Instead of ladling up mugs of traditionally rich yuletide nog, try surprising your guests with this frothy mousse and a variety of toppings, such as coffee caramel, chopped toasted hazelnuts, crushed peppermint, golden raisins, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and whipped cream, from which guests can choose their favorite.
- Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2003
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- 1 envelope unflavored (1 scant tablespoon) gelatin
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Coffee Caramel, for serving
Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Combine spirits in a small bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin; let soften, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; whisk until mixture is pale and fluffy, 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in gelatin mixture.
Set bowl over pan again; cook, whisking, until the gelatin has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Transfer bowl to the ice bath; scrape down sides of bowl, and whisk until cooled slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of whipped cream into gelatin mixture, then gently fold gelatin mixture into remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate (no more than 5 minutes) while preparing the egg whites.
In a clean bowl of the electric mixer, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream mixture. Transfer to a serving dish; cover. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight. Serve chilled, garnished with coffee caramel and other recommended toppings.