Whipped Sabayon with Fresh Strawberries is my solution to this foamy Italian dessert sauce that typically has to be made just moments before serving before it deflates. With the help of a siphon, you can make the sabayon hours in advance, and it will still be perfectly airy when it’s time for dessert. Sabayon is an excellent topping for any dessert, fruit, and even ice cream. Today I’ll share with you everything that went right, and everything that went wrong making this sabayon, and hopefully you’ll try it at home and end up as happy as me.
Hello my friends.
Today we’re making sabayon, the fancy Italian dessert sauce. Just so we’re on the same page, no matter how you spell it - Sabayon, Zabaione, or Zabaglione - is an Italian light, foamy and sweet custard. It’s made with eggs, sugar, and is boozed up with sweet wine. How hard could it be, right? Well, there’s a trick to it.
In case you were wondering, the French adopted it as their own too, which can create some confusion about the origins of the sweet sauce. Today the sauce belongs to the people, and now we make delicious sabayon at home despite its birthplace. You can serve this sabayon with fresh strawberries or with any fruits, or as a sauce for other desserts. But I will also give you some ideas to make a savory sabayon.
I was looking for a way to up my dessert game, so I decided to make a whipped sabayon. It’s just three ingredients I thought. I was sure everything would turn out A-OK. So, there I was in front of my stove when a non-cooking person (Geoffrey), who had never made a sabayon before, “kindly” suggested I should let my sabayon thicken a bit more. So I did. Once I poured my sauce into the siphon and charged it, nothing came out of it. Thanks Geoffrey!
I would not give up that easily, so I figured I’d add some whipped cream to my mixture and Voila! It worked, and I finally had my siphon working and a whole batch of sabayon to enjoy the same day over fresh strawberries.
Steps for Making a Whipped Sabayon
Sabayon basically is a lighter, sweeter version of a traditional hollandaise sauce, and instead of butter, we use sugar.
- You are creating a double boiler, so find a medium pot and a heat-proof glass bowl that can fit on top of the pot without falling through or touching the soon to be water in the pot. Add about an inch of water to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- In the glass bowl add the farm-fresh egg yolks and sugar. Place the glass bowl on top of the pot and continuously whisk the egg yolk mixture until it's hot and foamy.
- Gradually add the Marsala wine, whisking constantly, until the sabayon is thick and leaves a ribbon trail on the whisk. Using a thermometer, make sure the egg mixture reaches 160F.
- Remove the bowl from the pot and let the sabayon cool slightly. Pour the sabayon into the canister of a 1-pint siphon.
- Seal the siphon and charge it with one iSi cream (N20) cartridge according to the manufacturer's instructions. Shake the siphon to distribute the gas. Repeat with an additional cream charger. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, hold the siphon upside down and shake it. Press the lever to release the sabayon.
- Serve with any berries or top your favorite dessert.
If you don’t have a siphon, after step four, your sabayon is ready. Just refrigerate it, with plastic wrap covering the surface, until ready to serve.
What if you don’t have Marsala wine?
No problem! If you don’t have marsala wine, you can use any sweet wine, sweet sparkling wine, or any other liquid. The flavor of your sabayon will vary depending on the flavor profile of the wine that you use.
You can use any fortified wine like:
- Grand Marnier
- Commandaria wine
- Vins doux naturels
- Moscatel de Setúbal
- aromatised wine like sweet vermouth.
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How do you Make a Proper Sabayon?
From my own education, experimentation, and failures, let me tell you the Do’s and Dont’s of making sabayon. Sometimes the most straightforward recipes with the fewest ingredients are the hardest to get right. There’s a bit of skill involved in this one, but the following tips will guarantee your success.
8 Tips for Making the Perfect Sabayon
- Tip #1: Always use fresh eggs. It makes all the difference. If you’re unsure how fresh your eggs are, see if they float in water. If they do, they’re not that fresh (but still edible). Sabayon is made with so few ingredients, you want to use only the best.
- Tip #2: Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature when you start.
- Tip #3: Use real Marsala. The Sicilian fortified wine is sweet and nutty, and it’s great on its own too. You can use Moscato also.
- Tip #4: Don’t cook your sabayon for too long or it will curdle.
- Tip #5: The key to making a successful sabayon is to cook the egg mixture to the correct temperature of 160F. Immediately stop cooking as soon as you reach that temperature, if not just before. Eggs will continue to cook while they are off the heat. Use an ice bath to slow down the cooking process if needed.
- Tip #6: Keep whisking because it’s important to keep the mixture moving so it doesn’t stick or scorch on the bottom of the bowl, but whisking too rapidly will cause the foam to cook unevenly.
- Tip #7: If you use heavy cream, whip the cream to soft peaks. Because you are going to further agitate the whipped cream while folding it into the egg mixture, it’s important not to beat it too stiff or the mixture will break.
- Tip #8: Sabayon is meant to eat the same day, but can be refrigerated, but not for more than 24 hours. It may start to separate after one day.
How to Fix a Sabayon that is Too Thick
If your sabayon gets too thick, don’t worry! Here are two solutions:
- You can whisk ½ cup of heavy cream to soft peaks, and carefully fold the whipped cream into the sabayon to prevent the foamy sabayon from deflating.
- You can use the siphon like I do. In the siphon, add the sabayon and ½ cup of heavy cream and follow the steps mentioned above.
Sweet Sabayon & Savory Sabayon Variations
Use the same measurements for the egg yolks, sugar, and liquid. The only thing that will change is the type sweetener and liquid.
Sweet Zabaglione Variations
- Whisk the egg yolks with maple syrup, dark rum, and grated nutmeg.
- Whisk the egg yolks with whiskey, orange zest, and honey.
Savory Sabayon Variations
- Whisk the egg yolks with champagne, lemon juice & zest, and a pinch cayenne
- Whisk the egg yolks with white wine and finely chopped rosemary
- Whisk the egg yolks with tequila, lime juice, and a pinch ancho chile powder
- Whisk the egg yolks with sake yuzu, and miso paste
Now you’re ready to tackle this recipe. Enjoy your Zabaglione over a bowl of berries, over ice cream, topped with orange supremes, or dig in with a large spoon. And don’t forget to share it with everyone you know. It’s been some time since this sweet treat hit the mainstream, and I think it’s time we bring it back! As always, remember to tag @Spoonabilities and using the hashtag #Spoonabilities.
Your Recipe Concierge!
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