Extracts are used in cooking and baking to enhance the flavor of the dish you’re making, whether that is something sweet or savory. Cooking and baking a like can really benefit from extracts because you can pump up the flavor rather quickly without much hassle or without actually adding any physical ingredients.
The process of extracting is done by taking parts from a raw material and using a solvent. Breaking that down even further for those of us that don’t really remember chemistry, it’s a liquid that can break down another material. When making eatable extracts you’ll want to use alcohol because it’s the most efficient way to do so. Stick around until the end of the article and you’ll learn how to extract something using water and salt if you’re not really into the idea of using alcohol.
Some of the best things to extract are vanilla beans, lavender, almond, lemons and garlic because of their pungent flavor and aromas that can easily be transferred into the solution that they’re in. Don’t let that short list put boundaries on you because you can essentially extract anything you want.
In fact, all essential oils are extracted from flowers and fruits using a similar process. When you make your own you can be sure that there are no additives or chemicals, just pure extract.