My mom’s Cognac Cream recipe is near and dear to my heart: my mother used to serve this as a light-as-air finisher to an elegant meal for the rare occasions when all the extended family would be together.
I have a vivid memory of being just a little kid, when grandparents from Argentina were visiting. We were at my uncle’s house on Long Pond in Massachusetts, and the adults were lazily lingering over their wine after one of my mother’s famous multi-course menus. It was late, but the kids were still up — it was a special night. My mother served cognac cream for dessert in special glasses, much like the ones I sourced for the photo above. My uncle let out one of his hearty chuckles I remember him so fondly for. “The kids will sleep well tonight!” He was referring to my mother’s deliciously heavy hand with the cognac. Yum!
This dessert only made its appearance on the most special of evenings. As kids, we begged her to make it for the holidays. Only every few years or so would she prepare it. I’ve asked her for years for the recipe. Now that I have it (and you do, too!) here’s my advice: let’s follow my mother’s example and keep the fact that this dessert, so easy and elegant in its simplicity, as a secret shrouded in mystery. Let them remember it as fondly as I do. Let the children sleep well tonight!
4 fresh egg yolks
¾ cup powdered sugar
a squeeze of vanilla bean paste (about 1 teaspoon)
3 ounces cognac
2 cups whipping cream
Whip the egg yolks with the powdered sugar and vanilla until pale and light in color. When you remove the beaters, the mixture should hold a ribbon trail. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and then beat the cream until stiff (no need to clean the bowl or beaters.)
Using a spatula, fold the two mixtures together. Add cognac to taste. Transfer to the serving vessels and pop in the fridge for a few hours or overnight: the mixture will stiffen as it chills.
This recipe contains raw eggs