Zabaione (Egg cream)

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PRESENTATION

Recipe by
Paolo Sacchetti

Eggs, sugar and fortified wine. Only three ingredients are required for one of the most delicious and mysterious creams in Italian gastronomic history. The origins of this egg cream are uncertain: it seems to have originated in the kitchens of Caterina de' Medici, while other sources date the first recipe of egg cream to the Gonzaga court. At home it is considered a robust snack in its most rudimentary version... sweet childhood memories! In bakeries it is transformed into a light, fortified, and frothy filling that embellishes many sweets. Master pastry chef Paolo Sacchetti has brought to Giallozafferano's kitchen the most intensely colored eggs, the most fragrant Tuscan Vin Santo wine and a sprinkling of sugar to give us all the secrets of a perfect egg cream. Prepare ladyfingers or any other cookie, because it will be ready in no time!

INGREDIENTS
Egg yolks ¼ lb (90 g)
Sugar 2 tbsp (25 g)
Vin santo wine ⅓ cup (75 g)
Preparation

How to prepare Zabaione (Egg cream)

To prepare the egg cream, first place ice in a bowl and put it in the freezer so it is ready when needed. Then pour the Vin Santo wine into a saucepan 1, add half the sugar 2 and heat it just until it melts 3. Do not heat the wine too much, otherwise the alcohol will evaporate; we recommend not to exceed 95° F (35° C).

Place the egg yolks in a bowl, and whisk in the remaining sugar 4; continue whisking until you obtain a homogeneous mixture 5 then add a ladle of hot liqueur 6 to dilute the mixture.

Quickly add the remaining part of wine while whisking 7 and cook everything in a bain-marie 8, while continuing to whisk 9. You will gradually notice a thickening of the cream, and the foam will tend to disappear.

Beat continuously until the volume has increased and the temperature has reached 180° F (83° C) 10. If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, you will know that the egg cream is ready when the whisk leaves furrows and lines form. By lifting the whisk the egg cream will remain inside 11. Take the bowl with ice from the freezer and place another one on top 12.

Pour the egg cream inside 13 and stir with a spatula gently for a couple of minutes 14; it will cool quickly, the air will remain inside but that annoying film will not form. The egg cream is ready 15 to be served.

Storage

The egg cream can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Before using it, you will need to whisk for a bit.

It is also possible to freeze it in ice containers, covered with film.

Tips

To obtain an egg cream with an intense and strong color, we recommend using fresh organic egg yolks. Instead of caster sugar, you can use the same amount of brown sugar. Vin Santo wine can be substituted with Marsala, or with a fortified local wine of your choice. Otherwise, dry white wine is fine.

With this recipe, the alcohol content of the egg cream will be 28%, but if you prefer a less alcoholic cream you can mix the egg cream with custard in the same quantities; as such, the alcohol content will be halved.