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Zabaglione

Zabaglione, or zabaione, is an authentic Italian recipe made with 3 simple ingredients: egg yolks, granulated sugar, and Marsala wine. If you are a home cook but have limited time to bake,  this is not difficult or time-consuming, but you do need some practice to make sweet foamy cream every time.

 


It is a classic ancient Italian dessert that will transport your tastebuds to nonna’s home in Italy.

 

Typically Zabaglione is served with SAVOIARDI (ladyfingers), but I adore it with fresh seasonal fruit. It is a nutritious snack that kids and adults find as satisfying as any dessert, especially if you are GF or dairy-free.   It is ideal for serving cold on summer holidays or hot for after-school winter snacks or holiday meals.


Interestingly, the origins of this recipe came from Italian mothers and grandmothers using it as a natural tonic for convalescing children or family members without an appetite for the nutrient density found in the egg yolks. Egg yolks are a whole food multivitamin and one of the richest sources of retinol, the biologically active form of Vitamin A that supports thyroid health and iron recycling.


In addition, egg yolks are a great source of B vitamins like choline and, folate, and B12. These nutrients are beneficial for regaining strength after a cold or flu, injury, or general fatigue. Most children are allergic only to egg whites, so this makes sense for toddlers’ and babies’ first desserts.

 

Zabaglione has been passed down from generation to generation, and each has its sacred version for many families. Each ingredient (sugar, egg yolks, and Marsala) was approximately in the same ratio. Nonna’s have an expression called “ad occhio” translating as “measuring with the eye”.   If you like, you can weigh the egg yolks and add the equivalent quantity of sugar and marsala for best recipe guidance. That is why I love preparing this crema; it is an exception to the main rule of pastry tradition, which wants precise respect to ingredient ratios.

 


Ingredients:


  • 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar (75g)
  • 4 egg yolks (depending on the size of the eggs, appr. 75g)
  • 5 tablespoons of Marsala Wine (75 ml) or substitute with freshly squeezed OJ

 


Preparations:


  • Start separating the egg yolks from the whites (keep the whites for preparing fluffy pancakes or cake recipes)
  • Place the yolks in a stainless steel or copper bowl and add the sugar. Meantime, put a saucepan with a bit of water on low heat.
  • Mix eggs and sugar with a hand whisk or electric whisk at low speed, being careful until the egg yolks and sugar are combined and the yolks cream begins to thicken.
  • At this point, place the bowl in the saucepan with hot water but not boiling, and continue to beat the egg cream with the whisk. Please do not make the bowl touch the hot water or keep it to a low simmer.
  • After about 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly add the wine or orange juice. Mix everything and whisk until it reaches a full-bodied consistency, appr. 10 minutes.
  • Zabaglione is ready when the whisk leaves an imprint in the mixture; raising the whisk, you drop a ribbon on the surface of the crema. The crema must NOT cook or boil but remain warm.
  • Serve it immediately hot and creamy or place it into an ice bath to cool, and serve it cold with summer berries, peaches, or plums.


NOTES:


You can omit the Marsala wine using Limoncello or Prosecco, or make it savory for fish, add dry white wine with a pinch of salt and pepper. To make it without alcohol, you can substitute the wine with freshly squeezed orange juice or coconut milk, add vanilla, or a dusting of cinnamon.

Please use only a stainless steel or copper bowl for the best results.

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