Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    6 cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About


egg yolks 12 12
sugar cups 300 g
white wine cups 625 ml


  1. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan with sloping sides or a stainless-steel bowl.
  2. Pour in the wine and whisk the mixture continuously over medium heat. The sabayon will expand and become fluffy. As soon as it begins to lose volume, or if the bottom of the pan becomes visible while whisking, remove it from the heat. Whisk for 15 seconds more to prevent it from curdling. At this point, the sabayon can be used as is—served hot or cold—or you can flavor it with other ingredients as described below. If you’re serving it cold, keep it covered with plastic wrap touching its surface to prevent a skin from forming.


Although almost any wine can be used to make a suitable sabayon; white wines with good acidity and a distinctive character will give subtlety and nuance to the sauce. Many recipes suggest making sabayon sauce with Champagne, which is delicious. It is best to use a mature (even slightly madeirized) French Champagne, but since this is rarely practical, a good-quality Coteaux Champenois (see Champagne) will produce excellent results. Do not substitute a sparkling wine other than Champagne. If Champagne is unavailable or too expensive, it is better to substitute a good-quality still wine.

Chablis, Vouvray (demi-sec), Riesling (German or Alsatian), Gewürztraminer, and Muscadet will all make interesting sabayon sauces. Sweet wines can also be used: Sauternes, late-harvest Rieslings (including German Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese), Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, and madeirized wines (Madeira, Marsala, and sherry) will all impart their own character and distinction to the sauce. If you use sweet wine, cut the sugar by about half the weight of the wine.

Sabayon can also be flavored with fruit brandies, such as Calvados, Poire William, or Kirsch, after it has cooled; fruit purées and coulis (equal parts coulis and sabayon); and spices, first infused in a small amount of water or cream and strained into the sabayon. It can also be lightened by folding it with an equal volume of whipped cream.