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Test Kitchen tips: Zabaglione 101 ... and 5 recipes

February 22, 2013|By Noelle Carter
  • Hazelnut sherry zabaglione.
Hazelnut sherry zabaglione. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles…)

Whisk some egg yolks with a little sugar until they take on a bright, velvety sheen, then drizzle in a little wine. Place the bowl over gently simmering water and keep beating, and in just minutes you have a light and airy custard, faintly sweet and enticingly smooth and rich with the almost smoky aroma of Marsala. Or sherry. Or even beer.

That's it -- the simple wonder of zabaglione.

A traditional Italian dessert, zabaglione is as elegant to serve as it is simple to make. Quickly prepared, it makes a perfect dessert, whether you're serving a formal dinner for company, or following a meal of leftovers on a busy weeknight.

What's not to love about zabaglione? It's easy and versatile, and you probably already have the ingredients at home. Whip up a batch and serve it spooned over freshly diced fruit, or ladle it over a cake or a crisp, flaky pastry as a velvety sauce.

Or serve it simply by itself, in a beautiful glass -- fresh and warm, just off the stove. You can also fold it with some whipped cream and freeze it for a frozen custard treat. Give it a try -- it makes a great weekend project! And there are so many options; check out the photo gallery above for five recipe ideas.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at


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