Zabaglione (Italian) or sabayon (French) is an impressive and unusual but easy-to-do dessert that can be made at the very last minute if necessary. This version can be made 30 minutes or so ahead. Zabaglione is like a soufflé without the dish ... or the beaten egg whites ... or the baking. I like to serve it with fresh fruits spooned on the side. For a more dramatic presentation, arrange fresh fruits in a shallow heatproof dish, spoon the zabaglione on top, and quickly brown it with a propane torch (if you’ve gone nuts) or under a hot broiler.
COMBINE ALL THE ingredients in the top of a double boiler and set aside. Fill the bottom of the pot with water and bring it to a simmer. Whisk the mixture until it is light and thick. Place the mixture over the simmering water and whisk vigorously until it has tripled in volume (just eyeball this) and is thick and even lighter in color. Total cooking and whisking time will be 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the top of the pot from the heat and whisk to cool slightly (this keeps the egg yolks from scrambling).
Serve immediately or set aside and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Use within 2 hours.
© 2004 John Ash. All rights reserved.