Rachel Roddy’s recipe for Zabayone | Christmas food and drink

wThe hat expands, doesn’t fill, and instantly disappears? Zabayoni! I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about how to solve what might be my favorite dessert: drunken, warm, puffy cream. riddles that turned outrageous jokes after reading Sophia Loren’s wonderfully sweet and gentle description of how there is a custom in southern Italy of giving newlyweds a good hard zappion,” meaning that the young bride and groom will need all the strength they can get as they put their backs in the early days of marriage. “.

I recently made zabaione, with a friend who lives in paradise, in a house surrounded by a wild garden, on the edge of Lago Maggiore. While it can be made in advance (and kept in the fridge), we agree that it’s best to make and eat it right away. So, after a meal of gnocchi and vitello tonnato (which I’ll write about in about a day), we stood by her stove in our stockings, very Sophia Loren, warming up a double boiler and a mixture of egg yolks, sugar and fortified wine.

Zapaione, Zapaglione, Sampione… Different names have different stories. In Piedmont, the old name for Sampion It appears to have been named after San Pascual Bailon. In Tuscany, like other sweet things, it was traced back to the court of Caterina de’ Medici, while the Venetian version may have arrived from Illyria as This is madness. Meanwhile, the Treccani Encyclopedia only notes that zapaioni is phonetic, from northern Italy and denotes a verb mix – confused or mixa muddled mixture of different textures or abstract objects.

Suggestions for mixture proportions also vary. While many recipes call for equal amounts of egg yolks, sugar, and fortified wine, others call for very large amounts of sugar and varying amounts of alcohol: too much or too little, sometimes three or four times as much sugar. Of course, a lot depends on the type of fortified wine you use, as vin santo is much sweeter than dry marsala, although some recipes call for sweeter marsala. Then there are recipes that use rum, or coffee, a dish that is also called scrambled egg, scrambled egg

I use dry marsala, let the egg yolks lead and tablespoons help. The yolk of a medium-sized egg 18 g (more or less), to which I add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar (12 g) and 1 tablespoon of marsala (15 ml). For me, these are the perfect proportions for a balanced portion of zabaione – sweet, but not excessive; giddy, but not drunk. Just multiply by the number of people; For four servings, in a bowl balanced over gently simmering water, whisk four yolks and four tablespoons of caster sugar until fluffy foam, then add four tablespoons of dry mursala and continue to whisk until smooth.

First of all, the mixture foams like a shower after a lukewarm drizzle, but after whisking continuously for six or seven minutes (either by hand or with an electric whisk), something absolutely miraculous happens; It thickens and expands to three or four times its original size. What happens comes down to the proteins in the yolk: disrupted by stirring, and aided by the heat and acidity of the wine, the protein molecules are galvanized to work and covered in air bubbles, which bind causing expansion. The key is to make sure the boil stays gentle so the mixture never gets too hot. And it stops at the right moment, when the zabayyon is swollen, thick and settled: the whisk leaves cracks and keeps the cream inside, but smooth, not sticky and excessively curdled; Airy and creamy, unlike shaving foam.

Another reason to keep zabayeon completely soft is so people can decide whether to eat it with a spoon, pick it up with a sponge finger or cat tongue biscuit, or drink it. This is why I serve zabaione in glasses. I’m related to some amber bottles from Vincenzo’s grandmother, part of the same collection as a triangular salad bowl, perfect for cream, which also has to be whipped and, while optional, usually disappears without a trace.


to equip 15 minutes
cook 10 minutes
serves 4

4 medium egg yolks
4 tablespoons of soft sugar
4 tablespoons of dry obelisk

In a bowl, place gently (but not touching) boiling water, and whisk the yolks and sugar until foamy. You can use a hand or electric whisk for this.

While whisking, gradually add the Marsala and continue to beat constantly and vigorously until the mixture has expanded to a light and puffy consistency, about three to four times its initial volume – this will take about six to eight minutes. It is very important that the cooking be gentle – the pot should not get too hot.

Divide mixture into four bowls or glasses and serve immediately with sponge sticks or cat tongue biscuits. Zabaione can also be served cold: allow it to cool before keeping it in the fridge for up to six hours.

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