Making zabaglione Shefzilla-style

Categories: Recipes

Zabaglione.jpg
Zabaglione with strawberries. *clairity*/Flickr

Monday is "Shenanigan Night" at the Woodman house. On a recent such Monday, Stewart Woodman, the highly decorated chef (and now, food blogger) of Heidi's in South Minneapolis headed out with his family to some friends' house for some cooking and fun.

On the menu? zabaglione (or sabayon), a straightforward Italian custard that calls for just three ingredients: eggs, sugar and Marsala wine. Woodman learned to make the dish years ago during his apprenticeship and it remains a household hit.

"It is a very simple dessert," Woodman says, "that regardless of wine consumption always turns out quite nice."

What you'll need:

4 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Marsala (a sweet Marsala makes it more kid-friendly)

Contrary to what its alcoholic content might suggest, the dessert is perfectly appropriate for the kidlets, as you flambe away the alcohol before you even get started. To do that, bring the Marsala to a boil in a pot with deep sides, and be vigilant, as you don't want it to reduce. As soon as it boils, flambe (ie set it on fire!) using a long match, which will burn the alcohol off.

NOTE: This part is NOT appropriate for the kids.

The flame will go out on its own. Then set aside and cool.

Once it's cooled, bring some water to boil in a double boiler. Then whisk the eggs and sugar together over the top.

Zabaglione1.jpg
Photo courtesy Stewart Woodman

"Whisk vigorously," Woodman says, until the mixture about doubles in size. Then add the Marsala, slowly, and continue to cook the mixture until it thickens enough to draw a figure 8 in it. And that's it! Enough to serve five kids and 3 1/2 adults he says.

Woodman's wife Heidi had put together some fruit (pomegranate seeds, sliced strawberries, sliced black seedless grapes and supremed blood oranges mixed with 1 Tb. sugar) to accompany the dessert.

The verdict? "Since the first taste, it's always been a favorite, Woodman says. His son Isaac calls it "super delicious."


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