Believe it or not, one of my favorite things during the Christmas season is egg nog. It was something I couldn’t stand as a kid, but man do I love it now! It’s not like I’m chugging gallons at a time, but I do love a nice cold glass of egg nog. With all that in mind, I figured mixing some into some crème brulee – along with some Kahlua – would be a pretty good idea. Man was I right! It’s delicious and not ridiculously easy to make, believe it or not.
Traditionally, you want to put everything in a pot over low heat, just like in the picture, and whisk it until it’s warm and nappe, or can coat the back of a spoon. However, if you want to save a few minutes, you can just put everything in a bowl and whisk it until it’s completely combined. To be honest, I actually prefer the latter because it’s less work and that process makes for an easier time in the oven.
One of the cool things about crème brulee is that it can be manipulated in just about any fashion, so you can infuse almost any flavor you want. Just think of all the extracts or liqueurs you can add in to completely change up or enhance the taste of it! As I stated earlier, I’m an egg nog fan, so swapping out some of the cream in the recipe with egg nog is a no-brainer and a ridiculously delicious flavor-enhancer. In addition to adding in the egg nog, I thought I would spike the crème brulee with a little Kahlua! If you happen to have a bottle of Bailey’s lying around, then no need to drop $20 on the Kahlua, Baileys will still give you an amazing tasty crème brulee.
Once your ingredients are combined, you want to divide the custard liquid between your brulee dishes, which are shallow and wide. You can also cook the crème brulee in ramekins or small glass cups, but remember they all need to fit on a sheet pan while baking. I kept it traditional – simply because I wanted to be able to load up the tops with fresh berries and whipped cream. This egg nog crème brulee recipe makes enough to fill 5 of the brulee dishes, which is honestly quite a bit. This recipe is super rich, so don’t be surprised if you can only eat ½ of it at a time! In addition to pouring the crème brulee custard into the baking dishes, you also want to pour warm water around the dishes in the sheet pan. Don’t fill it up all the way, you’ll only need about ½ inch in the pan.
Bake the crème brulees in the oven and cool them for about 30 minutes or so. One of my favorite go-to cooling racks is my Franke Roller Mat – it’s an amazing tool to help cool baked goodies. Not only does it work as a cooling rack, it also serves as a surface to dry dishes on, a colander, or even as a surface area to wash dishes, which will save you from bending over for long periods of time. The Franke Roller Mat rolls up for easy storage and while it’s unrolled, it covers about ¾ of our oversized Franke farmhouse sink.
After the egg nog crème brulee cools at room temperature, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it cool completely, which will take about 1 hour. As it cools, we can make our fresh whipped cream – complete with a bit of mascarpone cheese! I also use this time to wash off our fresh berries. As I stated earlier, I like to use the Franke roller mat to help save my back because I’m pretty tall. I like to put the strainer right on the Roller Mat while I use my Franke Gooseneck faucet hose to spray off the berries. After rinsing, simply set the berries aside to let them drain naturally before using.
Last but not least, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of sugar and shake the dish around to spread the sugar around before torching it. Torch until its caramelized and crisp, and don’t worry if you get a few dark spots in the sugar! It’s absolutely delicious, and you won’t even taste it. With that being said, be careful when bruleeing the sugar because you don’t want to burn the whole top – again, it’s ok if there are a few dark spots. Serve this egg nog crème brulee up with some whipped cream and fresh berries and you’ve got yourself one delicious and festive Christmas dessert!
Egg Nog Crème Brulee Recipe with Kahlua and Whipped Cream
For the Crème Brulee:
- 1 ½ cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ cups of egg nog
- ¼ cup of sugar + 5 teaspoons
- 2 tablespoons of Kahlua
- 6 egg yolks
For the Toppings:
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ½ cup of mascarpone cheese
- assorted fresh berries
- Crème brulee: Preheat the oven to 325°.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the 5 teaspoons of sugar. Divide the custard between 5 brulee dishes.
- Transfer the dishes to a cookie sheet tray. Fill up the tray until there is about ½ inch of water in it.
- Bake the dish at 325° for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set. Note: you may get some cooked brown spots on the outside of the crème brulee, but it’s totally fine.
- Remove the brulee dishes from the pan and cool for 30 minutes before completely cooling in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
- Toppings: While the brulee is chilling, add the whipped cream and sugar to a standing mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed and whisk until stiff peaks are formed, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in mascarpone and whisk for 1 more minute and chill before serving.
- Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the top of a crème brulee and move it around so that it is coated. Using a torch, caramelize the sugar on top until browned and hardened.
- Serve the egg nog crème brulee with the whipped cream and fresh berries.