Vanilla Bean Zabaglione with Berries
February 20, 2012
[Elaine] in desserts

There is a reason this dessert is so popular in Italy.  You want to lick the glass it's served in, it's so good. I made these for dessert for our Valentine's dinner and my husband ate two.  

Zabaglione is a custard made with egg yolks, sugar and Marsala wine.  It's traditionally served warm but because I like make-ahead desserts, I'm serving mine cold and folding whipped cream into it to make it lighter. You can add your own touches to this recipe.  I added a little orange juice and also served the custard over fresh berries.  

When making zabaglione, you whisk it in a double boiler or a bowl just set over a pan of simmering water.  Make sure that the water is not boiling vigorously - it should be just barely simmering.  You don't want to cook the eggs, you just want them to be heated.  Once the custard is thick, you transfer the bowl to an ice bath so that it cools down quickly. 

Because zabaglione only uses egg yolks, you will have egg whites left over.  If you don't want to make egg white omelets in the morning, you could make these wonderful little cookies the next day.


Vanilla Bean Zabaglione with Berries


for a printable recipe click here

serves 4



Whip the cream until it is stiff and place in the refrigerator. 

Prepare an ice bath (just a large bowl filled with ice water) and set aside.  Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water, place on the stove and bring the water to a simmer.

In a medium size stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, wine, vanilla bean seeds and orange juice until blended.  Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the mixture is thick, about 5-8 minutes.  It can take as long as 10 minutes.  Make sure the water is just barely simmering and not boiling - you do not want to cook the eggs, but gently heat them up. 

When the mixture is thick, turn off the heat and place the bottom of the bowl in the ice bath to cool down (make sure to not get any water into the mixture). Whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture has cooled down. Fold the whipped cream into the mixture.  (At this point, you can refrigerate the mixture until you are ready to use it).

setting the mixture in an ice bath and then folding in the whipped cream

Place the berries, the sugar and the Chambord in a bowl and gently toss.  Divide into 4 glasses.  Top with the zabaglione.

Article originally appeared on The Italian Dish (
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