Whisk some egg yolks with a little sugar until they take on a bright, velvety sheen, then drizzle in a little wine. Place the bowl over gently simmering water and keep beating, and in just minutes you have a light and airy custard, faintly sweet and enticingly smooth and rich with the almost smoky aroma of Marsala. Or sherry. Or even beer.
That's it: the simple wonder of zabaglione.
A traditional Italian dessert, zabaglione is as elegant to serve as it is simple to make. Quickly prepared, it makes a perfect dessert, whether you're serving a formal dinner for company or following a meal of leftovers on a busy weeknight.
Zabaglione is easy and versatile, and you probably already have the ingredients at home. Whip up a batch and serve it spooned over fresh fruit or ladle it over a cake or a crisp, flaky pastry as a velvety sauce.
Or serve it simply by itself, in a beautiful glass — fresh and warm, just off the stove. You can also fold it with some whipped cream and freeze it for a frozen custard treat. Give it a try. Start with a basic recipe, which you can find below. Or try one of these four other options.
Total time: 15 minutes | Serves 2
Note: For a more traditional zabaglione, increase the Marsala wine and decrease the white wine, keeping the total amount of wine at one-half cup.
4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar, more or less as desired
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined and frothy. Whisk in the white wine and the Marsala.
2. Set the bowl over a large pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Continue to whisk until the mixture increases in volume and thickens to a thick, foamy cream, easily coating the back of a spoon. The final consistency should be similar to that of a very thick hollandaise.
3. Remove from heat and serve immediately. This makes a generous cup of zabaglione.
Each serving: 313 calories; 5 grams protein; 42 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 9 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 420 mg. cholesterol; 39 grams sugar; 20 mg. sodium.