Why drink eggnog when you could eat it? 10 deliciously custardy recipes, from eggnog ice-cream to eggnog brownies | Food

Why drink eggnog when you could eat it? 10 deliciously custardy recipes, from eggnog ice-cream to eggnog brownies | Food

Unless you’re American, eggnog is a tough sell. Necking raw egg, albeit sweetened and mixed with cream, is something you can probably only do if you’ve been brought up in a very specific culture (or you happen to be on an absurd protein kick). Things get even less appealing when alcohol is involved, as eggnog often comes spiked with some amount of brown spirit, because then it becomes a hellish hybrid of booze and hangover cure in one. But maybe nog newcomers are going in too hot. After all, what is eggnog if not a weird sort of custard? And what is custard, if not a woefully underused recipe ingredient? That’s right: forget about drinking eggnog. This year I want you to eat it. And here’s how.

Eggnog creme brulee cheesecake

I’ve mentioned Liam Charles’s eggnog creme brulee cheesecake before, but I’m going to repeat myself because it deserves as much attention as possible. Of course eggnog belongs in a cheesecake – it’s cream and eggs, which will always bake perfectly – and the nutmeg here automatically makes it more Christmassy. It is a very subtle effect: you could easily serve this to a nog naysayer and they’d be none the wiser.

Glass of eggnog Christmas drink
‘What is eggnog is eggnog if not a weird sort of custard? … ’ Photograph: Weedezign/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Eggnog ice-cream

What else can you do with custard? That’s right, freeze it into an ice-cream. Taste of Home’s no-churn eggnog soft-serve ice-cream isn’t just delicious, but the easiest thing in the world to make. You’ll need some eggnog, then blend that with more cream, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together, then freeze it overnight and you’re done. It’s worth pointing out that this recipe also requires rum (alcohol, normally brandy, being an unspoken extra of most nog recipes), but here it serves an important secondary purpose, helping the ice-cream to freeze softer.

Eggnog french toast

‘If you know how to make french toast, you already know how to make this recipe’ …
‘If you know how to make french toast, you already know how to make this recipe’ … Photograph: JMichl/Getty Images

By now you have fallen under the nog spell, so you might as well go all out and start making it for breakfast. We’ll begin semi-conservatively with Yummly’s recipe for eggnog french toast. If you know how to make french toast, you already know how to make this; the only difference being that you soak the bread in eggnog before cooking. Easy.

Eggnog porridge

The french toast was just a gateway recipe. Because, as soon as the idea of breakfast nog stops being abhorrent, you can move on to the real test: eggnog porridge. The recipe on A Taste of Madness is as quick and easy as you wish: put some eggnog in a pan, add porridge oats, heat until thick and Bob’s your uncle. Is it delicious? Yes. Does it contain alcohol? No because, you haven’t hit that personal low yet. Can you look yourself in the face while you eat it? That’s another matter entirely.

Eggnog sweet potato pie

One more weird one and then I’ll guide us back into safer territory. You already have an opinion about sweet potato pie (which is either “That sounds normal” or “Christ alive, why do you hate me?” depending on how American you are), but the New York Times’ recipe for eggnog sweet potato pie is actually worth a punt. Believe it or not, the two ingredients actually work amazingly well together. Don’t believe me? Fine.

Eggnog caramel brownies

The LA Times has a recipe for eggnog caramel brownies, and I can tell you’re already back on board. This one is actually a bit of a cheat – you basically just make some normal brownies, then make a caramel sauce with all the constituent eggnog ingredients – but in all honesty, that probably only makes it better. Plus there’s rum! My guess is that, if you make any of these recipes, it’ll be this one.

Eggnog cookies

You can also use your nog for biscuits, as Preppy Kitchen’s recipe for eggnog cookies amply demonstrates. Especially since it turns out that an eggnog cookie is (as far as cookie recipes go) relatively austere. No chocolate. No massive chunks of fudge. Just a nice, lightly spiced vanilla cookie, like your mum used to make.

Eggnog preparation …
Eggnog preparation … Photograph: GMVozd/Getty Images

Eggnog bread pudding

I am aware that The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for eggnog bread pudding is basically a slightly dessertier version of the eggnog french toast above, but I stand by it, because soaking bread in custard and then cooking might go down as humanity’s greatest invention. This is that, plus raisins.

Rum and eggnog bundt cake

Of course, you can definitely make a cake using eggnog. My recommendation will always be for a bundt here; partly because they suit the extra moisture well, but mainly because bundts are intrinsically Christmassy. Liv for Cake’s rum and eggnog bundt recipe is exactly how it sounds – a lovely spiced vanilla cake. You’ll want to get this out of the oven right before your guests arrive for maximum impact.

Eggnog trifle

Finally, let’s reach our hands across the ocean once and for all, by marrying the weirdest American drink with the weirdest British pudding. That’s right, it’s an Australian recipe for tipsy eggnog trifle, courtesy of My Food Book. The eggnog works brilliantly here because (as you’ll know by now), it’s basically just custard, so it sits perfectly with the fruit and cream. There is no jelly here, though. Please don’t write letters – I know how you get.