Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Countdown 14 : Rompope Eggnog

Photo Credit: Tara Striano/Quirk Books
 I must admit I have always loved the "idea" of eggnog on Christmas Eve, particularly when we lived in colder climates, but have always been put off by the thought of the potential danger of consuming raw eggs in a lactose and alcohol laden Christmas treat. Today is a Mexican holy day, commemorating the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe  witnessed by Juan Diego in 1531. It seems then only appropriate that the Christmas Countdown 14 is a very rich, indulgent version of eggnog called rompope. 


The first rompope, a derivation of Spanish ponche de huevo (egg punch), was brewed by seventeenth-century nuns in the Santa Clara convent in Puebla, Mexico. According to legend, Sister Eduviges requested that the nuns be allowed to drink the rompope they were only permitted to make. Legend also has it that there was one secret ingredient in the recipe that Eduviges took with her to the grave.Chilled or warm, it’s rich, velvety, fragrant, and certainly full of cheer."   from Winter Cocktails by Maria del Mar Sacasa  



Ingredients : sugar, eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg, vanilla,  bourbon, and rum 






I am doubtful about eggnog's credentials for creating the peace and joy of Christmas ... In 1826, on 23-25 December, the Eggnog Riot took place at the United States Military Academy. Twenty cadets and one enlisted soldier were court martialled for smuggling whiskey into the barracks to make eggnog for a Christmas  Day party... And can you imagine if Santa got into the eggnog?   
       If like me you are concerned about raw eggs, here is a recipe where the eggs are cooked....  

  • ·    Eggnog with cooked eggs......   Ingredients:
    ·          6 eggs
    ·         1/2-1 cup sugar
    ·         cups milk 
    ·         cups whipping cream  
    ·         1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
    ·         1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
    ·         1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground  nutmeg  
    ·         Alcohol - whisky, rum or flavoured liqueurs.

    Directions:

    1.     Use a saucepan or stock pot large enough to hold 2 quarts.
    2.     In saucepan, beat together the eggs and sugar until smooth.
    3.     Stir in 2 cups milk.
    4.     Cook over medium low heat, whisking or stirring frequently because as this mixture begins to get hot it will easily scorch to the bottom of the pan if you aren't careful.
    5.     Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon and reaches 160° on a food thermometer.
    6.     Remove from heat.
    7.     Slowly add the 2 cups whipping cream or half& half while whisking together until smooth.
    8.     Add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and combine until mixed
    9.     At this point, you may taste test (carefully- it will still be very hot) and if it doesn't seem sweet enough for your taste, add extra sugar.
    10.  I use a total of 3/4 cup sugar because we like it sweet.
    11.  You may also add more nutmeg at this point if you like a strong nutmeg flavour.
    12.  Pour into a pitcher or container.
    13.  Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled- several hours or overnight.
    14.  Serve garnished with your choice of toppings: whipped cream, chocolate curls, maraschino cherries, cinnamon sticks or peppermint sticks.
    15.  Brandy, rum, whiskey or flavoured liqueurs may be added before serving if desired.
    16.  This recipe makes 6 cups Egg Nog.
  • ..... If you have missed any of the Christmas Countdown posts, please just scroll down for the most recent, or check the archives list on the right.