Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chocolate Eggnog

I've made several batches of eggnog already this season. Usually I like it fairly plain - with vanilla or maple or a little cinnamon or nutmeg. I'm not a fan of the super-spiced pumpkin-pie flavored eggnogs, or other wacky flavors.

But then I had an idea that I couldn't shake. It kept nagging me.

Why not make a chocolate eggnog?

Doesn't that sound good?

When I was brainstorming it, I thought about using a Mexican cocoa that included cinnamon, but then I decided that I wanted a clean chocolate flavor. And then when I started thinking about that clean chocolate flavor, I decided I didn't want a flavored alcohol, either. So I made this one with vodka.

If you're making this strictly for adults, you can add the alcohol to the whole batch, but if you have kids in the house (or at the party) then it's probably better to add the alcohol to each drink, as you serve.

Chocolate Eggnog
Makes about 12 5-ounce servings

2 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used black cocoa, but use what you like)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
6-12 ounces Ketel One vodka (to taste)

Combine the milk, half-and-half, cocoa powder, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat to a vigorous simmer, stirring as needed to get the cocoa well-mixed into the milk.

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar together.

When the milk is happily simmering, slowly add scoop-fulls (about 1/2 cup each, but you don't need to measure) of the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking the eggs as you add the hot liquid. This keeps the eggs from curdling and keeps them smooth.

Continue adding the hot liquid until you've added about 2 cups of hot liquid and the eggs are very warm. It's fine if you add more, but you really just need the eggs to be nicely warmed.

Now, while you stir or whisk the milk, slowly pour the egg-milk mixture into the pan. Keep stirring. You'll feel the mixture thicken slightly right away, but keep cooking until the mixture is barely simmering.

Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a storage container. You can add the vodka now, or as you serve.


I received a bottle of Ketel One vodka at no cost to me from the manufacturer.