By Sonya Sanford, The Nosher via JTA
Whenever I had the slightest hint of a sore throat, the remedy in our Ashkenazi Jewish home was gogol mogol. Gogol mogol is a Yiddish word for a shtetl recipe that dates back to 17th-century Central Europe. It’s a simple, sweet treat made with egg yolks and sugar that’s similar to a non-alcoholic version of eggnog or zabaione.
Gogol mogol is considered both a dessert and a home remedy for colds and throat aches. There is some science behind its healing properties. An Israeli internal medicine doctor found that warm gogol mogol has an antibiotic effect that can speed up recovery for inflamed throats.
Barbra Streisand’s mother allegedly believed in gogol mogol’s curative properties, and tried to strengthen her daughter’s vocal cords by serving her this classic concoction.
The drink’s origins are unknown, but it may have been inspired by the Shulchan Aruch, the 16th-century Code of Jewish Law, where it is written that one can soothe one’s voice on Shabbat with raw egg or sweet syrup.
There are countless variations of gogol mogol, but it is traditionally made by beating raw egg yolks with sugar or honey until they become thick, light and frothy.
My father taught me to use a ratio of one tablespoon for every egg yolk. Popular additions include vanilla, lemon or cocoa powder.
Traditionally it’s served in drinking glasses but, like zabaione, it can also be served with fruit or a warm cake.
This comforting, cozy dessert is sure to warm you up in the dark of winter — besides alleviating a seasonal sickness — and there are plenty of those going around!
Note: Raw egg yolks may contain salmonella or other bacteria. Reduce the risk of illness by using pasteurized eggs. You can also “cook” an egg without heat by adding an acid, like lemon juice, to your egg yolks.
- Using a handheld mixer with the whisk attachment, or using a whisk, beat 4 egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar or honey together until lightened, thick and doubled in size — about 3-4 minutes with the mixer or 6-8 minutes by hand.
- Warm up 1/4 cup of milk until just hot and then stream it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
- Whisk in lemon, vanilla or cocoa powder as desired. Serve immediately.