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Monday, December 06, 2010

You gotta die from something, right?

Some of my friends were appalled to learn that I'd whipped up (literally) a big batch of butter the other day. I guess they haven't heard that Margarine and similar 'butter substitutes' are far more unhealthy than good old fashioned butter (in moderation, of course).

Well, it's that time of year again, and moderation isn't really on the agenda. I don't have any scientific studies to hide behind with what I'll be enjoying this evening, but I console myself with the excuse that I only do this to myself once a year. That's right... it's time to make up a batch of eggnog.

Eggnog

A timely email last night from my friend and fellow blogger, David, pointed me to an essay with enough historical information about this yummy holiday tipple to satisfy the trivia buff in me... and reminded me that there are only a few more days left in the official eggnog season.

So if you happen to live in the US, go pick up a carton of rich, spicy eggnog and mix in a few jiggers of rum or whiskey to make even the dullest holiday party guest seem downright scintillating.

But if, like me, you live in the wilderness, away from commercially available eggnog, here are a couple of tried and true recipes that will help you through these shortest days of the year:

Egg Nog Version One (source here):

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk [I use light/cooking cream]
  • Nutmeg
PREPARATION: Beat the egg with the sugar and salt and pour into a 10-ounce highball glass. Add vanilla and milk and stir to mix. toss in a shot or two of whiskey, rum or brandy. Grate a little nutmeg on top.

Serves One

Egg Nog Version Two (source here):

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup dark rum (Captain Morgan for best flavor, but Myers is OK)
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cups milk
PREPARATION: All liquids should be very cold. Refrigerate in advance. Beat the eggs for 2 or 3 minutes with an electric mixer at medium speed until very frothy. Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Turn the mixer off and stir in the cold brandy, rum, whipping cream and milk Chill before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with more nutmeg. Makes about 2-1/2 quarts.

Egg Nog Version Three (source same as version 2):

INGREDIENTS:
  • 12 eggs, separated
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
  • 1-1/2 quarts (6 cups heavy cream)
  • 3 cups bourbon
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 cups cognac
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened

PREPARATION:
In a very large bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and pale yellow. Gradually add the sugar and nutmeg, and beat until well mixed. Using a wire whisk, beat in the milk, 4 cups of the heavy cream, bourbon, rum and cognac. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff, and fold into the egg mixture. Whip the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream, and fold into the egg mixture. Fold in the ice cream, gently stirring to combine all ingredients. Sprinkle individual servings with additional nutmeg.
Eggnog can be refrigerated; however, the cream will rise to the top. Stir the mixture gently to recombine before serving. The amount of liquor can be adjusted to taste.
This recipe will make a punch bowl full of eggnog.

Note: If there is a big problem with salmonella in your region, you may not want to prepare these recipes. However, please note that you can slowly heat the egg mixture portion of the recipe in a sauce pan over a low flame until a reliable thermometer shows it has reached a uniform temperature of at least 165° F... then chill overnight. I can't promise the resulting eggnog will taste or feel exactly the same... but at least you won't have to worry about killing your guests.

Don't thank me... I'm a giver!

Posted by David Bogner on December 6, 2010 | Permalink

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Glad you enjoyed it!

Posted by: Dave (Balashon) | Dec 6, 2010 8:06:41 AM

I guess they haven't heard that Margarine and similar 'butter substitutes' are far more unhealthy than good old fashioned butter (in moderation, of course).
Which is why I never buy margarine.

Posted by: Ilana-Davitata | Dec 6, 2010 9:27:31 AM

yummy
Butter is very healthy, sweet butter is better than any cheese. Eggs are the perfect protein.

And if you can get some of that eggnog to me, I'd be eternally grateful. And of course, send the link to kcc.

Posted by: Batya | Dec 6, 2010 9:55:23 AM

Ahhhhh.... One of my sweetest memories. Followed by the delightful prank of calling my friend at work to ask him how one goes about cleaning eggnog out of a laptop keyboard...

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Dec 6, 2010 10:12:51 AM

From my family to yours:

Start at least 24 hours before you want to serve this dangerous brew.

Enough eggnog to neutralize a platoon.

Ingredients:

12 eggs
1 pound (or 0.5 kilo) superfine (baker's) sugar, or if you have to, confectioner's sugar.
4-6 cups (or 1 to 1.5 liters) Early Times Kentucky Whiskey (or similar). Rum or brandy is too sweet. Whatever you choose, don't use expensive liquor. Rough rotgut is better as the milkfat and sugar will drown out anything subtle.
2 quarts (or 2 liters) whipping cream (heavy cream, but not that much UK "double cream" -- maybe 1.5 liters "double cream" + 0.5 liters milk)
Nutmeg, freshly grated

Method:

Separate the eggs, and reserve and refrigerate the whites.
Measure out 2 cups of your chosen liquor, and reserve the rest (another 2-4 cups). It is a very bad idea to start sipping now. Have discipline and put it away.
Beat the yolks (by hand if you have to, but a beater either stand or hand-held is better) until they are light in color.
Then, working in 1/2 cup batches (about a hand full -- I don't know the metric equivalent), beat in the sugar.
Then, adding in a sort of dribbly stream while beating constantly, beat in 2 cups of your chosen liquor. Don't go too fast or things can curdle at this point.

Put the egg/sugar/liquor base into the refrigerator for at least an hour or so to let the flavors blend and to dispel the eggy taste. You might want to transfer the base into a clean bowl so you can sterilize the beating bowl and the beater.

About the salmonella: consult an expert, but my feeling is that the alcohol and sugar may cow the salmonella into a flight of submission. But do sterilize the beater (and possibly the bowl) between times.

After the resting period:

Start beating the egg base again.

Then, adding in a sort of dribbly stream while beating constantly, alternate beating in the remaining 2-4 cups of liquor and the whipping cream.

Again, transfer into another container, cover, and allow the mixture to rest until just before you plan to start serving the eggnog. This takes up the rest of the 24 hours.

About an hour before you want to start serving:

Take out the reserved eggwhites. Beat until they form stiff peaks, but don't beat so long that they are dry.

Fold the beaten eggwhites gently into the egg mixture.

Garnish with grated nutmeg. If you want to be fancy, you can have a little dish of whole nutmegs and a grater for people to add nutmeg to their taste.

Serving:

Usually, we nest a punchbowl-like container into a larger container, and fill the larger container with chipped ice, forming an ice bath. You conceal the icebath part with draped napkins or greens or some combination of the two, and then fill the punchbowl thingy with the eggnog, refilling as it becomes low.

I would caution you about this beverage: it is sweet and delicious and can make you knee-walking drunk before you know it. So serve in tiny cups and caution guests that more than one cup is a hazard.

Posted by: Liz Ditz | Dec 6, 2010 10:19:15 AM

Hmmm... latkes and eggnog... a new Chanukah tradition.

Posted by: Alissa | Dec 6, 2010 8:56:42 PM

Speaking of making butter, I'm planning to use your instructions to make butter this week.

You know those little boxes of cream? How much butter results from one of those? I bought three but want to know if I should start with three or start with one (or two).

Thanks!

Posted by: Sarah | Dec 6, 2010 10:41:13 PM

Since you've got a batch of eggnog, I thought you might appreciate a recipe for eggnog custard pie, it looks amazing! Tell me if you make this, I would make the trip out to Efrat for a slice...
http://bakingbites.com/2010/12/eggnog-custard-pie/#more-8274

Posted by: Aliza | Dec 14, 2010 10:11:18 PM

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