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How-To

Sweet Variations on Simple Sabayon

With just eggs, sugar, and wine, you can create an elegant, pudding-like dessert in five minutes

Fine Cooking Issue 11
Photos: Beth Galton. Process photos: Boyd Hagen
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Your book group is at the door and you’ve forgotten that it’s your turn to provide dessert. It’s time to let someone else do the preliminary chitchat while you gather up the eggs, sugar, and wine and spend the next five minutes or so making sabayon. This article tells you how to make the traditional sabayon (originally from northern Italy, it was made with Marsala wine and called zabaglione; sabayon is its French name), and also how to create many variations simply by changing the liquid to Champagne or Grand Marnier or citrus juices. Other variations include chilled sabayon, sabayon gratinée, and even baked sabayon. Does this sound too easy? Of course there is a catch. Sabayon must be cooked very carefully to get the right texture–thick but light and frothy. If you overcook it, it can’t be saved. Fortunately, there are captioned photographs to help you through the process of making sabayon, giving you an idea of what your creation should look like at each stage. Two other captioned photographs illustrate the additional steps needed to produce chilled sabayon. Recipes include: Classic Marsala Sabayon; Chilled Champagne Sabayon; Chilled Lemon Sabayon; Chilled Blueberry Sauce; Shortbread Cookies; and Baked Chocolate Sabayon.

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