If you've ever wondered what to do with a crème anglaise, spike it with a little rum and add in some nutmeg to turn it into an eggnog crème anglaise that is the perfect decadent topping for cranberry waffles or any holiday breakfast or Christmas brunch.
Incorporating berries into a waffle batter
Instead of folding the cranberries (or other berries) into waffle batter, I prefer to scatter them on the batter in the waffle maker. This way you can evenly distribute the berries over the entire surface of the waffle. Otherwise the heavy berries may get stuck in the middle, making it too soggy to lift out of the waffle maker afterwards.
Alternative topping for your waffles
Most people top waffles with maple syrup. And you can't go wrong with that, but around the holidays, it's fun to make a custard sauce, like this eggnog crème anglaise, to pour over your favourite pancakes or waffles.
This sauce is like homemade eggnog, but spiked with a little less alcohol than for the beverage. This dessert sauce is heavenly and made a very festive breakfast that is just right for this season. It's perfect to balance the tart cranberries. This custard sauce is so delicious, you will want to pour it generously on everything. You could serve it with this eggnog bundt cake, for example, or French toast muffins.
The key to a thick and creamy crème anglaise is NOT in ingredients like heavy cream. There's no cream here! Instead we rely on the egg yolks and slow evaporation of the sauce over low heat to make this sauce thick and creamy!
Eggnog crème anglaise
- 750 mL (3 cups) whole milk (3.25 % fat)
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar divided
- 2.5 mL (½ teaspoon) ground nutmeg more or less depending on how much you like nutmeg
- 5 large egg yolks
- 0.625 mL (⅛ teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 5 mL (1 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract
- 60 mL (¼ cup) spiced or dark rum or you can use bourbon or even brandy
- Set aside a bowl with a strainer over top.
- Combine the milk, half the sugar, and the nutmeg in a 3-quart saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Heat the mixture through but do not allow it to boil (this is key to avoid making eggnog scrambled eggs!). Remove from the heat.
- Put the egg yolks and salt in a small heatproof bowl and gently whisk to break up the yolks. Whisk in the remaining half of sugar and beat the mixture until the yolks become very pale and light. Gradually whisk in the warm sweet milk mixture. Pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan, and whisk to combine.
- Cook over medium-low heat (slow and steady), stirring constantly with a clean wooden spoon until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon and hold a line drawn through it with a finger, about 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should register 170°F–175°F. Do not let the sauce overheat or boil because then you will probably curdle the mixture, making eggnog scrambled eggs. Immediately strain the sauce through the strainer into the bowl.
- Gently whisk in the rum and vanilla extract.
- Transfer it to a large container. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until the eggnog is velvety and slightly thick. Alternatively you can serve the custard sauce warm over waffles.
- 250 grams (2 cups) bleached all-purpose flour
- 15 mL (1 tablespoon) baking powder
- 2.5 mL (½ teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 375 mL (1½ cups) whole milk (3.25 % fat)
- 50 grams (¼ cup) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 5 mL (1 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract
- 58 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- Cooking spray or melted butter to grease the waffle iron
- 100 grams (1 cup) fresh cranberries
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking powder, and the salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole milk, brown sugar, eggs, and the vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, along with the melted butter, then stir to combine.
- Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat a waffle iron. Grease the waffle iron then cook waffles according to waffle maker instructions, scattering each waffle with a few cranberries before shutting the lid. The amount of batter per waffle varies according to the capacity of the waffle iron.
- Keep the cooked waffles on a cookie sheet in a preheated low temperature oven until you are ready to serve.
- The number of waffles you make is entirely dependant on the type of waffle maker you use and the amount of batter per waffle.
- Calories calculated for 1 waffle