- Food and Cooking
Tea Nog - The Latest Egg Nog!
Egg nog alternative from the land of tea
Perhaps where you live you can buy egg nog, but I live in China, the land of tea. I guess you could call me a tea geek. Tea freak? Tea connoisseur? Yes, I live in Shanghai, and it is a great city to live in if you like tea. But there are drawbacks when it is time for the holidays. There is no egg nog in sight!
That is when I whip up a batch of tea nog. Tea nog is a great way to feel the holiday spirit without worrying about getting sick from the eggs or feeling sick from too much cream. Maybe you are not living in a country with egg nog and are sad? Tea Nog is a fantastic egg nog alternative that will not leave you feeling yucky or over full.
The richness in the flavor comes from a different source. It comes from flavored teas. You can use various flavored teas, but I think the best flavor is Earl Grey. If you don't like Earl Grey, you can try Constant Comment, or just plain old English Breakfast. Or you can get really inventive and use whatever appeals to you. I have tried rose tea, and it makes a lovely tea nog. But if you really want a special flavor, I recommend you move to loose tea. More on that later.
Do you like the thick creaminess of egg nog?
It doesn't have to come from cream...
Tea nog achieves its creaminess by the addition of either eggs or a starch powder. In the US people seem to like cornstarch. In China they have all sorts of starches, including lotus root starch (lovely), sweet potato starch, white potato starch, and also corn starch. Corn starch, what seems to be most commonly used in the US, works perfectly, but you might want to investigate other starches some time too. You will be able to find them at Asian grocery stores if you live near one.
You can add an egg yolk to the nog as you cook it for additional creamy texture, then beat the white with some sugar into peaks, whisking it in at the end to increase the foaminess too. If you add both starch as well as an egg, you will have creamy foamy heaven.
Look below for the recipe.
Tea nog is easy. But it needs tweaking to make it perfect for you and your taste. So the ingredients below are listed in approximate amounts. You should first try smaller amounts of thickeners and milk, because you can always add more if you prefer a richer version.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: Maybe 15 minutes?
Serves: Adjust amounts as you need them
- 2 cups of water or a mix of 1 cup water and 1 cup milk.
- 4 bags tea or 2 teaspoons of loose tea
- 1 -2 eggs-separated
- 1 -3 teaspoons of cornstarch or other starch powder mixed with a tiny amount of water.
- honey or sugar as desired
- whipped cream if you want to really go overboard
- a sprinkling of nutmeg or two
- Tea nog can be made in its plainest form with just tea made from mostly water, a little milk, with a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it. But that is pretty plain, and I wouldn't be excited about drinking it. I am going to tell you how I made it today - but this is one of those recipes that you should try several times until you get it the way you like it.
- Boil one cup of water, and make tea using 2 teaspoons of loose tea or four teabags. Let it steep.
- Pour the tea in a saucepan, and add one cup of milk.
- Beat the egg yolk into the tea-milk mixture, and add however much sugar or honey you like, with a sprinkling of nutmeg. Then add 3 teaspoons of cornstarch to a tiny bit of water. You can add this to the mixture too, and heat it all to boiling, but stir carefully. If the tea nog isn't thick enough for you, let it cool a bit and then add another teaspoon or two of cornstarch with water and bring it to boiling again.
- Remove it from the heat, and let it cool while you beat the egg white.
- I like to beat the egg white with a tablespoon of sugar until it makes soft peaks. You can then add them to the slightly cooled tea nog. Beat in the egg whites. You can return it to the heat, but it should be a very small heat, and it is better if you don't boil it, or else it will have cooked egg white blobs in it. The rules for cooking eggs and the science of it are below.
- Make sure you correct the flavors, using more sugar if you want. .Adding a few spoons of whipped cream adds richness if you like that. More nutmeg makes it even more like eggnog. A sprinkling of cinnamon on top is nice too. You could add a candy cane, or a sprig of mint leaves.
Want the official take on cooking eggs?
Some good science here too...
Here are the rules about cooking eggs from www.incredibleegg.org:
Even light cooking will begin to destroy any Salmonella that might be present, but proper cooking brings eggs and other foods to a temperature high enough to destroy them all. For eggs, the white will coagulate (set) between 144 and 149Â° F, the yolk between 149 and 158Â° F, and whole egg between 144 and 158Â° F. Egg products made of plain whole eggs are pasteurized (heated to destroy bacteria), but not cooked, by bringing them to 140Â° F and keeping them at that temperature for 3 1/2 minutes. If you bring a food to an internal temperature of 160Â° F, you will instantly kill almost any bacteria. By diluting eggs with a liquid or sugar (as in custard), you can bring an egg mixture to 160Â° F. Use these temperatures as rough guidelines when you prepare eggs.
More egg nog alternatives!
If you can't eat egg nog, you can always have some egg nog tea. If you add soy or almond milk, it becomes really tasty.
I love taffy - and egg nog taffy is awesome. It is also good for a scratchy throat.
What do you like most about egg nog?
The thing I like about egg nog is:
What do you like least about eggnog?
Egg nog is nice, but it is...
Want the best? Loose tea is sooo much better than teabag tea! - Goldenmoon tea company is my favorite place to buy loose tea.
Amazon has all sorts of great teas. I have to say, though, that my favorite loose tea company is Goldenmoon tea company. I especially like that they send out an email newsletter with interesting information about tea, kinds of tea, and how to fix tea. I recommend you visit this shop online to find out more. The address is: http://www.goldenmoontea.com . I have no relationship with the company - in case you were wondering. I just love their tea.
I live in China, and can get all sorts of green teas, plus white teas, wulong teas, and more. But I have to admit that when the sun rises over Shanghai I go straight to the tea cupboard and pull out some good, stiff, black tea. Perhaps because black tea is "warming" to the body as opposed to "cooling," which is the effect of green tea. In the morning I need some "warming up." Black tea (called hong cha, or "red tea" in China, after the color of the liquid, not the color of the leaves) is what warms your system for the day ahead.
- Loose tea samplers
These are so much fun. I love samplers and have had two from Goldenmoon. If you get a sampler, you can figure out your favorite. And if you get a sampler, you can try them all out as tea nogs. Please let me know which you like best.
- Earl Grey
They call it "Tippy Earl Grey." This tea is what you might find in a really great tea shop in London on a cold and foggy afternoon. It has the regular Earl Grey flavor, with a hint of lavender. Earl Grey was the first tea I used to make tea nog. It h
- My favorite Loose Breakfast tea - Sinharaja Tea
This stuff is incredible. It is a Ceylon tea that is both rich and mild, and is special because it grows in the middle of a rain forest, so it has a slightly different taste than other Ceylon teas. I have to say, if you want to make tea nog - or milk
- Loose Rose Tea
This is a black tea, but has been enlightened with rose petals, which make a light and beautiful flowery taste. I like this tea in the winter, and it makes terrific tea nog too. You can take some of the rose petals and put them on the top of the foam
Good teabag teas for tea nog - Find your favorite... fresh tea is best
Here are some brands I really like, both for regular tea, and for tea nog too.
Isn't a tea chest lovely? There is something about having such a big choice to make you feel special. This one is a lovely gift. You could give it as a gift, and then teach your friend how to make tea nog!
This tea has flavor. They also make the "stiff" variety called "Yorkshire Gold," which will grow hair on your chest. Great stuff.
This tea is one of the favorites in the UK, and I know why. I keep a box around for a quick cuppa.
Are you an egg nog fan? How many small glasses can you drink? Do you ever make homemade egg nog? Have you tried tea nog yet? Looking forward to hearing from you.