Thursday, January 22, 2009
Last week, I used up my birthday Powell's gift certificate, and bought Flo Braker's new book,'Baking for all Occasions'. I have a hard time letting go of Christmas, and more exactly, of eggnog. So when I saw a recipe for Eggnog Pound Cake, I knew I'd found the perfect dessert to bridge the holiday and the new year.
But I didn't read through the recipe. When I pulled out the ingredients, I realized it called for eggnog. Store-bought eggnog--something I've never bought. And also something that (at least in my neck of the woods) isn't available in stores after Christmas.
Store-bought eggnog is somehow thicker than homemade; I imagine in the better brands that's due to eggs being custardized through pasteurization? I hate to think what does it in other brands--strange unpronounceable thickening agents. Probably whole milk with some flavoring would have done for this cake. But I decided to make a creme anglaise.
Luckily, just before I started, I remembered (truly in a flash) a post I'd read a while back on David Lebovitz's blog. It was a recipe for an almond cake, and one suggested accompaniment was creme anglaise. For creme anglaise in-a-pinch, melt premium vanilla ice cream (which, after all, is frozen creme anglaise).
I usually have ice cream on hand. I melted a cup of vanilla Haagen Dazs, grated in a generous amount of nutmeg and added a splash of rum. The cake turned out perfectly. Baked in a Bundt pan, it's brushed after baking with a rum glaze. The sugar crystallizes over the surface, making for a shiny, crunchy top.