Another Adventure with Root!
More and more, I prefer a cozy winter weekend.
The more nestled I am under a blanket with a certain someone special… the better the weekend. The more the fire flickers and sends warmth my way… the better the weekend. The more time spent working our way through Twin Peaks with a projector… the better the weekend.
As the weather oscillates oddly between seasons over the course of days, one has to make the most of the cold snowy times that can otherwise be so demotivating. It’s best to dwell on how those snowy days justify cozy weekends. Furthermore, those snowy times lengthen the egg nog season! I am quite an egg nog novice, since that combination of words repulsed me when most kids were forming their first nog mustaches. Little did little me know, egg nog is the delicious equivalent of a melted milkshake! Why didn’t the adults tell me?!?
While I long for sunshine, bare shoulders and warmth like the next vitamin D craving lass, I embrace these remaining wintry days with a glass of egg nog and something sweet. To make the cold beverage something worthy of a cozy weekend, you need a “heat” source- enter the magical pipette and one’s volitional release of the “warmth” of one’s choice! In my case, I turned to one of my favorites… Art in the Age Root Liquor.
Since my photographing phenom friend Adam Milliron is a seasoned egg nog aficionado, this venture into drinks and dessert pairing was the perfect opportunity for another collaboration!
4 egg yolks (local/free-range)
1/3 cup organic brown sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon
1 pint organic whole milk
1 cup organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites (local/free-range)
Cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg garnish
+ Pipettes of Root
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color.
Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved.
Add the milk, cream and nutmeg and stir to combine.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks.
With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Keep chiled.
Serve with a dusting of spices and a pipette’s worth (or two…or three) of Root.
There are multiple benefits to pipetting the alcohol into the egg nog. You can add one full splash of Root (or two or three…no one’s counting), refill the pipette one last time and then submerge it into the beverage. Should you be so inclined, you can slowly release the alcohol as you drink, creating a higher concentration toward the last sips. More importantly, it’s just plain old fun using “science” for non science purposes, especially if, like moi, you are surrounded by scientists and engineers during the day job hours.
And of course, Root Nog is better with a Chocolate Root Cake!
Chocolate Root Cake + Orange Root Infusion + Chocolate Root Buttercream
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup Root
Organic orange peel
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid begins to thicken slightly. Set aside.
Chocolate Root Cake
2 cups cream soda (Virgil’s)
1 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup organic unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (local/free-range)
Preheat even to 325 degrees F.
Spray the inside of a 10-inch round pan with nonstick cooking spray, or butter generously and dust with flour, knocking out the excess.
In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add sugar and molasses and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs until just beaten.
Whisk the eggs into the cocoa mixture until combined.
Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy, but don’t over beat the batter or the cake will be tough.
Pour the batter into prepared pan and cook for 35-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Use a fork or a skewer to poke several holes in the surface of the cake. Remove the orange peel, and pour the Root reduction sauce over the cake, spreading it over the entire surface.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely then loosen edges with a butter knife and turn out onto a cake plate.
Chocolate Root Beer Frosting
3 ounces 86% cacao (Ghirardelli), melted
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Root
4 ounces Nefuchatel cheese
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
¼ cup Root Nog
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric hand mixer, beat softened butter and cocoa powder.
Once combined add the melted chocolate, salt, Neufchatel, Root, maple syrup and Root Nog.
Beat together until smooth.
Spread on top of cooled cake.
Organic orange slices dipped in melted dark, dark, dark chocolate with a splash or two of Root! Once dipped in rich chocolate-y goodness, set on a piece of wax paper to harden.
Best enjoyed while cuddling with someone special, under blankets, by the warmth of a fire, awaiting the impending plot twist!
Baking, Mixing and Styling by With The Grains. Photography by Adam Milliron. Edits conceived from our collaborative vision!