Christmas Cravings – I made eggnog, for the first time from scratch! And it was delicious

Once my Christmas tree went up a couple of weeks ago, the cravings for Christmas treats started to hit me hard. I think it’s a combination of winter being thrust upon us, and being stuck at home in isolation as I wrote about this morning.

Eggnog has been on top of my shopping list for weeks but to no avail. None of the stores have it in stock at the moment. To my extreme dismay.

For the past week or so, I’ve been binge watching cooking videos on Youtube on how to make your own eggnog. And for once – I had all the ingredients on hand. Except for one – nutmeg which is a huge part of eggnog. I decided to get creative and tried cinnamon instead.

This was a LOT of work for one person – and it better be worth it. I’ll be extremely disappointed if the recipe doesn’t pan out.

First step was heating up some cream and milk. I used 2 cups of 1% milk (it’s easier on my stomach) and 1 1/2 cups of half n half cream. I let this heat up in a large pot on the stove top on medium low heat. All of the videos I watched told me not to let it boil or simmer. And to whisk often or constantly.

In addition to the milk and cream, I added in the about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and about the same of vanilla extract. If you have vanilla bean or vanilla paste – I’m told that works just as well.

Next came the hard part – and one I was not looking forward to. Separating egg yolks. I had never done this before mostly because the mess it makes. But I was determined to make eggnog today no matter what to help snap out of this funk I’ve been in. The first egg didn’t work out so well. But by the fourth egg – I was a pro. I used 6 eggs in total – or 5 1/2 if you don’t count the one yolk that got away.

This next part – I think I messed up and added sugar too early. I used my metal whisker to whisk the eggs until they turned a light fluffy colour. I added in about 1/3 cup of sugar slowly while doing this. I couldn’t get the eggs as creamy or fluffy as they looked in videos and I think it’s because I used 1% milk. Whole milk, I’m told, works better for eggnog.

The next step was tricky for my left-handed self. You have to find time to whisk the milk mixture while mixing the eggs with your other hand. Then you take a soup ladel and drop in one scoop of the milk into the egg yolk mixture. And you have to whisk constantly while doing this step. It was very difficult to take a picture and the one photo I did get – came out blurry.

I mixed the egg yolk mixture until it was as creamy as I could get it – kind of like a thin custard – and then I poured it into the milk mixture. That’s where the real whisking begins.

I was paranoid about burning the milk but it wasn’t heating up fast enough for me and twenty minutes had already gone by. So, I turned up the heat and got out my $10 thermometer and waited impatiently for the heat to rise to 175F. That was good enough for me – to make sure the eggs were cooked enough.

I gave the mixture a good stir, turned off the heat and covered the pot with a lid to let it cool down.

Oh – I forgot to mention – I may have added a splash of rum or two early on into the milk and cream. Because why not? Most eggnog recipes call for rum, bourbon or scotch. Choose your pleasure, as long as it’s a dark or spicy. I chose my go to – Captain Morgan’s spiced rum which I’m almost out of.

Next came the hard part. You’re supposed to mix the egg whites in a separate bowl with a handmixer until you get a nice “peak” or until the egg white stiffens. But this did not happen for me. I mixed for a good 15 minutes. I even switched to a hand whisk for an additional five minutes. I tried adding cream. I tried sugar. Nothing. I eventually covered the egg whites with plastic and it is stored in my fridge. Maybe it will harden on its own – or maybe I can find some other use for it.

I’m now waiting patiently for the eggnog to chill enough so that I can have it for my after dinner drink. I’ve been craving it for so long but I never thought to make my own eggnog.

I’m not going to share the recipe since there are so many ways to make this wonderful drink that really should be available all year round.

Instead, I’ll share one of my favorite videos so you can see just one of many ways it’s made.

What’s your favorite drink this time of year? Let me know in the comments!

Now I’m going back to see what I did wrong with the egg whites. I’ll follow up with pictures later!

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