There were more than a few days that I followed a very strict cookie and cake diet because 'tis the season! A few mornings, I ate multiple slices of toasted stollen with loads (and I really do mean loads) of salted butter. I washed it down with a giant mug of hot coffee with eggnog.
'Tis the season!
I have been on a bit of an eggnog kick. As I indulged in a slice of rum-glazed eggnog bundt at breakfast with a few sips of coffee with eggnog, I realized that eggnog at breakfast is brilliant! The bundt, though wonderfully eggnogy, just wasn't what I was craving at breakfast-time. I wanted an even greater way of enjoying eggnog in the morning (rum and all). So, I made cranberry waffles, and I topped them with a homemade eggnog crème anglaise. After all, 'tis the season!
Although the luscious crème anglaise is the most important part of this post, I'll start with the waffles because they were the only thing that stopped me from drinking the custard sauce straight from the bowl. For the waffles, I used Alton Brown's batter recipe. I left the prepared batter for 1 hour, covered at room temperature, so that the baking powder and baking soda could work their magic with the buttermilk. I ended up with a light and airy batter, to which I carefully folded in 1 cup of frozen cranberries. When I cooked the waffles, I had trouble getting the cranberries to evenly distribute in the waffle. Somehow, they always ened up in the center (which is why you can't see cranberries in the bits of naked waffle). Also, they did not pouf as much as I would have liked them to, but they were delicious nonetheless. I have yet to find a waffle recipe that yields thick, but light waffles.
For the crème anglaise (my obsession), I started with a recipe from Fine Cooking, but completely changed the amount of spice and the boozes used. This custard sauce is heavenly (I may not be very objective as I am custard-obsessed) and made a very festive breakfast that is just right for this season. The eggnog crème anglaise, spiked with just a touch of rum (rum at breakfast? 'Tis the season!) was perfect to offset the tartness of the cranberries. I quickly discovered that this custard sauce is quite addictive, so pour it generously, all over your waffles and pancakes. I have been dreaming about the crème anglaise ever since I ran out. Maybe I should make some more. After all... 'Tis the season!
Eggnog crème anglaise
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/8 tsp table salt
- 2 tbsp spiced rum
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Set a medium metal bowl in a large bowl of ice water and have a fine sieve at the ready.
- Combine the cream and sugar in a 3-quart saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Heat the mixture through but do not allow it to boil (this is key to avoid making eggnog scrambled eggs!). Remove from the heat.
- Put the egg yolks and salt in a small heatproof bowl and gently whisk to break up the yolks. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the warm sweet cream mixture. Pour the yolk mixture into the cream remaining in the saucepan, and whisk to combine.
- Cook over medium-low heat (slow and steady), stirring constantly with a clean wooden spoon until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon and hold a line drawn through it with a finger, about 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should register 170°F–175°F. Do not let the sauce overheat or boil because then you will probably curdle the mixture, yielding eggnog scrambled eggs. Immediately strain the sauce through the sieve into the bowl set in the ice-water bath.
- Gently whisk in the rum, nutmeg (if you can, sift the nutmeg into the custard to avoid lumps of spice), and vanilla extract. Stir the sauce occasionally until cool, 10 minutes. Transfer it to another container, and cover the surface of the sauce with plastic to prevent a skin from forming. Wrap the container tightly with more plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until velvety and slightly thick.
- Pour generously over waffles or pancakes, after all 'tis the season!