25 July 2013

MOO Vanilla Sugar


An ingredient in many sweet recipes, vanilla sugar, or vanillan sugar (depends on the brand and where you live as to what you call it) costs an absolute fortune!

And yet it is the easiest, simplest thing to make, and you can make a whole kilo of it for less than the price of a 50g jar.

I use it mostly in my cheesecake recipe (which is my mother's cheesecake recipe) and to top off a coffee cake or muffins. But you can use it is milkshakes, coffee, custards, sauces - just about anything that has both vanilla and sugar in the ingredients. It is just delicious sprinkled over porridge.

You will need:
1kg white sugar
4 - 6 vanilla beans (how many will depend on how strong you want the flavour to be and how quickly you want to use the sugar)
A large jar with a good, tight fitting lid

Step 1. Sterilise your jar.

Step 2. Take your vanilla beans and split them down the centre. Then cut each one into three or four pieces.

Step 3. Fill the jar with the sugar. Add the vanilla beans.

Step 4. Put the lid on and shake, shake, shake until the vanilla beans disappear into the sugar.

Step 5. Put the jar in a cool, dark cupboard for four weeks. Give it a shake every couple of days to move the beans around.

After four weeks, take the lids off and breathe in that delicious vanilla scent - it's ready to use.

Cath's Mum's Lemon Cheesecake

1 pkt Teddy Bear biscuits, crushed into fine crumbs
125g butter, melted
1 can evaporated milk, chilled 24 hours
1 pkt lemon jelly crystals
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
1 x 250g blocks Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

Combine biscuit crumbs and butter. Press into the base of a well greased 20cm spring form pan; chill.
Blend the jelly crystals into the boiling water until dissolved.
Beat the evaporated milk until it is thick and fluffy.
Add the cream cheese, a little at a time, and beat until well combined and there are no lumps.
Beat in all remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into prepared crumb crust. Chill for 2 - 3 hours or overnight before serving.
Teddy Bear biscuits can be hard to find. You can use any plain sweet biscuit to make the crust.
I don't use Philadelphia cream cheese, it's too expensive. I use the Aldi alternative, but you can buy Neufchatel cream cheese from the deli and use it instead.

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