction.
Strain and filter as needed. Set aside fruit pulp you filtered out and use on waffles, ice cream or whatever suits your fancy.
As a variation, substitute Bing or other dark cherry for the golden ones above. Remove the pits from about half the cherries. Wrap the pits in a cloth and crack them open with a hammer. Add broken cherries to the mix. (If you want to preserve the pulp as above, put cherries in a cheese-cloth bag before adding to mixture.)
Or substitute vodka for brandy to make a "Cherry Schnapps" - a more pure cherry taste.
I can't believe anyone can detect pure vanilla extract from imitation vanilla extract in a baked product or frosting. Vanilla beans are of course another story.
I've been using vanilla bean paste alot lately. Anyone else?
Vanilla extract is always brown to black depending in how many "folds or x" it has. I fold or 1x = to 13.35 oz of vanilla bean per gallon, 2 fold is 26.7oz per gallon and so on but after 2 fold you start loosing some of the "basic vanillin oils" that makes vanilla extract so unique. "Clear vanilla" does not exist it is synthetic. To make meringue cover for you cakes etc, you save you beans in white sugar or bakers sugar and after a week depending how many you put in the bag you will get the "sugar" impregnated with the flavor of vanilla without the dark color of extract. If the beans get hard and they will after a few weeks all you have to do is put them in whatever liquid you use for your baking (milk, cream, even "water") and the bean will reconstitute in a couple of hours or at least you will be able to split it open to get the seeds out. It is always cheaper and you will get better flavor in your desserts if you use the whole beans. You should never put vanilla beans in the refrigerator they could get "moldy" from humidity and they need room temperature to further enhance the aromatic qualities and let the vanillin crystals grow which is a sign of super quality and that can take up to 3/4 years of aging. (You never refrigerate raisin, do you?)