Brit Dopers: Vanilla sugar - what is?

I was making a dessert recipe from one of the naked chef books, and he mentions using “vanilla sugar”.

Is that British English for “berry sugar”, or is it sugar that actually has vanilla flavour added?

Take one vanilla bean. Split lengthwise. Scrape with the back of knife. Place in airtight jar. Fill jar with sugar. Wait a couple of weeks.

Vanilla sugar is vanilla bean that has been steeping in sugar for a while.

You can find it here.

You can also make it at home by slitting a vanilla bean, scraping the seeds out with the back side of a knife and mixing the seeds into white sugar. Let it sit for a week or two. From Saint Alton’s recipe.

That’s all it is.


Yup, but I don’t it’s just British, strictly speaking. You can make your own by placing one whole vanilla bean (cut length-wise) in your sugar-containing device of choice (one that has a sealable lid) with amount of sugar. Let sit for a week to infuse, shake once a day.
What recipe, if I may be so bold?

I’ve always made vanilla sugar by taking a vanilla bean or two, cut them into pieces, and leaving them buried in a container of sugar, sealed and stored in the cupboard for a couple of weeks.

It’s been a while since I’ve made it, though, so hopefully someone can come in and add a few details, if any. I shake it up a couple times over the few weeks I leave it. I don’t know how long is required, I just always used to keep it on hand, so would have it made way ahead of time.

Oh, and keep the beans when the sugar is gone - they’ll last a couple of years worth of vanilla sugar making.

I heard you can make vanilla sugar by cutting open a vanilla bean lengthwise and putting it in your sugar.

So to review, it involves a vanilla bean and sugar… :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

Lemon curd pudding. Chatted about it in this earlier thread on double-boilers.

Don’t know if anyone’s mentioned it yet, but cutting a vanilla bean…

…should only be done while listening to Rio, by Duran Duran.

I wonder if you could make this yourself instead of paying $18 for 2 cups? I’m thinking maybe you could cut a vanilla bean, like lengthwise or something, and then put it in with some sugar and wait? Hmmm… might work?

Can I ask a related question? I have a couple of british cookbooks too. What’s “superfine sugar”? I know it’s not confectionary sugar, since that’s in a lot of the recipes too.

Taking a wild guess here, but - powdered sugar?

Also, Vanillian Zucker is also used in lots of German recipes…you can buy packets of it in the USA at Cost Plus or any number of import stores - they usually come in packets of five. I believe it is sold under the brand name of Dr Oetker.

They said it’s not confectioner’s sugar (which is another name for powdered sugar)

I heard it’s not confectioner’s sugar. Also, that you can make it at home by splitting a superfine lengthwise and letting it steep in a jar of sugar for a couple of weeks.

Then I humbly await a Brit to explain what if “superfiner” than powdered sugar - honey?

Possibly caster sugar? In between powdered sugar (which we call “icing sugar”) and regular (which we call “granulated”).

I have a jar of vanilla sugar in my kitchen. I made it by splitting a vanilla pod lengthways, using the contents in some brownies, and then steeping the husk in the sugar for a few weeks. An unusual method, I acknowledge.

yummm…lemon curd… A shame it’s not sold over here…

…you can make your own superfine sugar by running granulated sugar in a food processor until powdery

Do you have to cut the food processor lengthwise first, though?

Like Eskimos that have hundreds of words for snow, I have to admit - this is a new one…never knew there were other variations of sugar granules! All hail the Brits for discovering it!

But don’t forget to turn off the power at the box first!