Crème Boulud

A twist on classic eggnog

A twist on the classic eggnog.

Upon moving to the United States, I discovered the
warmth and comfort of classic holiday eggnog. However,
I found it a bit too heavy for my taste, so I tinkered
with a slightly lighter version — achieved by
reducing the regular amounts of eggs and sugar.
In order to preserve the sweet flavors of the drink,
I replaced the traditional whiskey and rum with
hazelnut flavored Frangelico liqueur, and added praline
paste. The added nuttiness more than makes up for the
richness of the eggs, and also adds a new elegant twist
to this yuletide classic.

Makes 4 servings
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons praline paste (available at specialty
markets)
1 tablespoon cognac or brandy
2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur
Ice cubes for serving

1. Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl. In a
small saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, 1 cup
of the heavy cream, half of the vanilla bean seeds and
pod, and ¼ cup of the sugar. Cook over
medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly
with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens
and coats the back of the spoon or the mixture
reaches 180°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.
Place the bowl in the ice-water bath and cool completely.

2.Combine custard, remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream,
praline paste, cognac, and Frangelico in a blender,
and purée until smooth.

3.In a small bowl, whisk to combine the remaining
1/4 cup sugar and vanilla seeds and pour onto a plate.
Rim the outside edges of four old fashioned (rocks)
glasses with the sugar. Fill with ice cubes and
pour in the crème. Serve immediately.

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