There’s no doubt, zabaione is one of the most requested desserts in our cooking classes in Tuscany.
It is strange how abroad traditional Italian food is very appreciated, in fact in Italy nowadays we’re flying towards minimalism in dishes. Unfortunately often forgetting the basics.
Lately, I tasted a beautiful dessert that called me saying: “eat me eat!”. As a child in front of a caramelized apple, I tried to take with the teaspoon as many flavors as possible and voilà … with dreamy eyes I awaited the response from my taste buds.
Well? The desert of the senses: nothing.
I’m not kidding. That marvel of perfectly balanced colors and textures really had no taste!
I hope so much, that at least here in Italy, one never falls into making aesthetics prevail over taste.
Well, the zabaione (you’ve got the recipe below) is one of those desserts much more appreciated abroad than in Italy.
I think that maybe many young guys have never tasted it. Among other things, it is not fashionable and it is therefore difficult to find it around Italian restaurants. Anyway, for this reason, it is one of the most enjoyable creations you can offer when you have someone at dinner.
In fact, it combines those that I think are the two basic parameters for the success of a dish: surprise and taste.
Beyond that, it is really Easy! Follow the suggestions and you can not go wrong. In fact, my granny often made Zabaione for me and passed down to me all the secrets to have a great one.
Suggestions for a perfect result
- Zabaione is a cream and, as such, it should not be “abandoned”. In short, be there to “whip” until it has reached the right foaminess.
- Dissolve half of the sugar along with the liqueur, over a low heat. In this way, you will have less mass to melt in a bain-marie.
- The water in the bain-marie, simmering, must in no way splash into the cream. Otherwise, it shreds or, as my grandmother said, drives her mad.
- Use a steel bowl for the bain-marie, which comes out halfway from the saucepan with water. In this way, the danger of the sketch is null. I use this Ikea steel bowl.
- The texture to achieve is the same as Italian meringue (cream peaks remaining on the whisk). It takes a few minutes, but do not give up before. In fact, if you are wrong consistency, your zabaione will change color in a short time and will disappear into a liquid with a floating and weak foam.
- IMPORTANT: once it’s ready and fluffy, put your bowl with zabaione over another bowl full of ice or very cold water. Don’t forget to cool it, maybe only 3 minutes, but do it. This will stabilize the texture.
- You can add whipped cream to your zabaione (when it will be cold). The dose of heavy cream is simple: zabaione for 4 people, 500ml of fresh cream. I do not put sugar in cream, but I’m not a lover of sweet flavors.
- Do not use the spoon to dive into this cream, but Cantuccini or Lingue di Gatto (cat’s tongue cookies) … to die for 🤤
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 Tbsp Sugar
- ⅓ cup (70ml) Marsala wine
- Heat half part of the sugar with the Marsala wine and set apart.
- Place egg yolks, and sugar in a large, round-bottomed stainless steel bowl and mix together.
- Pour in a small amount of Marsala wine.
- Half-fill a pot with water, bring the water to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Set the bowl with the mixture over the water.
- Whisk continuously (using a whip) the custard mixture.
- Faster you whisk, more fluffy will be the sauce, because of trapping air in the yolks.
- Make sure that the water does not boil.
- In a few minutes, the mixture thickens.
- You know Zabaione is ready when you can see the custard making many folds while whisking (as it was whipped cream).
- Take the custard out of the heat and pour it in a bowl over ice cubes or inside another bowl with cold water.
- You can serve your amazing Zabaione in 3 minutes (warm) or set it aside for 15 minutes if you like it cool.
- Serve the Zabaione into individual glasses and enjoy it with Savoiardi (Ladyfingers), Cat's tongues cookies or Cantuccini.