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Chai spices add taste twist eggnog.  |  Matthew Mead~AP

Chai spices add a taste twist to eggnog. | Matthew Mead~AP

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Updated: January 13, 2013 6:08AM


Start to finish: 2 hours 35 minutes (20 minutes active)

2 cups 2 percent milk, divided1 (3

1/2 -inch) stick
cinnamon, smashed using the side of a knife

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

10 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger4 cardamom pods, crushed (or

1/2 teaspoon ground

Kosher salt

2 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

Brandy or rum, for flavoring (optional)

Grated nutmeg

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 11/2 cups of the milk with the cinnamon, vanilla bean, cloves, peppercorns, ginger, cardamom pods and a hefty pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then turn off the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes.

Strain the mixture through a sieve, discarding all of the solids except for the vanilla bean. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk; discard the vanilla pod.

Wipe out the saucepan and return the milk to the pan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat the eggs with the sugar for 2 minutes, or until they are light and lemon colored. Add the heated milk in a stream, whisking gently. Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 4 to 6 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a simmer or eggs will scramble. Add liquor, if using, and garnish with nutmeg.

Sara Moulton

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