It’s never too early to practice and perfect your Christmas offerings, and we feel this traditional Christmas eggnog recipe, served chilled OR warm, by Hilton Brisbane’s Executive Chef, Matthew Wood is one to get down pat.
‘Eggnog is the quintessential Christmas drink. A rich, frothy, and stiff alcoholic punch of sorts that always reminds me of sitting near a warm fire while the weather outside turns sour. However serving it as as cold drink makes it equally at home in Australia,’ Matthew explains. ‘A hot Christmas day celebration on the patio or lawn with a glass of chilled eggnog has become a family tradition in my household.’
Eggnog is a new world concoction dating from the mid-18th century, related to the much older English Posset. Both are spiced, dairy based drinks fortified with alcohol that acts to preserve the drink. Some of the oldest sources for Eggnog direct the maker to age the drink for twelve months. The following recipe takes far less time – starting as an indulgence for my co-workers to celebrate the end of Christmas service many years ago. It proved so popular with the crew that I have used this recipe at home and work every year since.
Chilled Traditional Christmas Eggnog
600ml whole milk
300ml thickened cream 2 cinnamon sticks 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways, seeds scraped
4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
100g white sugar
150ml dark rum
fresh grated nutmeg for garnish
1. Place the milk, cream, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium sauce pot and bring up to a simmer gently over a medium heat – taking care to not let the mixture boil and whisking occasionally to prevent it from sticking.
2. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of the stand mixer and use whisk attachment to beat on high speed until they have doubled in size.
3. Turn the mixer speed down to low, then slowly pour one third of the hot milk over the egg yolks, making sure you do not let the vanilla pod or cinnamon fall into the mixer.
4. Switch off the mixer, and pour the egg yolk mix back into the pot with the remaining milk and spices, return the pot to the stove and cook gently while whisking constantly until the temperature reaches 80C on your thermometer, before pouring the mixture through the sieve into the punch bowl or serving jug. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely for around two to three hours.
Now’s a good tome to clean your whisk, stand mixer whisk and bowl, and thermometer well in hot soapy water and dry!
6. Place the remaining sugar into the small sauce pot with 75ml of cold water and heat gently over a medium heat until the temperature reaches 110C to dissolve the sugar into a syrup.
7. Place the egg whites in the clean stand mixer bowl and beat with the whisk attachment on half speed for 2 minutes until you have soft peaks.
8. As the sugar syrup will be around 115C, carefully and slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg whites with the mixer still running, then continue the beat the whites until they have formed firm stiff peaks.
9. Use the hand whisk to mix in the egg whites with the prepared spiced milk, cream and egg yolk mixture, ensuring they are fully incorporated. Finally mix in the rum and brandy and place back in the refrigerator to cool for a further 2 hours.
10. Before serving give the eggnog another quick whisk to combine and garnish with a generous amount of nutmeg, serve at the table with the glasses and a bowl of ice cubes on the side if desired.