[A]s we welcome the holiday frenzy it seems as though our calendars are bursting with gatherings. Whether that translates to decadent feasts, casual at-home happy hours or unexpected guests, it’s always a bonus to have a few treats lingering within the fridge. A nostalgic classic that often makes its way onto the table is eggnog. The richness of eggs, creamy milk and warming cinnamon and nutmeg spices seem to capture the over-the-top joy of the season. Even some classics need a modern update now and then, which leads me to my recipe for Whipped Matcha Eggnog. Traditional powdered matcha green tea quiets cloyingly sweet notes of sugar with its pleasing bitter notes that are reminiscent of dark chocolate. Keep in mind that you will want to seek out culinary grade matcha that is less expensive than ceremonial matcha and often specially blended to preserve its aroma and flavor even after being mixed into recipes.
Beyond imparting a rich, thick flavor that lends body and depth to this twist on eggnog, the vibrant green hue seems to match the bright colors that define the season. Note that when ready to garnish the cup with a sprinkle of the matcha green tea, opt for a light, even sprinkle as the flavors are quite bold and can be overpowering (or become clumped if not evenly sifted).
Matcha green tea quiets cloyingly sweet notes of sugar with its pleasing bitter notes that are reminiscent of dark chocolate.
To continue with this twist on tradition, unlike classic dense eggnog this version is light and airy thanks to whipped cream and whipped egg whites that are gently folded into the eggnog base just when ready to serve. The cloud-like texture may perplex your senses, as the flavors are so very rich and creamy. In fact, you may need to serve this whipped eggnog with a spoon, which means it can double as a dessert. For a thinner sip and a dose of happy hour flair, mix in ½ cup of bourbon and 1 ounce of dark rum after the eggnog based has cooled (but before you place in the refrigerator to chill).
Whipped Matcha Eggnog
• 1 cup milk
• 1/4 cup and 1/8 cup sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 2 eggs, yolk and whites separated
• 1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
• 2 teaspoons matcha green tea (culinary grade recommended)
• Optional: additional culinary grade matcha, ground nutmeg, and cinnamon for garnish.
[M]ix milk, nutmeg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until ingredients are well mixed and the sugar has dissolved, about ten minutes. Remove one cup of the milk mixture.
Add egg yolks to a medium mixing bowl and whisk until they are pale yellow. Gradually whisk one cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Slowly pour the egg and milk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk mixture, still cooking over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, constantly stir until the mixture has thickened to coat the back of the spoon (about five to ten minutes).
Using a sieve, fine mesh strainer, or cheesecloth, strain the thickened egg and milk mixture into a bowl (removing any clumps or curdled eggs). Set it aside to cool to room temperature, then place in an airtight container and refrigerate for one to two hours until completely chilled.
Once the eggnog base has chilled, whisk the egg whites in a mixing bowl until very frothy and then slowly mix in 1/8 cup of sugar. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks appear. In a second bowl, sift in the matcha green tea and add one tablespoon of the cold heavy whipping cream. Using a spoon, mix the matcha with the cream to make a paste (dissolving any lumps). Then, mix in the remaining cream and whisk until there are stiff peaks. Gently fold the eggnog base into the whipped cream until incorporated. Then, gently fold the egg whites into the whipped cream-eggnog mixture. (Note: gently fold to not deflate the egg whites.) Spoon into teacups and garnish with a sprinkle of matcha and/or ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
—Alexis Siemons is a tea writer and consultant. She blogs about her steeped adventures at teaspoonsandpetals.com.