September 8, 2015

White Chocolate Syllabub

Recipe: Jennifer Low

If trifle became a cloudlike dessert, it would be syllabub. Unapologetically boozy, this chilled confection needs two kinds of tipple to create its signature taste: a brandy and a liqueur. Here it’s Calvados — an apple brandy — plus white chocolate liqueur. But you could easily switch them up in a tandem of plain brandy and Bailey’s, or one of a myriad creamy nut- flavoured liqueurs. The smoothness lifts the syllabub’s airy egg white into sublime territory. The syllabub should be thick enough to spoon, yet light enough to waft over the tongue weightlessly.


  • 2 large egg whites (remove the chalazae, the twisted white strands of egg white)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate liqueur (or other creamy liqueur such Bailey’s)
  • 1 tbsp brandy (Calvados works well, but any brandy will do)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (optional)
  • Roughly crumbled Italian cookies to garnish (such as flaky sfogliatine cookies, pizzelle wafers or amaretti)


Yield: Makes 6 servings

  1. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar followed by lemon juice to firm peaks. Gradually beat in liqueur and brandy. The peaks will soften slightly. Set aside.
  2. In separate bowl, beat whipping cream until light and fluffy, gradually beating in 1/4 cup sugar.
  3. Gently fold egg white mixture into whipping cream mixture. (Tip: It’s important to fold in mixtures in this order and not the other way around or the syllabub could deflate.) Fold in almonds, if using.
  4. Spoon into 6 glasses or small dishes. (Tip for prettier presentation: If using glasses with a small diameter, cover the top of the glass with a piece of parchment or wax paper with a centre cut hole slightly smaller than glass diameter. You can then spoon the syllabub through the hole without smearing the sides of the glass.)
  5. Sprinkle a few crumbles of Italian cookies over top. Chill at least one hour before serving. (The syllabub will keep well in the fridge for up to two days.)

Virginia Macdonald


House & Home November 2008