Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) sugar
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) Marsala
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) heavy whipping cream
- Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
Procedures:Called zabaglione in Italy, its birthplace, sabayon is a mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and wine whisked over simmering water until thick and light, with the texture of whipped cream. While it is traditionally served warm immediately after cooking, some like it best when cooled and folded into whipped cream—the cream stabilizes and lightens the sabayon, creating a sophisticated make-ahead accompaniment to all manner of desserts, from cakes and tarts to napoleons and shortcakes.
- Fill the large bowl halfway with ice and water and set it aside. Place 2 inches of water in the bottom of the double boiler and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer. Place the egg yolks and sugar in the top of the double boiler (off the heat) and whisk briefly, just until well blended and slightly lightened in color. Add the Marsala and blend well. Place the egg mixture over the simmering water and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes (a hand mixer may be used here), or until very light and fluffy, with a texture resembling softly whipped cream, and registers 160°F on the thermometer. Do not exceed 165°F or the eggs could scramble. If you see the sauce beginning to scramble around the edges, quickly remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and whisk vigorously. This will usually save the mixture, but if it still looks flat and broken, or there are large pieces of scrambled egg in the sauce, there is no recourse but to begin again. As soon as the sauce is finished, immediately set the top of the double boiler in the bowl of ice water. Stir the sauce occasionally until cold to the touch.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer (or in a medium bowl, if using a hand mixer), whip the cream and orange zest until soft peaks form. Use the spatula to fold the whipped cream into the cooled sauce. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Storing: The sabayon may be held, airtight, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, though it is most fluffy during the first 4 hours.