I’m not sure why, but New Zealand has been slow to adopt eggnog at Christmas-time. Which is a shame as far as I’m concerned – it’s such a wonderfully decadent hit of boozy cream. So, I thought it was time to remedy the situation, at least within our own household, and make some eggnog inspired festive treats this year. First up, Eggnog Pots de Crème.
If you haven’t yet experienced Pots de Crème, you really must make it your mission to. It’s sort of inbetween a pudding and a mousse, but silky smooth in texture and, I think, a lot more sophisticated.
The recipe from Taste.com.au that inspired this one was actually for Eggnog Custards. I loved the idea, but wasn’t fussed on how dense the custard looked, so decided to adapt the recipe to make Pots de Crème. To that end I used egg yolks instead of whole eggs, increased the cream component and added vanilla for extra depth of flavour.
And may I say… yeeeeuuuummmm! I absolutely loved the result, as did everyone else who virtually licked their ramekins clean. Just as well there’s a spare dessert sitting in the fridge – I’m thinking breakfast tomorrow morning! It’s a great alternative Christmas dessert, especially for those of you who are gluten-free, though frankly it’s so gosh-darn good, it doesn’t need to be a once a year experience. Enjoy.
EGGNOG POTS DE CRÈME
- 1.5 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup caster sugar (superfine)
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- 1.5 Tbsp dark rum
- 1 Tbsp brandy
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 tsp icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), to taste
- 1 Tbsp brandy (optional)
- Grated nutmeg (or nutmeg powder), to serve
- Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Put a jug of water onto boil. Place six ramekins (3/4 cup capacity) into a large, deep baking dish. It helps to put a folded tea-towel into the dish first to keep the dishes steady.
- Add the sugar, milk, first measure of cream, vanilla bean and seeds to a medium sized saucepan and stir over a medium low heat, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is scalding (just prior to the boil). Remove pan from heat.
- Whisk the yolks in a bowl until thick and pale, then add a little of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly (this tempers the yolks and ensures they don’t curdle). Pour the remaining cream in a fine stream, whisking until well combined. Add the rum and brandy and whisk to combine. Remove the vanilla bean and strain the mixture into a pourable jug.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the dishes, then carefully pour enough hot water into the baking dish to reach about half way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the whole dish loosely with foil and carefully put the roasting pan into the oven, centre rack.
- Bake until set around the edges and a bit jello-like in the middle (around 35-45 minutes), then carefully take the ramekins out of the water bath and place on a rack to cool. Once completely cool, place in the fridge (loosely covered with foil) and chill at least 4 hours or preferably overnight, during which time they will firm up.
- About 10-15 minutes prior to serving, take the pots de crème out of the fridge – I find if you take the chill off these custards, the flavour is better. Whip the second measure of cream until it just gets to soft peak stage (don’t overwhip – you want the cream to only just hold its shape). Add the icing sugar and brandy (if using) and gently combine. Place a generous dollop of the cream on top of the custards and grate a little nutmeg over top.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting