Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Zabaglione – Tastes Like Romance

When you go over the things you really want in a Valentine’s dessert, this ultra-simple zabaglione checks all the boxes. Assuming that your sweetheart enjoys things like sweet, juicy fruit enveloped in a rich, but impossibly light custard, this should work out nicely.

I like to use a dry Marsala wine, but sweet Marsala is also a popular choice. If you use the sweet variety you’ll need to cut down or eliminate the sugar.  If you’re not into warm wine foams, you can literally use any other flavorful liquid, and the technique will work the same.

You may need to change the garnish, but things like coffee, fruit juices, and pretty much any other liquor, or liqueur, will work with this technique. Experiment, and see what happens. So, whether you make this for that certain someone this Valentine’s Day, or just for a random weeknight treat, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 2 or 3 servings:
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 cup diced strawberries tossed with a spoon of sugar

42 comments:

whatever852 said...

If I use wine or liquor, will it be hot enough to evaporate the alcohol?

Kia Dufun said...

That is a sezy dessert... Thank you so much Chef John! I'm trying this as soon as I have a recipe for the egg whites (I don't want to separate those on Valentine's Day!).

rodentraiser said...

Is the reason this is called a zabaglione because you traditionally heat and stir the eggs in that bowl thing called a zabaglione?

Also, when you serve this, I take it that you serve this warm, then, right (or hot, since it's coming right out of the bowl)?

Anyway, it looks delicious. Thank you for another great dessert, Chef John.

divixmage said...

Can 1/4th cup of vanilla-flavoured cream be substituted for the wine? Or would the cream affect the custardy consistency more than an alcohol-based substance would?

Eddie Watkins said...

Is there a way to not use an alcohol for this? If so what would you suggest and would the amount be the same?

LordRoY said...

What other "flavorful liquids" do you suggest?

Mohammad said...

Is any any non-alcoholic replacement for Marsala wine?
It looks like a great recipe, I would love to try it :)

Troy Howard said...

Thanks John. Now I wish I owned a blowtourch.

Luizana Lepe said...

Chef John, what garnish do you think would work best with coffee instead of the wine? Thanks!

Eddie Watkins said...

Can I make this without alcohol? If so what can I sub for the 1/4 cup of liquid and would the amount change?

Anthony Vaiana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Looks great, can't wait to try it!

Annabelle Lee said...

Would this work if you prepared this a few hours in advance and stick it in the fridge, would the foam still be intact?

Chef John said...

Dear people who aren't bothering to read the post, yes, literally 1/4 cup on ANY other liquid will work the same. I always use wine, except for once with coffee, so I can't comment on how other versions will taste.

I garnished the coffee one with cookie crumbles.

Yes, you can make ahead and serve this cold!

Roy Golan said...

Can I substitute the strawberries for oranges?

Matthew said...

Chef John,

You are an evil evil, highly decadent man with extremely good ways.

I love your work.

Hya said...

Chef John, what sort of blow torch do you use?

Emiliano Viscarra said...

Can this be served cold?

rachelloviex said...

Going to make this with cherry brandy, put black cherrys in the bottom and garnish with cocoa powder, I'm hoping it'll be a black forrest gateau meets tiramisu kind of thing!

Erin said...

Where is the Cayenne?

Jared Bowkowy said...

I did it with a strong tasty tea, a splash of vinilla extract, and a splash of dark rum. It turned out fantastic!

Kristina said...

I used kahlua for the liquid, and poured it over ladyfingers soaked in coffee.. Tiramisu zabaglione! It's fantastic and really as easy to make as advertised. two thumbs up

Dawn Marie said...

Hello Chef John. I gave this a whirl last night for my Valentine. I followed the recipe and directions to a tee (used a 1/4 cup of Marsala wine) and my liquid and custard were both a caramel colour vs. a creamy yellowish colour and remained a bit runny. I kept the flame on low and kept whisking. Where did I go wrong??

PositiveAlanna said...

Just made this with grenadine syrup and it turned a bright pink colour!! Perfect for Valentine's day! I omitted the sugar because they syrup is quite sweet. However, the eggy taste was a little off-putting.

Chef John said...

I would say that too thin almost always means it was not cooked long enough. It may be worth experimenting, and cook one too long on purpose, to see just how far you can actually go. Try to cook one until very thick and hot, and if you go too far, oh well, at least you have your benchmark. Good luck!

Hernan Marquez said...

