Whipped Marsala Custard


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Italian Regional Cookery

Italian Regional Cookery

By Valentina Harris

Published 1990

  • About

The most important thing to remember about this light, very alcoholic and fluffy Piedmontese egg custard is that you must never abandon it while it cooks! If you want to serve it hot, you’ll have to leave the table and stay in the kitchen with it for a solid 25 minutes until it is ready. If your guests are boring you to death, this may not be such a bad thing; however, if they are people whose company you enjoy, you may be better off serving it chilled! If you do decide to serve the Zabaglione chilled, please be sure that it is properly cooked before you chill it, otherwise it might separate and the result will be disastrous. Serve with a selection of light biscuits, such as langues de chat.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 tablespoons Marsala wine


Put all the ingredients into the top half of a double boiler over hot but not boiling water, on a low to medium heat. Using a balloon whisk, beat energetically and evenly, always in the same direction, for about 18–20 minutes or until the mixture achieves a smooth, foamy consistency. It should be thick and creamy but very light, like semi-melted ice-cream. If you overcook it, it will become like scrambled eggs; if you undercook it, the liquid will separate from the egg yolk. Take great care and remember to remove it from the heat every now and again while it cooks. Do not stop whisking.

When the Zabaglione is ready, pour it into stemmed glasses and serve, or cool and chill in the refrigerator until required.