Eggnog might be one of the most notorious holiday indulgences. Cream, egg yolks, sugar and alcohol. Like rhum raisin ice cream on steroids. And it's so good, precisely because it's rich, too rich almost. Eggnog isn't exactly French, and it's a funny experience explaining this drink to someone who isn't familiar with it. They truly don't get it, and seeing it through an eggnog virgin's eyes I can completely understand why this holiday drink comes off as a bit over the top. To balance out American extremism with a French approach of balance, I attempted a healthy eggnog. And it tastes so good that I don't think i'll ever go back to regular eggnog again. I made the recipe for the first time last Christmas, which we spent in Normandie with a collection of family and friends, a few of which had "particular" eating habits, leading to at least three different dinners combined into one, every night. Dishes for the vegans, the vegetarians, the gluten free, lactose free and the picky eaters. It's incredibly un-French to eat different meals. In France, everyone eats the same thing, it's a social experience of nourishment, self-control and the right amount of indulging. But opting for a different meal than the pre-ordained dish? You'll just be thought of as difficult. Whatever must they think of the Americans?
Back to eggnog... normally eggnog is a rich indulgence, and one that leaves you both satisfied and feeling like you've overdone it. But this recipe cuts out the eggs and the rich cream, opting for nutty milks and spices. The result is a lighter and low-calorie, but no less flavorful, eggnog that can be enjoyed any time without guilt or stomach ache.
Serves around 6-8
2 cups almond/hazelnut milk (or 1 cup almond and 1 cup hazelnut
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoons honey
4 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick or 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
vanilla (a few drops/half 1/4 pod)
Whip egg whites, set aside.
Cream egg yellows with maple sirop and honey.
Heat milks in saucepan and add nutmeg and cinnamon, gently simmer. Strain out cinnamon stick if using.
Temper by pouring just a little of the milk into the creamed yolks, mixing and slowly adding milk.
Add coconut cream and blend.
Mix in egg whites.
Serve with a grated nutmeg. Can be stored overnight in refrigerator, mind that it will separate and only needs a quick whisk before serving to fluff back up again.