I used Cointreau and it was a slam dunk !!! don't have a blow torch so chocolate shaving did the trick.

Dawn Marie said...

Merci, try-try again!

Matthew Morris said...

John, I used brandy instead of wine (it's what I had on hand) and the result seemed much more dense than what your video shows. Do you think that's because the higher alcohol per volume content or because I didn't whisk long enough? I've never made this before so I didn't know how long to whisk, and the airiness didn't seem to be improving. Also, I did it over the double boiler instead of an open flame because I don't have a gas stove. I don't think that had an effect though.

Kristian Moore said...

Hi Chef John -

Like Dawn Marie, my dessert was runny too (great flavor though).I know that stoves vary, but when you say to cook on low, which number should the burner be turned up to?

Thanks, can't wait to try this again!

Annemarie said...

LOVE you and the videos. I laugh the whole time I am watching . So I made the Zabaglione last night for my Hubby and made him watch but mine did not turn out like yours. I used 1/4 cup of Blood orange liquor . The taste was good but it was still yellow, lighter than when I began but it was thick . It only made a enough for two shot glasses. any advice?

Chef John said...

Annemarie, Sorry but I'm confused! Not sure how it could only make two shot glasses if you used the same amounts. Just 1/4 cup of liquor would almost fill 2 shot glasses.

Mike Ellis said...

I'm guessing cooking Marsala results in a different dish than Marsala wine because it was gross. Love knowing how to make custard now though.

Kristian Moore said...

Chef John -

I tried this recipe again tonight. I turned my burner to 2 and got a custardy texture and great taste. But, your recipe yielded more custard and is creamier. What could I be doing wrong??

Thanks!

Sandy said...

Hi Chef John, I made this (as written) for a Valentine dessert and it was Delicious! thank you for all the great recipes.

Sophie Labelle said...

I tried this on valentine's day. I used chocolate milk for the liquid and had to add an extra egg yolk and beat a little linger... But it was really worth it. That was probably the best dessert I've baked AND eaten ever! Thanks chef John for that recipe. It'll be my go to sexy recipe from now on :)

Scion said...

cooking wines - like Holland House, et al, are not - I repeat NOT - the same as just a regular wine with the same name - they are loaded with sodium, for one thing - now that might work fine for making Chicken Marsala but, yeah - "gross" would have been my guess for a desert treat like this - who puts salt'n'vinegar on ice-cream, for instance?

Anyway, this looks fantastic, and a sure-fire way to get that haven't-quite-got-her-into-bed-yet hard-case to finally cave after I would make this for her!!

I guess I need to invest in some sort of small blow-torch after all ........

Chef John said...

No one should use "cooking wine" for anything, ever. Repeat, never buy or use cooking wine for any recipe, sweet or savory. It's horrible stuff.

Peter Marquardt said...

I just made this and also saw some of the problems the others had mentioned. I replaced the wine with a mixture of Cointreau and Limoncello, and I had to use a bowl over simmering water because I have no gas stove, and initially I almost ruined it. It turned pasty and tough very quickly, not scrambled egg but a bit like thick pudding paste. I was then able to salvage it adding another egg yolk and more liquid, at which point I was able to get it to the soft looking consistency you got, but much yellower and denser and less in volume. No idea why I was unable to incorporate as much air as you.

The result was something very delicious but only loosely resembling yours and much more compact and un-foamy. Would still make again, with the newly won insights and adjusted expectations.

Tora-Oni said...

This is the custard they were talking about in the movie "Secret of The Seal" as a dollar store kids movie I loved it. It is available to watch on youtube if you look it up. I'm going to have to make this and watch this movie. I'm super excited, also love everything you do Chef John.

Emiliano Viscarra said...

So this is what happened to me:

I follow the instructions from this recipe and it had a perfect look and flavor but, I wanted to eat it cold so I put the zabaglione in cups and in the fridge.

After two hours I went to grab it and it was completely liquid :(

Lou Riley said...

Chef John videos of pretty humorous I've not tried this recipe yet but I have tried a couple of your recipes. My question is can this be made ahead of time and Frozen such as I use in a restaurant. Thank you chef

Toni Baloney said...

Emiliano, this is the traditional (and delicious) version of zabaglione that should be served warm immediately -- it will turn soupy if refrigerated. There's a separate recipe for the chilled version of zabaglione and it calls for the addition of gelatin at the end. Google around and you'll find one.