What is eggnog?  Technically, it’s a mixture of dairy and eggs, or a custard, almost identical to ice cream.  Egg drinks were very popular in Europe in the middle ages and gained renewed popularity in the New World where almost everyone had access to eggs, milk, and yes, rum!

During the holidays, we love a good cup of eggnog with a little dose of brandy mixed in.  This served as our inspiration for a cupcake boasting the flavors of one of Christmas’s most popular drinks.  A simple cake laced with eggnog and nutmeg is filled with an eggnog pastry cream and topped with a vanilla brandy frosting.  Don’t forget the extra sprinkle of nutmeg on the top!

 

Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Cream and Brandy Frosting

For Cupcakes
Yield: 14

1 C Eggnog
1/4 C Melted Butter
1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 t Vanilla
1 C Sugar
1 1/3 c AP Flour
1/4 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Nutmeg

Method:
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together in a bowl and set aside.
Mix the sugar, vanilla, vinegar, butter, and eggnog in another bowl. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Portion into cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees. Let cool.
For Pastry Cream:
3 T Cornstarch
3/4 C Eggnog
3/4 C Whole Milk
1 Egg
2 Egg yolks
1/2 C Sugar
3 T butter
1 t Vanilla

1 C whipping Cream
1/2 C powdered sugar

Method:
Mix half the eggnog with the cornstarch, egg, and egg yolks. In a saucepan, heat the remaining eggnog, milk, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Ladle about 2 cups of the hot milk mixture into the cornstarch mixture while whisking quickly so that the eggs don’t scramble. Whisk the egg mixture into the milk mixture in the saucepan and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Let the mixture boil for about a minute, then remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then add the vanilla and butter and whisk until the butter is completely incorporated. Place in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed onto the top of the pastry cream so it does not form a skin. Refrigerate until completely cool, about 2-3 hours.

When the pastry cream is cool, whip the cream until tracks form from the whip in the cream, then add the powdered sugar and whip until soft peaks form. (This will happen fast once the sugar is added.) Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream and put into a pastry bag for filling the cupcakes.

For Frosting:
1 C Butter
1/4 C Whipping Cream or Milk
1 t Vanilla
1/3 C Brandy or Rum
4-5 C powdered Sugar
Method:
Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the brandy and vanilla and whip together. Check the consistency; if it is loose, add more powdered sugar. Alternatively, if it is too stiff add a touch of milk or cream.

Assembly:
Cut a small hole into the tops of the cupcakes (We used a tomato corer or paring knife). Hollow out the inside of the cupcake to allow more pastry cream to go inside. Pipe the pastry cream into the cupcake all the way to the top. Frost the tops of the cupcakes and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg for garnish.

eggnog-cupcake(process)