Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spiced Advocaat Custard

Advocaat Cream (0033) by Meeta K. Wolff

25 days till Christmas. Can you believe it? I say that every year, don’t I? I have a feeling it creeps up just a tad bit earlier each year. Not that I am unprepared but somehow I manage to block out all signs of Christmas, of which they first begin to appear at the markets as early as September. 

Then all of a sudden I hear it’s the first advent weekend and my mind is still blocking. I’ve been so immersed in a few projects that I was not ready to accept baubles, tinsel and co. just yet. If it was not for Soeren, who influences so much in my life, I would have probably continued to barricade all thoughts of the upcoming season.

Advocaat Cream (0008) by Meeta K. Wolff

Instead I gave in and let the wave of excitement that is felt by a nine year old engulf me. Last weekend we spent getting ourselves in the mood for Christmas. We brought down a few Christmas decorations from the attic and began to decorate the house. We put up Soeren’s favorite piece up on the bookshelf, a hand carved wooden Räuchermann from the Ore Mountain region. The Räuchermann is a traditional “incense smoker” and made of two pieces, where a cone incense is lit and then placed on the lower body part of the wood figure. The second part is hollowed out and placed on top of the lower body part covering the cone incense allowing the perfumed smoke to escape the mouth hole of the Räuchermann. They come in many sizes, forms and types and are typical during Christmas time in the region of Germany where Tom and his family come from.

On the window sill we put up my favorite piece, a wooded hand carved candle arch displaying a scene from a quaint miner’s village at Christmas time. I get lost in the scene with the tiny wooden figurines singing carols under the immaculately carved trees, while a bright yellow star on the church in the background and five candles, albeit with electric bulbs, light up the window. Each evening when we come home, the first thing I do is flick on the lights on the candle arch, while Soeren fires up a cone incense in the Räuchermann.

Advocaat Cream (0020) by Meeta K. Wolff

Finally we also made an advents wreath, adorning it with dried tangerine slices, small pine cones, cinnamon sticks and Zimtsterne. Four candles (these ones are for real) count down the weeks to Christmas.

Tomorrow, December 1st, begins the countdown to Christmas Eve and in Germany to help us do that we have an Advents calendar. Several years back I made one for Soeren consisting of red and green felt bags that I decorated with snowmen, reindeers, elves and the number 1 to 24. Tonight, when he is fast asleep I will be busy filling them up with chocolates, matchbox cars and cookies. Maybe with a glass of homemade Advocaat egg liqueur.

Advocaat Cream (0015) by Meeta K. Wolff  

It’s been very Christmassy in the kitchen too and we’ve been baking , cooking and making Christmas goodies with mincemeat, stollen, cakes and cookies to name a few, all of which I will be sharing with you all in the next few weeks as I chime in the Christmas season on WFLH.

As a starter I am serving you with dessert first! A divine, creamy custard infused with delicious spices and spiked with a rich homemade Advocaat liqueur. Advocaat is one of those wonderful things in life that has to be experienced. The rich and creamy liqueur is made with eggs, sugar and brandy and has a smooth custard-like flavor very similar to eggnog. We love our Advocaat liqueur on ice cream, fresh fruit or simply in glasses with grated dark chocolate and cinnamon. It’s easy to make at home and tastes delicious. I used it in the custard for a fantastic Christmas dessert.

Recipe: Spiced Advocaat Custard

Printable version of recipe here

Spiced Advocaat Custard by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, includes infusing and chilling time

Ingredients:
For the custard

  • 500ml milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom, ground
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 110g fine granulated sugar
  • 60ml Advocaat egg liqueur (see below for recipe)
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract (I used Nielsen-Massey)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 sheets of leaf gelatin
  • 300 ml whipping cream
For the Advocaat – Egg Liqueur
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1/8 liters brandy
  • 300 ml whipping cream

Method:
For the custard

  1. Put milk, vanilla pod and seeds, cinnamon and cardamom in a pan over a medium heat. Bring mixture to just below boiling point, then remove from heat and allow to steep for at least an hour.

  2. Using an electric whisk, beat egg yolks, sugar, Advocaat egg liqueur, orange extract, and salt until thick and pale.

  3. Reheat the infused milk over low heat, then strain milk in a slow, thin stream over egg mixture, making sure it does not curdle. Mix well.

  4. Pour into a clean pan and over a low heat cook, stirring the mixture continuously. After about 4-5 minutes the mixture should thicken into a smooth custard.

  5. In the meantime, soak the gelatin for 5 minutes in a small bowl filled with cold water until softened. Squeeze to remove excess water, then stir into the custard mixture until dissolved.

  6. Prepare a large bowl by filling it with iced water and a smaller metal bowl placed into the iced water.

  7. Pour the custard mixture into the small metal bowl and stir occasionally until the custard has cooled and thickened but not set.

  8. With an electric whisk beat the cream to soft peaks then fold into the cooled custard mixture. Divide the mixture into dessert glasses (150 ml) and chill in fridge for at least four hours.

  9. Serve custard with zimtsterne or some crumbly ginger shortbread.
For the Advocaat Egg Liqueur
  1. Place eggs and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until light and frothy. Sift the powdered sugar and add tablespoon by tablespoon to the eggs.

  2. Add brandy and stir well. Beat the cold whipping cream until slightly stiff and fold into the egg liqueur.

  3. Pour into a clean, sterilized bottles. Close the bottle tightly and keep the egg liqueur in the refrigerator. It should keep fresh for 3-5 days. The egg liqueur is ready to serve immediately. Shake the bottle well before each serving as the alcohol separates from the eggs after a while.

