“In the lands of the north where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale, they tell of Noggin, Prince of the Nogs and how he sailed to the land of the midnight sun to fetch Nooka, princess of the Nooks to be his Queen…and they tell of Noggin’s wicked uncle, Nogbad the Bad…”
After a week of wind, hail, winter storms and freezing temperatures, it seems the perfect time to talk about Noggin the Nog. These lovely characters undertake noble adventures in the great Northlands, rescuing princesses, dragons and battling evil crows. And so to compliment these great stories, I thought I would make some warming food and drink to keep out the cold.
Only six episodes of Noggin the Nog were shown in the 60s and again in the early 80s – but they were full of wonderful characters like the Ice dragon, the little people of the Hot Water Valley, Graculus, the great green bird and moon mice.
The Nogs also had the best feasts, Boar heads, meat pies, whole fish in aspic. There was even a character called, Eggnog the Old, who was the Master of the Feastings and managed the Granary. In one saga, he develops a system for moving food about the castle. Take a look at a clip of the Nogs…
Cinnamon Rolls & Eggnog
Perfect for a boozy elevenses on a cold winter’s day. The smell from these buns is mesmerizing, that even the weevils in the cupboard stopped gnawing through my cereal boxes to inhale the buttery cinnamon vapours. I really shouldn’t eat sugar – it makes me blow up like Violet Beauregarde, but I couldn’t resist tasting these. They lured me in. I think they may be evil! (I really must come up with a gluten free, sugar free version).
Cinnamon Roll Recipe
18oz/400g strong bread flour
2 tbsps vanilla sugar
1 tsp yeast
200ml warm milk
For the filling
4oz/100g hazelnuts ( or pecans)
4oz/100g softened butter
4 tbsps Brown Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Some ginger caramel (see this post for the recipe)
For the icing
200g powdered sugar (icing sugar)
1 tbsp rum cream
1 tbsp eggnog (see below)
1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
2. Make your dough. (I used a bread maker to make the dough, but if you are making from scratch, mix all your dry ingredients together, then add in the warmed butter, milk and eggs. Bring together and knead till squishy and elastic and leave to rest in an oiled bowl for about 1 hour in a warm snuggly place).
3. Once the dough is ready – roll out onto a floured surface.
4. You want it to look like a rectangle.
5. Then smear the dough with your filling mixture and drizzle with some of that lovely ginger caramel. Then roll the long sides together into a sausage.
6. Use a sharp knife and cut 2-3 cm dices.
7. Place into a lined baking tray and leave to rise for an hour in a warm place.
8. Brush with milk before popping into the oven.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until warm and sticky.
10. Leave to cool before putting your lovely eggnog icing on top. Go wild with sticky abandon.
Eggnog Recipe (makes 2)
1 pint milk
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1/2 shot of brandy (for each glass) – or more if you prefer
1. Put the milk, sugar, eggs, nutmeg and cinnamon into a pan and simmer gently until the milk starts to develop small bubbles and become warm.
2. Pour on top of your brandy.
3. Add a little more nutmeg and a dusting of cocoa powder.
4. Drink while on a fluffy rug in front of an open fire, munching one of your domestic goddess hazelnut and cinnamon rolls – and marvel at your greatness.
The Results: I put waaaaaay too much brandy in – it was more nog than egg. I’ve adjusted it slightly in the recipe…but just experiment with this. Have it with a warmed cinnamon bun fresh from the oven.
There are a whole host of Noggin books which you can get from the Dragons’ Friendly Society. Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin were also responsible for other classics like Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and the Clangers.