Sunday, April 13, 2008

Homemade Hazelnut Extract

I am one of many believers that anything homemade is better than what you can buy in the store. Purchasing extracts has always annoyed me. Vanilla extract is to blame for this. Its one of the more expensive foodstuffs you can have in your cabinet. Obviously Vanilla is rare so I understand the price and I would rather use fresh vanilla pods for ice cream rather than make an extract out of them, however, a little vanilla goes a long way if you have it. Nut extracts too don’t come cheap either and are much harder to find in the average supermarket Perusing an out of print ice cream book I found a recipe to make your own extract. I thought it was interesting but didn’t take the book out because I said to myself “I’ll just find this again on the internet”. I couldn’t. I spent about 10 minutes digging on the web and gave up. I ended up going back to the culinary library at the French Culinary Institute and copied it down. This is adapted from J & C Dueker’s “The Old Fashioned Homemade Ice Cream Cookbook”. The only changes I made were to toast the nuts first before I soaked them in Brandy and to chop them. Most people have a stock of cheap brandy somewhere in the back of their liquor cabinet which they hide and use for holiday/party punches, break it out for this recipe.

½ Cup Hazelnuts*, skinless
1 Cup Brandy


1. Pour hazelnuts into a skillet and toast. This should take about 5-7 minutes. They should be lightly browned not burned. If there are burned nuts don’t add them to the brandy. Once cooled, chop them coarsely.
2. Place in a jar or bottle and cover tightly. Allow at least a month before using. Dueker recommends subbing 2 Tbls of homemade extract for 1 Teaspoon commercial when using for baking or ice cream. I think you can add less but I’ll let you know once the extract is finished.

*If you do this for vanilla use a half pod per cup of brandy and do not toast. Slice it in half and scrape the insides. Combine everything in a jar.


Shreela said...

How did your hazelnut extract turn out?

M.G. DeLettante said...

Very good. And you do need more homemade than store bought. However, I think the applications are broader with the homemade juice. It adds a subtle undertones to a salad dressing, a sauce, a dessert etc.

Stef said...

Neat! I have yet to try making my own extracts. I'll have to give it a go at some point.

Jay said...

First, I used vodka rather than brandy as I didn't particularly want the added and distracting flavor.
Secondly, I made a second batch and 'pureed' the vodka and nuts together to possibly intensify the flavor and reduce the time.
Thirdly, I also made extracts f pecans and walnuts, with batches of each as above.
I'll let you know in a month.

dyfrgi said...

How did it come out, Jay?

obedmg said...

jay, did it sucked?....

Teddi said...

Do you think that using 1 cup of toasted hazelnuts in the same amount of brandy would intensify the flavor?

I think that I will try it and let and will repost the results.

Paul I said...

Teddi, if you have the space in a bottle, more of the hazelnuts will definitely intensify the flavor. It may become cost prohibitive though.

The last application I used for this was to deglaze a pan that I sauteed mushrooms and pepper in. The pasta came out fantastic.

The extract also lends itself very well to anything with browned butter in the recipe.

Ridwana Sirkot Jappie said...

Can you recomend a non alchoholic version

Paul I said...

Ridwana Jappie, I think if you are looking to make a homemade nut extract there is not a non-alcoholic way to do it. If the goal is to increase the hazelnut FLAVOR, then I would suggest using hazelnut flour mixed with AP if you are baking. You could also purchase or make your own hazelnut syrup---For the syrup I would toast and mash up 1 cup of hazelnuts. make a simple syrup and then cook the ingredients together for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. Thgen strain through a fine mesh sieve. Use the leftyover nuts for cookies or some other baking project.