Recipe: Zabaglione with Fresh Berries

Zabaglione is a fantastic, albeit far from “low-cal”,  summer friendly dish similar to what can only be described as a sweet hollandaise.  It can be interpreted in many ways,  flavored with fresh fruit purees, extracts or fresh herbs and served over cakes, fresh berries or ice cream.  Here is a brief description of it’s origins along with a tried and true recipe that’s sure to keep you coming back for more. Enjoy!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Zabaione (written also sabayon, zabajone, zablaiogne Italian pronunciation: [dzabaˈjonɛ]; or zabaglione, pronounced [zabaˈʎonɛ]), is an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, a sweet wine (usually Marsala wine, but sometimes Prosecco), and sometimes whole eggs. It is a very light custard, which has been whipped to incorporate a large amount of air. Zabaglione is traditionally served with fresh figs. In France, it is called sabayon, while its true Italian name is zabaione (or zabajone, an archaic spelling).

The dessert is popular in Argentina and Uruguay, where it is known as sambayón. In Colombia, the name is sabajón. In Venezuela, it is called sambayón; there is also a related egg-based dessert drink called ponche de crema. This is consumed almost exclusively at Christmas time.

The origin of zabaglione is uncertain. It might have originated in Turin in the sixteenth century.

Classical zabaglione uses raw egg yolks, but today many may prefer to prepare it in a bain-marie. It is often recommended to use a simple double boiler with a heat resistant bowl suspended above the water and to barely simmer to avoid scrambling the eggs. Beaten egg white is also widely replaced by whipped cream.

Occasionally, the wine is omitted when the dish is served to children or non-drinkers. It is then in effect a very different dessert.

Zabaglione is also popular in chocolates.


  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dry or sweet Marsala wine*
  • 1 cup heavy (whipping cream), whipped until stiff
  • 5 1/4 cups fresh berries (blackberries, blueberries, quartered strawberries, and/or raspberries)
  • Marsala wine is traditionally used, but you can also substitute sherry, Madeira, Grand Marnier, sparkling or dessert wine. Can also combine wine with a spirit such as bourbon, rum, or Calvados, or other brandy, or add a favorite liqueur such as praline or Frangelico. Citrus juice and zest, vanilla, or ground ginger or other spices may be added along with the wine.
  • Makes 6 to 8 servings.


  1. Procedure:
  2. Set up a doublea double boiler or a medium-size stainless-steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Check to make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water, or the eggs may scramble.
  3. With a hand held electric mixer or thin wire whip, beat the egg yolks and sugar together approximately 3 to 4 minutes or until pale yellow and well creamed.
  4. Slowly whisk in the Marsala wineMarsala wine and set the bowl over the simmering water.
  5. Continue to beat, approximately 8 to 10minutes, until the eggs triple in volume, thicken, and reach a temperature of 140 degrees F, as registered on an instant thermometer. The eggs will first become frothy, and then as they cook, they will slightly stiffen but still hold the air. If you stop whipping or the water boils you might scramble the eggs. Be sure to move the beater or whip around the bowl so the eggs cook evenly. Whisk until the eggs coat the back of a spoon. Note: If the eggs begin to curdle pull the insert away from the water for a few seconds to cool it (keep whisking).
  6. Remove from heat and cool the mixture completely in the refrigerator. When the mixture is cool, fold in prepared whipped cream.
  7. Note: Zabaglione can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days. Bring the sauce to room temperature before serving with your favorite berries.
  8. In a serving dish (a large martini or wine glass makes a nice presentation), dollop some of the zabaglione. Add fresh berries. Finish by adding another good-side dollop of zabaglione and top with mint sprig and a few more berries.

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2 thoughts on “Recipe: Zabaglione with Fresh Berries

  1. Pingback: Zabaglione with Fresh Berries | Ice Creamed

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