Vanilla Zabaglione with Summer Fruit

One of the best things about baking is the actual baking part.

You just set the temperature, set a timer, check on your handiwork half-way through its baking time to make sure it’s not all going to hell in a hot oven, and then — voila! — you have cakes, cookies, pies, bread, muffins, whatever.

Easy-peasy-pudding-and-pie, right?

As a baker who thoroughly enjoys the ease of letting time and heat do all the real work, I have a bit of stove-top anxiety.

I don’t even have a real double boiler — but I should probably get a pat on the back for excellence in kitchen improvisation.

Hear that, Mr. Robert Irvine from Dinner: Impossible? I’m waiting for your call!

Anyways, if it’s not scrambling eggs or boiling pasta, nervousness can get the better of me. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what those burners are even for!

Well, here’s what they’re for: making sweet, custardy sauces. Cooking with wine. Gettin’ all Italian up in this joint.

Now, I’m not Italian. Or anything European, really — if anyone ever asks, I just tell them that I’m straight-up 110% Canadian.

But if I can boil water for pasta, then I’m sure I can make zabaglione (zah-bag-lee-oh-nay: more commonly known as tiramisu cream).

So, when making zabaglione, make sure to use a good Marsala wine.

Remember to run your whisk over the bottom of the double boiler bowl often — eggs that are closer to the simmering water cook faster, so scraping any thickening eggs from the bottom of the bowl is the key to smooth sauce.

Vanilla Zabaglione

*adapted from Delish Canada


  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds only
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup whip cream
  • 1 tablespoon brandy


Separate the eggs while cold; allow the yolks 30 minutes to come to room temperature (egg whites freeze well and can be stored for later use).

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the Marsala, white sugar, and vanilla bean seeds to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and remove from heat.

While the Marsala mixture cools, set up a double boiler. Bring the water to gentle boil.

Slowly whisk the Marsala mixture into the egg yolks. Place the Marsala yolks on top of the double boiler to cook, stirring often.

The mixture will start out dark and foamy on top — as the yolks cook, the zabaglione will become lighter and much smoother in consistency. The zabaglione is done when it forms a thick, ribbon-like stream when it falls off the whisk.

Put the cooked zabaglione in an ice bath to cool.

Cool in the ice bath, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes before transferring it to the refrigerator to chill for another 60 minutes.

After 60 minutes, whip the brandy and whip cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the zabaglione into the whipped cream.

Keep the zabaglione cream covered and chilled until ready to use.

My favourite way to enjoy zabaglione is layered with fresh berries and fruit.

But you can spoon it over cake, or pie, or blend it in a smoothie, or even eat it by itself. Make sure you call a couple people over to help you enjoy it, though, since this recipe makes a lot! Yum!

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3 thoughts on “Vanilla Zabaglione with Summer Fruit

  1. YAY for baking! 🙂

  2. Mmmm. I love anything with fruit and cream. (Oops. Freudian slip.) No but really, fruit and cream are the perfect combination and ideal during summer-time. This is just so cute and refreshing and has the perfect complementary ingredients.

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