$20 isn’t much money in the scheme of things, but there comes a time when I would rather keep it than spend it.
Coffee Syrups are one of the things that I would rather not spend $20 on so I’ve started to experiment with some home-brew replacements that cost around $1 for the equivalent volume!
Vanilla Coffee Syrup
This is the easy one, it’s my wife favourite addition and the cause of this home-brewing.
In this instance we’re trying to replicate the flavour and sweetness of Davinci French Vanilla syrup that is most commonly used in Australian Cafes.
Get the sweetness right
All a coffee syrup is made of is sweeteners and flavours, to adjust sweetness you simply vary the amount of sugar in the mix. The commercial product I’m trying to match is approximately 75% sugar.
The scientific way of doing this is to measure ingredients by weight rather than volume. Naturally I didn’t do this and simply worked on a 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar mix.
As it turns out the 1:1 volume ratio gave the desired sugar content.
This is the hard bit. The commercial syrups will often use Vanilla essence rather than extract – and worse still they can use a completely artificial flavour! You could do the same of course but the whole idea here is to make a more natural product as well as save money.
To that end I used a Vanilla Extract concentrate which is not cheap but meets with my tasters approval.
How much to add is the question, it’s personal taste sure but to match our commercial product we’ve found it takes 7.5 to 10ml of Vanilla Extract per 250ml of water/sugar.
So we now have a 1:1:2 relationship. Thats:
1 Cup water
1 Cup Raw sugar
1.5-2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract.
The last part of the operation is the brewing. It turns out the most successful way of making this work is to slowly bring the sugar and water to the boil. The solution will be initially cloudy. There will be a scummy foam on the top.
Once it’s brought to the boil I allow it to simmer very slowly for at least 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Over then time the liquid will become clear (although it will still be dark due to the sugars colour).
Once the liquid is clear, and there’s no scummy foam on top (and at least 5 minutes have passed) I turn off the heat and add the vanilla. Stir the mix together and allow to cool to room temperature before decanting into a bottle for serving.