Sunday, January 17, 2010

An Alcoholic Ice Cream and a Creamy Alcoholic Drink

By Brooklyn Bill

A couple of weekends ago, I made a flavor of ice cream I'd never attempted before: eggnog. I based it on the recipe for (predictably) Eggnog Ice Cream in Claudia Fleming's The Last Course and the Simplified Eggnog recipe in Dale DeGroff's The Essential Cocktail.

That Simplied Eggnog recipe is, in turn, based on DeGroff's recipe for Brandy Milk Punch, an eggless holiday drink containing cognac, milk, simple syrup, vanilla, and nutmeg that sounded completely delicious. So I shook one of them up last night to break in my new cocktail shaker.

I wouldn't call the BMP "completely delicious" now that I've tried one, but it was fun to drink and tasted like the eggless eggnog it was. (To make DeGroff's SE out of a BMP, you drop an egg into it and shake it like there's no tomorrow.) I think I'll try it again as a Rum Milk Punch.

DeGroff writes that he included the SE recipe as an alternative to his full-blown Eggnog recipe because that one couldn't be easily made as a single serving. The BMP, whose name perhaps conjures up an image of a punch bowl, was actually made by the glassful* like a cocktail. DeGroff writes that the BMP "was popular in New Orleans,** where every bar had its own variation; many still do, and it's one of the preferred drinks as a morning-after stomach coater."

DeGroff's recipe for his regular Eggnog makes enough for six servings. It's spiked with bourbon and Jamaican dark rum.

Fleming's ice cream recipe calls for a good deal of both sherry and brandy and a tiny bit of spiced rum. I didn't know what I'd use the rest of the bottle of sherry for and I'm not a big fan of bourbon, but I figured I'd manage to make all of the brandy and rum disappear eventually, so that's what I chose to use for the alcoholic ingredients: 3 tablespoons each of cognac and spiced rum. Fleming warns that using too much alcohol in the ice cream custard prevents it from freezing. You add the spirits (and some vanilla extract and nutmeg and a pinch of salt) after the cooked custard has cooled.

Fleming's recipe also uses 12 egg yolks per quart of finished product. Since, as usual, I was making a double batch (using two Cuisinart ice cream makers), I'd be using two dozen egg yolks for the roughly half gallon of ice cream I'd end up with, if I followed her advice. I debated using a more-reasonable-sounding 18 or 20 yolks, but I figured I'd go for it on this first attempt to see whether it was just too damn rich.

My version was incredibly rich, but I also used half-and-half instead of the three parts milk to one part cream Fleming uses. The next time I make it, I'll cut back to 18 yolks and see whether that's enough to do the job.

I used the same amounts of sugar (2 1/2 cups, doubling her 1 1/4 cups) and vanilla extract (1 tablespoon, doubling her half tablespoon) as she suggested and pumped up the nutmeg slightly to almost a teaspoon versus her 1/4 teaspoon. And when I've been eating it, I've been sprinkling some more nutmeg on top. It's delicious, but it'll only get better with some tweaking.

*I realize that the glass in the photo isn't the ideal kind I should be drinking cocktails in. And it's certainly not the kind I should be photographing cocktails in. When I wrote in the QNY post I linked to in the first link in this post that I had everything I needed except booze, I was forgetting about glassware.

**Speaking of New Orleans, the vanilla extract I used in both the ice cream and the drink was Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon, which my New Orleans buddy Will*** sent me for Christmas. It's good shit.

***That Hawleyblog post is from back when I wasn't making pictures large enough or wrapping text around them.

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