There are a few American foods that I have adopted since moving to the States, but I believe none I have taken to so wholeheartedly as making a large batch of alcoholic eggnog at Christmas. I don’t care if Christmas in Australia often means that it is swelteringly hot outside and this rich drink, full of cream, may be more appropriate for ‘warming you up’ when you can see snow when you look out your window. I also don’t care that it is probably one of the most fattening drinks you can have (what is Christmas for, if not to fatten you up?). And I certainly don’t care that it is extremely alcoholic, and so will put you in a celebratory mood after one glass (in fact, that is one of the reasons I like it so much). For those of you who have not tried it before – it is basically a glass of alcoholic custard. What could be better than that?
I should note that I am still experimenting with eggnog recipes to find the one that I like best. The problem is that if you only make one batch once a year, it is hard to find a basis for comparison. However, I remember this one working rather well last year…
2 extra egg yolks
1 cup of caster sugar (or just white sugar – can be reduced to a bit over 1/2 a cup to suit taste)
3 cups of full-cream (whole) milk
1 cup double (heavy) cream
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg to garnish
Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan. With an electric beater if you have one (otherwise whisking constantly) mix in the milk. Place on low heat and whisk for about 20mins until it coats the back of a spoon. Put aside to cool.
When cool, beat in the cream, a bit at a time. Then mix in the vanilla, rum and brandy. Put in the fridge to chill for at least an hour (preferably more), and then serve in glasses, and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon. The alcohol will probably sink to the bottom a little, so you should give it a bit of a stir each time you serve a new batch.
(Makes a large jug)