Mocha Vanilla Extract
This vanilla extract is named after the sweet and talented person that invented it. Starlette is the living embodiment of of vanilla bean sweetness. Kind to everyone, helpful to all and never without a smile.
We are proud to share her recipe with you in her own words:
You will need:
1 pint jar or larger
1 ounce of vanilla beans, tied
1 cup dark arabica coffee beans
1 cup chocolate nibs
12-14 oz vodka
For the vanilla: I used 5 Madagascar Vanilla Beans to infuse the familiar buttery vanilla flavor and 5 Indonesian Beans for their strong, earthy flavor that pairs well with both chocolate and coffee. You can use any variety of Beans. For the coffee, I used whole bean Safeway Sumatra, but any good medium arabica coffee is fine.
To start, tie the vanilla beans into a knot so the caviar stays in the bean and the bean stays under the alcohol. Add them to the jar with 1/4 cup of slightly cracked coffee beans, pour in 12-14 ounces of alcohol, shake gently, and store in a cool, dark place. Shake every day or two. After a month, strain and remove the coffee. Add the vanilla beans back into the strained alcohol with 1/2 cup chocolate nibs, let brew another month. By this time it should start taking on a mocha fragrance. If not, strain and add another round of coffee/chocolate for an additional 2-4 weeks or until the mocha flavor is achieved.
When ready, strain, cut and add your vanilla beans back into the jar with the extracted liquid. This needs to extract another 2-3 months for the full vanilla flavor to come through.
Use your nose and extract to the scent and flavor to your liking. I added a few drops in a tablespoon of whole milk with a dash of sugar to test flavoring. Mine steeps six months or more, but you can use it sooner.
Extract Time: 3-6 months, longer for a more vanilla flavor.
Note: Use this extract in Coffee Cakes, Brownies, or Cookies. I also add a tablespoon to Chili and Meatloaf to mellow out the flavors. Great addition to hot chocolate or iced mochas!