Spiced Chocolate Eggnog
Inspired by traditional Mexican flavors, this eggnog pairs bittersweet chocolate with just a pinch of hot chile. The drink can be made a day in advance. Use the time right before serving the eggnog to make hot churros for a unique garnish.
- 2 quarts whole milk, plus more if needed
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 12 egg yolks
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 3 ounces milk chocolate, melted
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups brandy (optional)
- Whole nutmeg, for garnish
- Cayenne pepper, for sprinkling
Heat 2 quarts milk, the sugar, salt, vanilla seeds and pod, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1 cup of milk mixture into yolks in a slow, steady stream. Whisk yolk mixture into remaining milk mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes. (Do not boil.)
Remove pot from heat, add melted bittersweet and milk chocolates, and stir until incorporated. Discard vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks. Pour mixture into a large bowl set in ice-water bath, and let cool, stirring often.
Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Pour cooled eggnog into a large serving bowl, and add brandy if using. (Add more milk to eggnog if necessary to reach desired consistency.) Top with whipped cream. Grate nutmeg over top, and sprinkle sparingly with cayenne. Serve immediately with churros on the side if desired.