Ingredients for 4 people:5 egg yolk8 tbsp cane sugar5 tbsp Vin Santo del Chianti D.O.C.
Prepare a “bain-marie” by filling a deep saucepan up to a little less than halfway with water, and putting it on the stove over a moderate heat. In the meanwhile, carefully break the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Put the yolks in a small, deep saucepan with a long handle, bearing in mind that it will go into the other pan with the hot water. Beat the yolks with the sugar until smooth, light and almost white. Slowly add the Vin Santo and amalgamate everything thoroughly. Now transfer the small saucepan into the “bain-marie” and let the zabaglione simmer over a low heat, beating continuously. When it begins to have a homogeneous, smooth, frothy and very creamy consistency, it’s ready.
Zabaglione (a recipe from the region of Piedmont, “imported” throughout Italy) is served with biscuits such as “lingue di gatto” (= cat’s tongues) or small shortbreads. It’s also excellent with cooked fruit; in this case, make sure you use the same wine used for the fruit. Marsala, Port, Moscato and even sweet sparkling wine can be used to prepare zabaglione. In our neck of the woods, in Tuscany, it’s obviously made with Vin Santo!
(1) The name is said to be a distorted translation of the Spanish “sanbajum”, from the name of St Paschal Baylón, a monk who arrived at the court of Emanuel Philibert of Savoy, in the 16th century. He used to advise the women of the palace, who complained in the confessional of being neglected by their husbands, to prepare a mixture of eggs, sugar and wine that would restore their physical vigour!