When I read Melissa Clark's "A Good Appetite" column about an eggnog with a twist in early December, I made a mental note that it might be a nice holiday dessert to try. My boyfriend is an eggnog lover, but I've never been a big fan, and I thought an eggnog made with real eggs might change my mind. Clark described her twist on a traditional nog, "The smoky Scotch made the eggnog more complex and gave it a savory taste, which went nicely with the caramelized flavor of the brown sugar." Yum, right?
While visiting my family over the holidays I whipped up a batch, halving the recipe since there were only five of us. (The recipe still made much more than we needed to serve five: I'd say the full recipe could serve closer to 18-20 since it is a rich, concentrated dessert.) It was delicious, heavenly, smoky and rich, but light--you could eat it with a spoon it was so wonderfully thick. I didn't even use any fancy Scotch, just what was left of bottle of Cutty Sark and some Johnny Walker to make up the rest of volume. If you're looking for a creamy winter dessert, this recipe is a winner.
Butterscotch Scotch Eggnog
From The New York Times
12 large eggs, separated
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus pinch
2 cups whole milk
1 cup smoky Scotch whisky
1/2 cup brandy
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. In a large bowl, combine the yolks, brown sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using an electric mixer beat on medium-high speed until thick and dark golden, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly drizzle in the milk, Scotch and brandy. Transfer to the freezer to chill while preparing the rest of the eggnog. (Or refrigerate for at least 2 hours before completing.)
2. In a medium bowl, whip the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside. In another medium bowl, using clean beaters, whip the egg whites and pinch of salt on medium-high speed, adding the sugar by tablespoons until soft peaks form.
3. When ready to serve, pour the yolk mixture into a large punchbowl. Fold in a small amount of whipped cream to lighten it, then fold in the remaining cream. Fold in the egg whites. Generously dust the top with nutmeg; serve immediately.
Yield: 12+ servings
Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times