  4. Makes about 0.6 liters.


    Verdict

    Advocaat Cream (0010) by Meeta K. Wolff

    Smooth, creamy, rich and absolutely divine, these custards are a fantastic way to round off Christmas dinner. With the use of only 2 gelatin sheets the custards’ are not extremely firm. Instead the consistency lies somewhere between a thick pudding and light mousse. I also keep the sugar low making it not overly sweet and allowing the spices and the liqueur enough room to unfold their flavors.

    Sally of My Custard Pie is my gorgeous hostess of the Monthly Mingle this month. With a blog name like that it was no surprise that she chose Custards as her theme. I hope she likes my Spiced Advocaat Custard. The Monthly Mingle now takes a break till next year. Thanks to everyone who took part in the many events this year and a huge thank you to all my hostesses and their grand themes.

    P2P badge-Somerset V1_15.11.11

    Last week we opened registrations to our third From Plate to Page and are thrilled to see many of the spots fill up immediately. We still have a few spots free, so come on over and check out our incredible programme, take in the beauty of our venue and register here. Put it on your wishlist for Christmas or give it as a gift. If you or someone you know, has always wanted to hone their skills in food writing and photography, From Plate to Page is the only intensive workshop that provides you with both. Read what past participants have said about our workshop!

    You might like these Christmas dessert ideas from WFLH:

    Chai Latte Cream Chocolate & Coconut French Yule Log Cranberry and Mango Layered Mousse


    All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

    31 comments :

    1. die Kekse sehen ganz wundervoll aus, Deine Foto`s sind aber wirklich die schönsten die ich kenne.
      Hab einen schönen Tag.
      Ja Weihnachten ist ganz bald.
      LG
      Sabine

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    2. Gorgeous and silky...looks gr8 Meeta..So the advocat lasts only for a couple of days is it??

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    3. So festive and Christmassy! A divine dessert. Your post is magnificent.

      Cheers,

      Rosa

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    4. Advokaat. That brings back all kinds of memories. Here in THe Netherlands I associate advokaat with little old ladies on a chair, spooning with little teaspoons advokaat out of a little glass. My grandmother used to serve advokaat to her sisters and ladyfriends on birthdays, while the men would be sitting at the dining table, smoking sigars and drinking whiskey.

      Anyway, your dessert looks delicious. As always!

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    5. Wintery white and wonderfully spicey. Another terrific photographic experience. Happy first day of Advent!

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    6. I bought a couple of Räuchermann when I lived in Germany and I love unwrapping them and putting them out every year. The Advocaat is something I should make this year.

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    7. sounds like a gorgeous beginning to the christmas season and certainly a delicious one, these little pots looks delicious...now if only my man ate custardy desserts....!

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    8. I bet there's no way to miss Christmas when you have children ;) Their excitement is so bold !
      Like your silky custard adorned with pretty looking cookie !

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    9. O haha.. such good timing Meeta.. Both on our christmas count down... We don't really use Advents calendars here but I love the idea! I will Tom to fill mine with nice little things.lol.. Theis gorgeous little desserts look so pretty and I am in love with those photos!

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    10. Absolutely divine! Love your pictures and I have to make the advocaat liqueur. thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    11. How wonderful and classy Meeta! I love the fact that the pics are not over exposed as are most pics you see in food blogs these days!

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    12. I guess there is a little mistake in the recipe for Advocaat, Meeta. Point two seems to have slipped in from the recipe of the custard.

      I will definitely make advocaat myself in these weeks till christmas, now that I have the recipe. For my mother and I absolutely LOVE the stuff (although it is, I have to admit, associated with little old ladies knitting little socks for their 15 cats. So unfair, for it is delicious).

      Thanks for sharing!

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    13. I've been in Germany for Christmas--they really do it well! This custard looks great but I also love those star cookies with the white icing, a perfect garnish. I've never had Advokaat but I suppose it's a bit similar to eggnog.

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    14. Just discovered your post via Sally's Monthly Mingle round up - this custard looks so delicious! I love the photos with the little star-shaped biscuits too - so christmassy and cute :-)

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    15. Gorgeous photographs. I'm getting such a holiday vibe from them. Thanks for sharing!
      PS - Found you through Sally's monthly mingle :)

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    16. so glad i found this it looks delicious! thanks, Belle

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    17. At last! Something to do with Advocaat that doesnt involve drinking the stuff! ;-)

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    18. This gorgeous custard has me ready for the holidays! Love the styling too Meeta!

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    19. it sounds strange, but when I looked at it I changed my mind, it looks delicious and really good

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    20. Oh, Meeta, your home must be stunningly festive because these photos are gorgeous and inspiringly Christmassy! This makes me want to decorate for Christmas here this year! And love the dessert with the pretty cookie decorations. Oooh I want to spend the holidays with you!

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    21. Beautiful custard, Meeta! Love the light and styling in the pictures too. The countdown is officially on now. Spot on.

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    22. You have got in the Christmas cheer into me. Now I have to go get the stuff out:)and what a marvelous custard.

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    23. Wunderschöne Fotos! Mein Vater hat jahrelang Räuchermännchen, Schwibbögen, Pyramiden und Nussknacker gesammelt, unsere Wohnung sah an Weihnachten immer aus wie ein Erzgebirgsmuseum :)

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    24. I love custards. This looks so yummy and a great dessert after a holiday dinner.

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    25. Gorgeous food styling, Meeta! Glad to have stumbled upon your blog. Will be back for more!

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    26. Oh, what a delicious post!

      http://avecsofie.indiedays.com/

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    27. Thank you all so much for all your comments. Yes - the imagery of old ladies spooning their advocaat is familiar here too. I wanted to use it in a different way and - well you still need a spoon to tuck into the custards but now there is a modern twist to it. Enjoy!

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    28. Delightfully silky...gorgeous recipe and photos!

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    29. your food styling is off the chain! absolutely gorgeous photography.

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    Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

    In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

    Hugs
    Meeta