Kogel mogel (or gogol-mogol in Russia) is a traditional dessert of Jewish origin from central and eastern Europe.
Some add cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice and even cocoa powder. Others prefer to consume it in its alcoholic version. Indeed, kogel mogel is very appreciated by the locals who willingly flavor it with brandy or rum.
What is kogel mogel?
Kogel mogel is a kind of thick, pale yellow cream made from raw egg yolks whisked or beaten for a long time, with sugar and honey. The eggs are beaten for about ten minutes until they are creamy, thick and pale yellow in color.
It has a color very close to eggnog but has a thicker consistency than the latter.
After ten minutes, the sugar grains are no longer noticeable as they are dissolved. Then, aromas such as cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, lemon or even rum, are added. Traditionally, kogel mogel is served slightly cool and sometimes at room temperature. It is generally consumed in winter.
Some modern kogel mogel recipes include raisins. It is not uncommon to flavor this delicious custard with vodka, orange juice and even topping it with whipped cream.
However, the original recipe is limited to the following basic ingredients: egg yolks, sugar and honey. It is the presence of honey which could explain why kogel mogel has been considered a grandmother’s remedy for generations in Eastern and Central Europe.
Indeed, if consumed hot, it is used as a therapeutic home remedy. It is given to people with sore throat. It is used in particular to treat a cold or laryngitis in the same way as chicken soup.
Kogel mogel is also prepared as a transition food for babies switching from a grain-based diet to one that includes soft foods.
What is the origin of kogel mogel?
No one can say for sure when the kogel mogel was created. Culinary historians still cannot agree on its origin. However, several sources converge on the fact that eggnog would have its source in the early medieval era.
Etymologically, kogel mogel appears under different names in Central and Eastern Europe. Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe call it gogel mogel (גאָגל-מאָגל or gogl-mogl) in Yiddish. In Polish, it is referred to gogli. The Germans also consume this creamy dessert. It is also known in Germany as zuckerei. In Russia and the Caucasus, locals call it gogol-mogol (Гоголь-моголь).
Eggnog is a drink made from egg yolks and sugar very similar to kogel mogel. Unlike kogel mogel, eggnog introduces milk (and sometimes cream) in its preparation. It is consumed in winter and more precisely during the holiday season. Eggnog is commonly served with spices, including cinnamon or nutmeg. It is eaten cold, or hot (in winter).
The zabaione or zabaglione is an Italian dessert or drink that is very similar to kogel mogel. It is a cream made from egg yolks to which alcohol is added (usually sweet wine like Moscato d’Asti or Marsala) or white wine. The sabayon can be served hot or warm, on its own or with a garnish.
Since the 1960s, it has been served with strawberries, blueberries or peaches. Sabayon has given birth to several liqueurs made from egg yolks, notably vov and zabov.
In Israel, there is a hot drink with therapeutic properties similar to those of kogel mogel. It is a hot milk drink, to which honey and soda are added. Scientific research supports its virtues. However, this drink has no specific name.
In Central and South America, people consume an alcoholic eggnog called rompope. The rompope contains egg yolks, milk and vanilla and rum. Rompope is a traditional drink typical of Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Belize, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Also, rompope is particularly widespread in Mexico.
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Place the egg yolks, sugar and honey in a large bowl and whisk for several minutes until getting a creamy, thickened consistency.
- Transfer the mixture to a cup or a bowl.
- Kogel mogel can be eaten at room temperature or refrigerated.
Rum or vodka can be added.
It is also possible to add cocoa, raisins, nuts or marshmallow. Although these are not traditional toppings, they appear in modern versions.