Sunday, December 4, 2016

Craig Claiborne's Eggnog Mousse #SundaySupper

Eggnog is a simple drink, made with fresh eggs, cream or milk and sugar. Craig Claiborne’s Eggnog Mousse takes those key ingredients and puts them together to create a creamy, fluffy dessert.



This week my Sunday Supper group is sharing eggnog recipes, actual homemade eggnog in one case as well as recipes that use eggnog as an ingredient. While I was researching eggnog, I came upon a recipe from 1958 which appeared in The New York Times in an article written by Craig Claiborne.

Mr. Claiborne was a food critic for The Times as well as its food editor for 29 years.  As the author or editor of more than 20 books, he has been credited, along with Julia Child, with bringing French cuisine to the United States. A trailblazer in many ways, Mr. Claiborne was the first man to hold the food editor position in any major newspaper, a role that was considered a woman’s job when he took over back in the 1950s.

When this recipe was originally published, Mr. Claiborne didn’t call it eggnog mousse but simply eggnog. After reading through the method, I made that name up because this is clearly a mousse. A very adult mousse, with all that alcohol.

His penultimate instruction was to serve it in punch cups with spoons. But in his final instruction, he allowed that one could add 1 to 2 cups of milk to the yolk mixture for a thinner eggnog. An eggnog a person could drink, presumably.

This recipe makes about 4 1/4 cups or 1 liter of mousse. It is easily doubled or even quadrupled. Indeed, Mr. Claiborne's original recipe was for four times this amount. He must have been throwing some very big parties!

Important: Raw unpasteurized eggs should never be served to children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems (such as transplant patients and individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and diabetes).

Ingredients
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup or 66g granulated sugar
1/4 cup or 60ml bourbon
1/4 cup or 60ml Cognac
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups or 355ml heavy whipping cream
Pinch cream of tartar
Nutmeg or cinnamon, to serve

Method
Separate the egg yolks and whites carefully, putting the whites in the refrigerator for later.

Using electric beaters, whip the egg yolks and the sugar until they thicken and turn a pale yellow.



With the beaters on slow, gradually add the bourbon and Cognac, beating well in between additions, until all is incorporated.



Cover the boozy yolks with cling film and pop them in the refrigerator to chill.

Once the yolk mixture is chilled, beat the cream with the pinch of cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture with a light hand.



Use a clean mixing bowl or wash the one you just used very well and beat the egg whites in it until they reach stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk/cream mixture.





Spoon the resulting mousse into serving dishes and chill until ready to serve. My little cups hold just a little more than a 1/4 cup or 60ml, perfect if you are offering this eggnog mousse with other dessert options on a buffet table. Put out the demitasse spoons, if you have any.


Sprinkle on a little nutmeg or cinnamon before serving.


This week our Sunday Supper tastemakers are sharing their own special eggnog recipes in honor of National Eggnog Month. Many thanks to our host Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures and our event manager, Cricket of Cricket's Confections for all of their behind-the-scenes work!

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