Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: Zabaglione

Monday, January 28, 2008


I had the pleasure of attending a lunch meeting at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse last week with a group of fellow law librarians. Although my meal was delicious it's the dessert I want to talk about now. We were given a choice of either chocolate sin cake or berries and cream. Assuming that the "cream" meant whipped cream I opted for the chocolate cake. Ok, who am I trying to kid; I'm a chocoholic. Anyway, several others at my table, who were able to pass on the chocolate, got the berries and cream. I think we were all pleasantly surprised to find that the "cream" in question was actually zabaglione.
Zabaglione (pronounced zah-bahl-Yoh-nay) is an Italian custard made with egg yolks and flavored with a sweet wine, usually Marsala. It's typically topped with berries or other fruit and served either warm or cold.
As promised here's the recipe I use to make Zabaglione at home.
adapted from Lidia's Italian American Cookbook; by, Lidia Bastianich
6 Egg yolks 1/4 cup dry Marsala wine 1/4 cup granulated sugar
In a medium-size heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, Marsala, and sugar together until smooth. Place over, not in, barely simmering water and continue beating (switching to a hand-held electric mixer at medium speed, if you like) until the mixture is pale yellow and frothy and falls back on itself in thick ribbons when the whisk or beaters are lifted, about 8 minutes, or the egg yolks will cook and the mixture will appear curdled. Remove the sauce from the heat and spoon into individual cups over fresh fruit or berries. Chocolate Zabaglione: In a small, heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, melt 3 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate, stirring often so the chocolate melts evenly. Remove the pan from the heat but leave the bowl of chocolate over the water to keep it warm. Prepare the zabaglione according to the directions above. Remove from heat and fold in the warm, melted chocolate.


  1. Let's say I wanted to go buy some dry marsala wine. What store would I go to and what would the label look like? While we're at it let's say I'm kinda dumb and need specifics.

  2. I would recommend Florio or Columbo dry Marsala. I can't really tell you a store as I don't know where you're located. Hope this helps