Come now, don’t be a Scrooge, embrace the joy of Christmas wholeheartedly! I love the festive cheer that comes with excessive amounts of celebratory feasting with all of my family and friends. Tis’ the season to indulge after all – and it’s always the season in Casa Claus!
But both Mr C and I know that Christmas has truly arrived when I bring out my Classic Christmas Eggnog – this luxuriously creamy beverage is voluptuously smooth and sinfully spiked with not one, but three forms of Christmas spirit (alcohol darling!)
This, my friends, is Mr C’s Christmas Eve welcome ho-ho-home treat; a heavenly nightcap as Christmas Day is dawning, and off he plods to bed (well, it’s been a busy night).
Carole’s Classic Christmas Eggnog
125g icing sugar
800ml whole milk
400ml double cream
6 large eggs, separated
100ml bourbon or whisky
75ml dark rum
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick (alternatively use ½ tsp ground cinnamon or ground mixed spice)
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
25g dark chocolate (optional for grating on top)
Pour the milk and 250ml of the double cream into a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick (or ½ tsp of ground cinnamon if using) and warm through over a low heat, but do not allow the milk and cream to boil or overheat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
In a large mixing bowl beat the egg yolks till thickened slightly, then gently add the icing sugar and whisk together till the whole mixture is light, fluffy and creamy.
Once the milk and cream has cooled slightly but remains lukewarm, remove the cinnamon stick and slowly pour the mixture into egg yolks and icing sugar, whisking gently as you do till the mixture is slightly thicker. Add the vanilla extract, cognac, dark rum and bourbon to the thickened custard-yellow cream and set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl beat the egg whites with an electric hand-whisk till they form soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the velvety custard with a metal spoon, in three parts so as not to deflate the aerated egg whites.
Beat the remaining 150ml of double cream till smooth and thick and fold half of it into the rest of the mixture. Chill the remaining half of the whipped cream and the eggnog mixture in the fridge for several hours before serving.
Spoon the eggnog into little cups or cocktail glasses. Top with a dollop of the whipped cream and a little fresh grating of nutmeg. You can even add a cheeky grating of chocolate if so desired – go on, no one will tell on you!