From the book David Rocco's Dolce Vita by the Food Network star, this sweet and creamy pudding-like Italian dessert, made from wine, eggs, whipped cream and blueberries, is a light Thanksgiving dessert.
Every day before we went to school, my mom would make us a semi-shot of Marsala wine beaten up with a raw egg yolk and some sugar so that, as she said, our bones would grow stronger.
As an eight-year-old, I didn't think, "Ah, the classic ingredients of a zabaglione." I just wanted to get Flintstones Chewables like the rest of my pals. But my mom, the same mom who banned soft drinks, believed, as her mom had, that it was perfectly normal to start a child's day off that way. And now, as an adult, those flavours are etched in my mind. Every time I have this classic Italian dessert, I chuckle and think of our morning ritual.
Zabaglione is usually made with Marsala wine, but I've also made it with Vin Santo, the classic Tuscan dessert wine. It has a velvety texture that goes wonderfully over fruit or ice cream, or it can be eaten on its own. I've added my own spin on the tradition by including whipped cream.
When making zabaglione, the rule of thumb per serving is 1 or 2 egg yolks, depending on the size of the eggs, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1 tbsp Marsala wine or Vin Santo.
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp Marsala wine or Vin Santo wine
1 cup whipping cream (35%)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Step 1: Put a pot filled with water on the stove and bring it to a boil. At that point, lower it to a gentle boil.
Step 2: Next, in a stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala until blended. Hold the bowl over the pot of boiling water, whisking constantly. You can let the bowl touch the water slightly, but don't let it rest there for too long. This is a bit of a dance because you don't want the eggs to overcook or you'll end up with scrambled eggs. You want the yolk mixture to become light and creamy, so you might have to lift the bowl from time to time, but keep whisking. You'll get the idea as you go. If you need to lower the heat, do so, but keep whisking until you reach that thick, silky and creamy consistency, which takes between 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Gently fold the yolk mixture into the whipped cream with a rubber spatula. When it's combined, refrigerate it for about 30 minutes or until you're ready for it. Serve in glasses with blueberries on top.
Reprinted with permission from David Rocco's Dolce Vita (2008 Harper Collins Canada).