Classic Italian Desert
Giallo Zafferano Recipe
Zabaione or Zabaglione is an Italian dessert, or sometimes a beverage, made with egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine (usually Moscato d’Asti or Marsala wine).
Some versions of the recipe incorporate spirits such as cognac. The dessert version is a light custard, whipped to incorporate a large amount of air.
Since the 1960s, in restaurants in areas of the United States with large Italian populations, zabaione is usually served with strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc. in a champagne coupe. In France, it is called sabayon, while its Italian name is zabaione or zabaglione (or zabajone, an archaic spelling).
The dessert is popular in Argentina and Uruguay, where it is known as sambayón (from the piedmontese sambajon). It is a popular ice cream flavour in Argentina’s ice-cream shops. In Colombia, the name is sabajón. In Venezuela there is also a related egg-based dessert drink called ponche crema. This is consumed almost exclusively at Christmas time.
Classical zabaione uses raw egg yolks cooked in a bain-marie, and most often served with Marsala (though other wines can be substituted). It can be finished with beaten egg white (meringue) or sometimes with whipped cream.
Occasionally, the wine is omitted when the dish is served to children or those who abstain from alcohol. It is then in effect a very different dessert. It may then be sometimes flavoured with a small amount of espresso.