Of course vanilla syrup is different from Vanilla Extract. No worries I have included both recipes here for you. The extract is the vanilla concentrate that we use to aromatise our baking. The syrup is a sugar based syrup that we use to either sweeten our drinks (hot and cold) think coffee, tea, iced tea, juices…etc and is also used to drench what we know as syrup cakes in order to result in a super moist absolutely delicious and 100% vanillafied cakes. Dressing your cakes with vanilla syrup almost instantly transforms the cake. It becomes so moist and bursting with flavour, it truly is fantastic! It is a secret component that many bakers don’t tell you about, but it makes all the difference to the flavour of their cakes. This syrup is also very popular among high end cake decorator, as they use it to keep a cake that will stand for a while under fondant moist. Finally this syrup can also be used in making sauces and salad dressings, where a bit of vanilla aroma and flavour are sought.
It goes without say, that when making your own, and using high quality vanilla and sugar it makes all the difference to the overall quality of your syrup and therefore the flavour and texture too. Most importantly making your own means no additives, preservatives or any of the harmful ingredients usually added in mass production food processing establishments. (check out this link for more info on food additives)
Somethings are too precious to buy cheap alternatives of and this is one of them!
I had been to a vanilla plantation in Mauritius and have seen the production process of vanilla. It is a hard and long process and once you see it you understand why vanilla beans are expensive. It also gives you a new appreciation for these amazing beans. Those vanilla beans smelled and tasted like no store-bought vanilla bean ever could! I brought back with me a large amount and found this syrup to be a very good way to preserve that aroma and flavour indefinitely. I was always told that my baking was more outstanding than ever during that time, and everyone was asking what I was doing differently. I really was doing nothing except using amazing Grade A vanilla beans and this fantastic syrup!