Tuesday 3 December 2013

Eggnog Loaf

I was going to a Craftworks meeting for which I wanted to bake something. I’ve briefly written about Craftworks before – it’s a non-profit society that provides craft therapy to people with mental illness and physical disabilities in the Vancouver area. I’ve been volunteering on the Board of Directors and have been finding it really rewarding to contribute to the team.

Anyways, I wanted to bake something simple (because I’m in the midst of a pretty jam-packed baking schedule) but not your everyday treat. A whipped eggnog loaf recipe had caught my eye recently that I wanted to try.

If you’re making this loaf, don’t use low-fat eggnog! First of all, you’re making a sugar-laden cake that’s disguising as a loaf/bread, but it’s actually a cake. Just go for the full fat. Secondly, the recipe requires beating the eggnog like you would with whip cream to make it light and fluffy. This can’t happen unless there’s enough fat to hold the fluffy structure (pretty scientific, I know!). So please go for the fat.

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Oh btw, check me out on instagram for behind the scenes photos of tast-e baking!  

Eggnog Loaf
Adapted from here and here  

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
½ cup salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla (+ ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean if you have it)
1 cup full fat eggnog, divided (½ cup cold, ½ cup room temperature)   

½ cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons eggnog (more if it’s too thick)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a tube pan with parchment that hangs out from the pan for easy lifting.
2.  In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3.  In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. (Use beater attachment if using stand mixer.)
4.  Add eggs and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add vanilla (and vanilla bean if using) and beat until incorporated.
5.  Add ½ cup room temperature eggnog and beat until incorporated.
6.  Add flour mixture and beat on low until more or less combined.
7.  (For this next step, you can use a hand blender, or use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer. I used a stand mixer, and I only have one stand mixer bowl so I had to transfer the batter to another bowl.) In a separate bowl, beat ½ cup cold eggnog until doubled in volume. This might take about 4 minutes.
8.  Fold beaten eggnog into batter. Some lumps of batter are OK.
9.  Pour into tube pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick come out clean.
10.Cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan for further cooling. Be sure to run a knife along the side to release the loaf.

To make the glaze
11.In a measuring cup (since it has a spout and you can pour it), mix the powdered sugar and eggnog with a spoon until smooth.
12.Pour over slightly warm loaf and spread with a spoon. Let dry.

Verdict: I really liked the way this loaf turned out! It had a subtle hint of eggnog and was really moist with a good texture. It wasn’t heavy or dense at all nor was it too sweet. Everyone seemed to like it as it was all eaten up. I ended up baking another batch for work and that one went pretty fast too! I don’t know about you, but I can never finish a carton of eggnog, so this is a great way to use it up!

Oh! How about an eggnog latte loaf? Add a teaspoon of instant espresso!

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