On our menu today is a country eggnog “ponche de huevo de pato”, that is meant to be drink warm and in the morning. What is so special about it? It is made with duck eggs! One cup of this drink for breakfast is enough to give you the nutrients and the energy you need until noon. Why is that? Duck eggs are have more omega3 fatty that is great for healthier skin and brain, they are an alkaline producing food, which is a great benefit to cancer patients because cancer cells do not thrive in an alkaline environment. Another benefit of duck eggs is that most people who are allergic to chicken eggs are able to eat duck eggs without allergic reactions. Could you believe this!
These eggs are also bigger than chicken eggs and contain more albumen, which is great for baking as it produces richer and fluffier cakes and pastries. I did not know this when I was raising ducks and had many duck eggs I left in the nest to reproduce, see a photo I shared of a duck´s nest made with dried plantain leaves, here. I am now thinking to start to raise a few ducks again, and use the eggs for baking cakes.
This is a vintage recipe that many of Dominican grandmothers prepared very early in the morning. . I could imagine our great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mothers preparing this in their country kitchens. Those days were beautiful, and the breakfasts were so substantial and healthy. Today very few houses prepare this drink, maybe because it is difficult to find duck eggs in local stores, or simply because people think it is difficult to prepare. It is nothing complicated, nor does it take a long time to prepare. This ponche tastes like “café con leche”, but it is slightly thicker. Serve with fresh bread for dipping, and you will have one true delight.
What I love about this ponche are the memories, it brings back my childhood memories of my mom’s small kitchen in New York´s lower east side. I did not have the luck to taste my grandmothers’ ponches, but I did taste and loved my dear mom’s and my aunt Nydia’s poche. I remember my aunt using a “molenillo” to beat the egg whites. They are beautiful memories that I keep in my mind and will cherish with this recipe. I also hope that with this recipe many fond memories will revisit you. I would love you to share your childhood memories about this or a similar recipe, and also if you have any variations it as well.
Many grandmothers used a molenillo, a vintage kitchen utensil to beat and mix that is like a whisk. If you will like to own one, get it here, Molenillo Dominicano.
The magic spice... this is what makes this eggnog delicious, nutmeg! Freshly ground in my mom´s vintage grater.
Hot Eggnog Made with Duck Eggs
2 duck eggs
2 ½ cups whole milk (590 ml)
¼ cup (60 ml) strong brewed coffee or 1 teaspoon instant coffee
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided (35 g)
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla, divided (5 ml)
3-5 teaspoons rum, divided (optional) 25 ml
Pinch of salt
You will need:
Molenillo also known as molinillo or an electric mixer
1. Separate the yolks from the whites and set aside. In a medium saucepan place the milk, coffee, and spices. Place over low heat, stirring constantly. Do not let it boil.
2. In a mixer or hand beater beat the egg whites with a tablespoon of sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon rum. Beat on high speed until it looks like foam and has soft peaks, about 2 minutes, and reserve. Egg whites are beaten first because any residue of egg yolk will cause the egg whites to be flat.
3. Proceeds to beat the yolks with the remaining sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon of rum. Beat on high speed until it doubles in size and becomes pale yellow color. While it is beating on high stir in 1 cup hot milk gradually. This serves to temper the yolks before adding to the pan of hot milk. Now pour all the yolk mixture into the pan of milk mixture and stir constantly until has completely combined.
4. Add a cup of this mixture by slowly pour into the bowl with the egg whites, mix and then pour the tempered beaten egg whites into the pan slowly while beating with a whisk or molenillo. Pour remaining rum, 2 tablespoons of sugar or to taste, and cook over medium-low heat until it has thickened slightly about 3-4 minutes. Serve hot in mugs. You can serve with crackers, cookies or fresh bread. Enjoy this energizing and refreshing beverage.
a) Adjust the sugar to taste. For me the amount listed in the recipe is just right, but you might want a little more or less.
b) Only a small amount of rum is need, but optional if you do not want to add it. The alcohol evaporates so it does not taste strong at all. Its purpose in the recipe is to help eliminate any egg odor.
"A woman’s family is held together by her wisdom, but it can be destroyed by her foolishness." - Proverbs 14:1