Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vanilla Sugar

Do you keep your used vanilla beans and turn them into vanilla sugar?  If not then you definitely should.  Those gorgeous beans are full of so much flavour.  Even when the seeds have been scraped or they have been used to infuse a sauce or custard, they are still full of deliciousness.

Every time I use a bean it gets rinsed, dried (with paper towel - I don't worry too much about the moisture) and shoved into my vanilla sugar jar.  It is then topped up with castor sugar which in no time at all takes on the gorgeous vanilla aroma and becomes perfect to sprinkle on top of confections or used in dishes where you want a subtle vanilla flavour.

The moisture in the beans tends to make the sugar clump together somewhat, but it is easy to break up and the heavenly intense smell of vanilla every time I open the jar is just magic.  This is recycling at its best!


  1. I've always balked at recipes that require vanilla beans because they seem so expensive. This is brilliant though, very glad to know that those used beans can be re-used ... you may just have tipped the scale in the beans' favour.

  2. I do this as well.

    Can't wait to start baking with mine.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  3. CheezyK - real vanilla beans just have such an extraordinary flavour. They are expensive - my Mum and I give them to each other as presents.

    SSG - I added it to french toast on the weekend, it was brilliant.

  4. Yum! I used to do this with my vanilla pods. Love the vanilla flavour it gives when mixed with hot drinks! :)

  5. OK, I really need to move up to real vanilla. I've never bought the beans! Mostly, I hate to say, I still use cheap supermarket vanilla extract. I need to move upmarket I think.

  6. Vanilla sugar is the best ever! It's been too long since I splurged on vanilla beans; must do it :)

  7. Given there appears to be so many vanilla bean fans out there I thought I'd pop back in to mention that every time I get an update notification about comments on this post an ad for this site pops up - http://sunshinevanilla.com.au
    I'm no vanilla bean expert but they seem reasonably priced ...

  8. Great idea! I've never done this myself but have enjoyed vanilla sugar many times. Best. Vanilla is one of the best things in the world :)
    Heidi xo

  9. xoCATox - I had never thought of using it in hot drinks, that is a great idea!

    Kari - extract has its place but in some things you just can't beat the real flavour, plus the cute black specks of seeds.

    Hannah - You are right - do it!

    CheezyK - hmmm, might have to check that out.

    Heidi - do give it a try. It doesn't go off, and is so delicious.

  10. This post makes me wish I was anywhere near cool enough to own vanilla beans.

  11. I love doing this - I also just started making my own vanilla essence too - so many uses for them you don't need to throw them out