Monday, October 14, 2013
Vanilla Bean Sorghum Syrup
I keep a big batch of cold brewed coffee in the fridge because we really like iced coffee, and it’s convenient in the mornings. Nathan puts store bought caramel syrup in his, but I prefer homemade syrup. I often make ginger syrup, vanilla bean syrup, or when the season is right a batch of gingerbread syrup. A few years back when pumpkin spice syrup started making the rounds I made it too, but I wasn’t blown away by it. A few weeks ago I set out to make the best pumpkin spice syrup ever and did a LOT of tweaking. While it was pretty dang good, I felt it needed further adjusting to the spice ratios and method to truly be called “the best ever”. When it ran out I just didn’t have the energy that night to do “recipe development”, so I decided to make a simple vanilla bean syrup. (Side note, with as many times as I’ve made vanilla bean syrup, I can’t believe I’ve never blogged it.)
As it was simmering, I got to thinking… One of my favorite coffee shops in town, Crema, in the past has made a Bourbon Barrel Sorghum Latte. Being a Kentucky girl, I was raised with sorghum as an alternative to honey or molasses. I’ve used it a Pumpkin Nut Muffin recipe on the blog in the past, and mentioned putting it in steel cut oats. The sorghum in my pantry had crystalized and needed reheating to use. I got to thinking that I could swirl it into the vanilla bean syrup to give it another depth of flavor. This turned out to be a spectacular idea. I may abandon the idea of working on the pumpkin syrup recipe, because this was quicker & easier, and SO DELICIOUS! I’ve been using it in coffee, but I oughta work on putting it to use in cocktails! It really does just give it an extra depth of flavor, with a touch of the sweetness & flavor of sorghum. The sorghum pairs with the vanilla bean perfectly as well. If you can get your hands on some sorghum, I highly suggest making a batch of this!
Vanilla Bean Sorghum Syrup
Yield: Approximately 1 cup of syrup
When making simple syrups like this, I always double the recipe. What you see in the photograph is this recipe doubled. I say if I'm going to the trouble, might as well double it!
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon sorghum
Add the sugar and water to a pot. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the oily seeds from the middle and add it to the water and sugar. Add in the empty scraped pods as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes. (I sometimes simmer even longer, as I like a thicker syrup.)
Remove from heat and stir in sorghum. Cover and let cool 1 hour or longer. Strain through a mesh strainer, and pour into a storage container. Store in refrigerator. (You don't have to strain it, I just don't like adding the pods to the container as they are sometimes tricky to fish out!)