Eggnog season can't come soon enough. I make nog cappuccinos in the morning, nog milkshakes at night and nog French toast on weekends. But the best nog of the season is the frothy cloudlike homemade eggnog I make for Christmas cocktails. I use raw eggs, but feel free to use pasteurized eggs. The results will be just as good.
My first attempt at making eggnog was very simple — whipped eggs, cold milk and sugar with fresh grated nutmeg. Soon, I graduated to Level 2, which involves folding in whipped egg whites. You can make it without separating the eggs and whipping them individually, but it is nothing like the ethereal eggnog with the whipped egg whites.
As an adult, I have graduated to Level 3, which includes whipped egg whites and whipped cream folded into the sweetened egg and milk base. I sweeten all three components with superfine sugar, which dissolves more easily, producing a smoother, creamier texture. If you don't have it, you can make your own by pulsing regular white sugar in a food processor. I like making the eggnog without alcohol, then spiking individual servings with bourbon. That way, you can serve everyone from the same bowl.
Start to finish: 2 hours 15 minutes (15 minutes active)
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
Pinch sea salt
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bourbon, to serve (optional)
In large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are a light golden color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the 1/4 cup of sugar and the salt, beating until the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and half the nutmeg; beat until slightly frothy.
In large bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. With the mixer running, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of remaining sugar and whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture until light and airy with no lumps. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Just before serving, place the cold cream in a large chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until the cream forms soft peaks. With the mixer still running, gradually add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and the vanilla. Beat until firm peaks form and there is no liquid left. Fold the whipped cream into the eggnog, sprinkle with remaining nutmeg and serve.
If spiking the eggnog, pour or spoon into glasses and add bourbon to taste.