Made By Mail: Almond Macaron & Salty Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwiches
There are some of us who just can't get into eggnog...and there are others who watch the calendar for its victorious seasonal return. We turned to Australian-based DXD Ingredient Investigator, Sarah Coates of The Sugar Hit, for a double whammy Made By Mail Challenge: not only does she make us fall in love with the questionable holiday flavor, she takes it to a southern hemisphere level of awesome with this unexpected frozen treat perfect for all our holiday treat cravings.
Eggnog is a totally unfamiliar ingredient to me. It has taken me many, many years to get my head around it, and I’m still not sure I’m a hundred percent of the way there. I live in Australia, I am an Australian, and down here in the Southern Hemisphere Christmas falls smack bang in the middle of summer. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but it is hot as hell down here in Summer. And where I live it is mad-humid as well.
In this kind of weather the idea of sitting down to a glass of icy cold ‘nog is not super appealing. Ron Burgundy summed up my feelings best when he said, ‘milk was a bad choice’. There is a certain stomach-churning element to drinking any dairy product on a hot day. I’m not even a real lover of milkshakes in summer, for that very reason.
But I do make one exception, and that’s for ice-cream. To my non-accustomed mind, egg nog is a lot like pre-frozen ice cream. So I figured I would just go that extra step and throw some into the ice cream machine. But I couldn’t stop there. I had to add a little booze (store-bought egg nog has no booze), add a little salt, and some other ingredients to help stabilize the mixture and stop it from being too icy.
Salty Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwiches Eggnog Ice Cream - Makes 1 quart Ingredients: ¾ cup milk 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch 1 + ½ tbsp cream cheese ¾ tsp salt ½ cup heavy cream ½ cup sugar (or more, to taste) 2 tbsp corn syrup 2 cups egg nog optional: extra rum, whiskey or bourbon, to taste
Take about 2 tbsp of the milk and mix with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Place the cream cheese into a large bowl and mix with the salt until completely smooth. Set these aside.
Place the remaining milk, along with the cream, sugar and corn syrup into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for four minutes, and then remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Place back on the heat for another minute, or until thickened.
Whisk the thickened mixture into the cream cheese and salt, going very slowly and whisking constantly so there are no lumps. Finally, stir in the egg nog, and any extra alcohol that you want (no more than about 2-3 tbsp). Chill the mixture completely, and then churn in an ice cream machine, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Cheat’s Almond Macarons Makes 18 cookies (9 sandwiches) Ingredients: 2 ¼ cups almond meal 2 ½ cups powdered sugar 4 large egg whites ½ cup granulated sugar Vanilla extract
The cookie for these is inspired by Jeni’s Splendid ice creams – she is the queen of iced desserts and I bow down to her superior skills. I have tweaked the recipe a little, to suit my laziness, but the results were absolutely gorgeous.
Sift together the almond meal and powdered sugar – this is a pain and it takes ages, but it’s unavoidable and very worth it. Next, place the egg whites into a large bowl and whip until they become frothy. Continue whisking, gradually adding the granulated sugar, and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form.
Add a third of the almond-sugar mixture along with the vanilla and begin to fold it through. When that’s almost done, add another third of the almond-sugar mix, fold until that’s almost incorporated, and then add the remaining almond-sugar mix and fold until it’s completely incorporated.
Line three baking sheets with baking paper, and scoop the macaron mix into a large piping bag with a ½ inch nozzle (or a large zip-lock bag, with the corner cut off). Pipe the cookies out into 3 inch rounds, and then set aside to dry out for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300F/150C and bake for 20 minutes, or until light golden brown and crisp. To make the sandwiches, leave until completely cool, and then sandwich a huge, cool scoop of salty egg nog ice cream between two cookies!
After making the eggnog ice cream, the idea of turning these into a hand-held treat was a no brainer. There is nothing better than trying to scoff your frozen treat in the middle of a heat wave, as it threatens to melt all the way down your arm.
...But, to be honest, I think these would be just as perfect on a chilly winter’s evening next to a big bowl of popcorn and a crackling log fire.
So what do you think? Are you a flag-waving eggnog convert yet?
I mean, we'd try anything in ice cream sandwich form (well, once).
How will you serve up your nogg this season?