As with everything on the Internets, there are differing opinions on what temperature is required to rid the eggs of salmonella. The USDA and CDC say that 160 °F for any amount of time is a safe bet, but long times at lower temps will also work. Since the egg can start to cook at temperatures as low as 140 °F, the pasteurization could potentially yield chunks in the eggnog. Some sources claim that adding an acid to the yolks can prevent them from getting chunky on heating, but their recommended process is somewhat involved since it's important to make sure that the temperature throughout the yolks stays fairly uniform. However, the USDA also notes that if mixing some of the milk in the eggnog recipe with the egg yolks before heating might yield a good eggnog. In this case, it's basically like making a custard that is then diluted with the rest of the milk. That's the approach we'll try here for making our earth-flavored 'nog.
|As before, start with six egg yolks and three cups of milk. This time, however, only use 1.5 cups of milk at a time.|
|Mix together the yolks and 1.5 cups milk until homogeneous (bubbles are ok). EDIT: Make sure to beat the yolks first until stiff and pale yellow. It seems to make the final product thicker and creamier.|
6 egg yolks
1.5 cups milk
another 1.5 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat egg yolks and 1.5 cups milk until uniform. Heat mixture to 160 °F, stirring often. Add sugar and cocoa powder, stir until uniform, then add rest of milk and vanilla extract. Chill and drink.
Have you made a cooked eggnog recipe before? How did it turn out? Tell us about it in the comments section below!