Thursday, December 15, 2005

What to do with Egg Nog?

Well, other than drink it, it can be used to make pastry cream and bake! Who woulda known?!

I couldn't resist the recipe recently posted by Chockylit - though mine are somewhat lacking in execution compared to her original masterpiece. I still can't figure out how the woman managed to get the frosting so gorgeously white when both brown sugar and butter are in the ingredient line up!

I had to tweak the recipe to account for things in the house (I was too lazy to go to the store) - so in the frosting, whipped cream cheese was used rather than regular, rum was used in place of bourbon and half and half was substituted for the heavy cream.

I confess to not reading instructions properly and I didn't make the caramel sauce properly (didn't cook it long enough), and that, along with the whipped cream cheese (what I had assumed to be equivalent weight to what was called for in the recipe, but I could be wrong) probably resulted in the more sloppy (but tasty none-the-less) frosting. Incidentally I have plenty of frosting left over, and it will be used to slather other cupcakes later on this week most likely.

Cake: Tasty, lightly spiced and an excellent use of Nog. Non-Nog fans still enjoyed the cakes without any mumbles or murmurs other than "mmmmmmmm - good." My cakes came out at 20 minutes, perhaps a little dark (and yes, I do have an oven thermometer in the oven).

Pastry Cream: I'm thinking an extra yolk (2 vs the 1 called for) may be in order - my pastry cream, even after chilling, was a bit on the runny side.

Frosting: The recipe calls for 1 1/2 packages of philadelphia cream cheese, but does not specify the size - I assumed it was 8 ounces, and happened to conveniently have a 12 ounce package of whipped cream cheese in the fridge. Rescued from mundane use on bagels, potatoes and/or scrambled eggs, it was happily combined with butter and other tasty things to make a wonderful frosting - more than enough to frost the cupcakes to my preferred level of frostiness.

Assembly: Easily completed, vacated the middles of the cakes, filled em with the pastry cream, added a little bit of my remaining (and probably undercooked) rum syrup, popped the cake middles back on, and went to town with my frosting spatula. Because the frosting was not very stiff, I didn't bother bringing out the piping tips and settled for an understated snowflake on each cupcake for accent (the plain tops just looked naked somehow).


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