photo by Sean Timberlake, 2012
Tis the season for eggnog. Creamy, rich and well, eggy. The origin of the holiday drink varies. One story says that the word nog derives from an Old English word for strong beer, hence “noggin;” another tale states that the name in Colonial America refers to when colonists referred to thick drinks as “grog” and eggnog as “egg-and-grog”.
Whatever the story may be we drink it once a year mostly in lattés it seems. In Puerto Rico the drink is known as coquito which involves, baking, cracking and draining coconuts. Ambitious for sure. Rompope, from Mexico, features almonds and lots and lots of eggs.
I don’t have a particular desire to drink eggnog but I do like the taste of it–rum, cinnamon, cloves–perfect for holiday baking. Over the weekend I had lunch with friends and decided to surprise them with this holiday cake as dessert. Super easy, and the taste was as seasonal as you need. Oh, and if you are like me you may need this Leftover Eggnog: 10 Delicious Uses.
PS: Don’t you love the photo? Squiggles on squiggles…
Spicy Eggnog Pound Cake
Adapted from Oxmoor House
Yield: 10 servings in an 8″ bundt pan plus 2 mini loaves
1 cup butter, softened
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1 1/2 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
1 cup refrigerated full fat eggnog**
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whipping cream
30-40 minutes ahead of start bring butter and eggs to room temperature.
Generously grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan and mini loaf pans.
Slice butter into tablespoons and beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.
Combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to butter mixture alternating with 1 cup eggnog, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and, if desired, brandy.
Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. The mini loaves will take about 7 minutes longer. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.
Place cake on a cake plate; dust with powdered sugar. Combine powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste or extract and whipping cream, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cake.
*I recently discovered a cinnamon blend from Penzey’s which I think really contributed to the cake’s taste profile. It’s a blend of four cinnamon barks: China, Vietnamese, Korintje, Ceylon. Penzey’s
**Note: I substituted 1/8 cup for some of the eggnog to equal the amount called for–so if you want to do that 2 3/4 cup eggnog and 1/8 cup dark rum. You could also use brandy.
Other tasting adventures: