Saturday, July 24, 2010


I had 6 egg yolks left over from another recipe/dish I had made. Not content with just throwing them into the bin, I decided to make Zabaglione which is a simple Italian dessert made with just egg yolks, sugar and Marsala wine. This light and fluffy custard however gave my arms such a work out! Just a few minutes into whisking the custard over the simmering water, I could feel my arms aching from all that whisking! Maybe next time I'll try using the electric whisker- not sure if it'll give me the same results but at least it'll be less painful- on another note, at least I'm enjoying the fruits of my labour whilst eating the Zabaglione, or should I really be saying that my hips just keep getting wider :P

Serves 4-6


6 egg yolks
⅓ cup caster sugar
¼ cup Marsala wine or dry white wine
Strawberries, lady fingers or biscotti, to serve

  1. Half-fill a pot with water. Bring the water to a simmer and reduce the heat to low.
  2. Whisk the yolks, sugar and wine together in a large, round bottomed stainless steel bowl until frothy.  Set the bowl containing the custard mixture over the water; the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Continue to whisk over the pot of simmering water until light and fluffy and forming soft peaks - approx. 10 minutes. 
  3. Whilst whisking the custard mixture make sure the water does not boil. This ensures that a gentle, even heat thickens the mixture without scrambling it. Whisking traps air in the yolks for a light, fluffy mixture.
  4. Continue whisking until the mixture triples in volume, froths up and becomes pale.
  5. When it reaches the desired consistency, take the bowl out of the pot. Continue whisking for a minute or two to prevent the custard from sticking to the bowl.
  6. Pour the zabaglione into glasses and serve with strawberries and/or biscuits like lady fingers or biscotti.
Notes & Tips

The whisking is done over simmering water so that the egg yolks cook as they thicken into a light, foamy custard. The mixture must not get too hot during cooking or it will become grainy. If it begins to feel warmer than body temperature, remove the bowl briefly from the heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture cools. Then return the bowl to the heat and continue cooking.

Zabaglione may be served warm or cold. A cold one is whisked off the heat until cooled. Traditional zabaglione must be made just before serving. The warm froth can be served as a dessert by itself or as a sauce over cake, fruit, ice cream or pastry.

In France, this is called sabayon

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