The Great Eggnog Battle
There are certain flavors that find their way into the kitchen during the holidays. We utter the words “pumpkin and cranberry” quite often, “fruit cake” and probably “eggnog” less often. Rich, creamy and custard-like, it’s a real shame that eggnog is rarely consumed outside of the holidays.
So it’s only natural that we got to thinking about “egg-and-grog” or “nog” (Old English word for strong beer or “noggin”) and its various forms. So much so that we recently took the iSi Creative Whip for a spin to see what we could do to make it even more memorable. The only question: homemade or store-bought? We wondered which gave us better results? Let the battle begin!
The skinny (we love irony!): homemade eggnog trumps store-bought. Why?
- - The taste is absolutely superior: the richness of the cream and warmth of the bourbon are traits the store-bought versions lacked by a mile.
- - The texture is pure velvet.
- - The volume, when whipped, surpassed that of the store-bought versions. While the store-bought eggnog had a lighter texture initially than the homemade version, it did not maintain its volume.
As for the downsides regarding the homemade version, time and labor are the obvious factors. The homemade eggnog involves a bunch (separating the eggs, mixing and measuring, just to name a few) and unfortunately the shelf life is shorter thanks to no preservatives. At least by using the whipper, you save yourself some time and effort by whipping the egg whites right in the base unlike the traditional approach that calls for whipping the whites separately only to be folded back in later just before serving.
But while you could debate the time versus money spent, just think about how often you tipple with eggnog. Why not give it a whirl and whip some up?
CREAMY DELICIOUS HOMEMADE EGGNOG*
Ingredients for 1 pint Creative Whip
6 large eggs, separated**
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
½ cup bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark
Freshly whipped cream (optional)
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
In large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick in consistency and pale in color. Slowly beat in sugar. Whisk in egg whites, then milk. Stir in two cups heavy cream, then bourbon. Pour 2 cups of the mixture, reserving the rest, into a 1 pint iSi Creative Whip and screw on 1 iSi cream charger and shake vigorously. Chill for at least 30 minutes. To serve, dispense into cups or mugs and top with whipped cream if desired with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg. If mixture seems a bit thick, add a little more cream to reach desired consistency, utilizing that third cup of cream.
Note: You can refrigerate unwhipped egg yolk mixture up to one day in a sealed container or up to 5 days charged in the whipper.
**Since the egg yolks and whites are raw in this recipe, be careful about serving this recipe to pregnant women, small children, the elderly, and anyone with health issues.
* recipe adapted from December 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living
Post and photo of eggnog by Bao Ong
Additional photo adapted from Christmas Vacation