Eggnog is one drink I’ve never fully understood. Whole eggs and heavy cream whipped together so thick that you can barely slurp it down, and the few tablespoons that you do manage to imbibe has enough cholesterol to put you on your doctor’s naughty list? That sounds absolutely delicious, right? I sure hope I’m not the only one who doesn’t think so. It should come as no surprise that I’ve still never had “real” eggnog, and have absolutely no temptation to change that, but what’s shocking is that I’ve actually made peace with this beverage. Veganized and thinned down quite a bit, I’ve actually found it incredibly addictive, in fact!
As soon as I saw those first cartons of Holly Nog go on sale in my local grocery store, I snatched up two containers- and this was back in October, mind you. There are tons of awesome recipes out there for vegan eggnog of course, and I’ve even written one which is currently published in Go Dairy Free, but for instant gratification, this stuff hits the spot like nothing else. I’m already planning to stockpile a dozen cartons the moment I see it go on sale.
But for now, as I sit on a surplus of vegan nog, I can’t help but find endless pastry applications for it. Just a cup here and a cup there boosts flavors and gives plain cakes a special holiday twist. Of course, that’s not enough to satisfy the newly discovered nog lover in me. Bringing it to the front of the flavor profile, it made its way into a simple yet incredibly impressive panna cotta that turned out so good, I have to worry that I won’t have enough nog to last me through January.
Naturally, a spoonful of leftover caramel syrup found its way onto the plate, but I imagine that a “buttered” rum sauce would be wonderful as well (just substitute margarine and soymilk in this one.) If you haven’t yet decided on what to serve friends and family to finish off a big holiday dessert, look no further. It’s light enough that everyone will be able to find just a little bit more room for dessert, and it’s much more unique than the standard platter of cookies.
Nog Panna Cotta
1 1/2 Cups Vegan “Eggnog”
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
2 Teaspoons Agar Agar Powder OR 2 Tablespoons Agar Agar Flakes
1 6-Ounce Container Unsweetened Soy Yogurt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Lightly grease four 4-ounce ramekins and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the nog, sugar, and agar. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and do not let it boil. Continue to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the agar has mostly dissolved. If you’re using powdered agar, it will dissolve much faster than the flakes, so keep an eye on the pot and don’t walk away!
Strain mixture using fine-mesh sieve into medium-size bowl. Quickly whisk in yogurt and vanilla until smooth and homogeneous. Pour into your prepared ramekins, and let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Transfer the ramekins to your refrigerator, and allow the panna cottas to remain undisturbed for at least 2 hours, until set and fully chilled.
To serve, either eat the panna cotta directly out of the ramekin, or invert onto a plate. Top with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.
Makes 4 Servings