What is Zabaglione? It is a foamy, custard-like mixture of egg yolks, sugar and Marsala wine served hot or chilled as a dessert. Often Zabaglione is served over fruits or cakes. The very first time we ate this wonderful dish, it was actually prepared table-side in a private dining room by a Five-Star Chef using his grandmother’s recipe. I never was able to get the recipe from him – but this comes close. His was without the added whipped cream, staying true to its custard roots. This variation utilizes heavy cream, creating a whipped topping rather than a true custard. If it is the custard variety you seek, simply omit the heavy cream.
The first time I made this, it was to bring to a potluck barbecue. The problem with potlucks is that you don’t always have an accurate head-count. The recipe in its original form is designed to be served in pretty dessert glasses – not at all suited for potluck gatherings. Yet I really wanted to make this twist on Zabaglione. The solution – if little dessert glasses are good, why not a giant dessert glass? My trifle dish seemed ideal. It would make transporting the dish easy, and provide a pretty way to serve up the fresh berries. And as Hubby put it “then you don’t have to trifle with the details.” (The man has a strange sense of humor).
Once I made the decision to utilize my trifle dish rather than dessert glasses, a few additional changes seemed appropriate. I lined the bottom of the trifle dish with cubes of Angel Food Cake. Then I placed half of the berries on top of the cubes of cake. A second layer of cake was placed over the fruit, followed by a second layer of fruit. This would ensure that every serving would contain some of the fruit and some of the cake. Finally, the Whipped Cream Zabaglione was spread over the top. Some reserved fruit was then used to create a pretty design over the cream. What began as a dessert for glasses became a beautiful Wine Infused Trifle.
Zabaglione Fresh Fruit Trifle
Wine Soaked Fruit
1 basket Fresh Strawberries
1 pint fresh Blackberries
Splash of Marsala Wine, optional
Zabaglione Whipped Cream
7 Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/3 cup White Sugar
1 cup Heavy Cream
Optional Cake Layer
1 Prepared Angel Food Cake
Slice berries and place into a bowl. If desired, sprinkle with a little splash of Marsala wine. Chill berries until ready to serve.
Place bowl and whip attachment for standing mixer into the freezer to chill well. While bowl chills, make Zabaglione.
Fill a large saucepan with several inches of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat until the water maintains a strong simmer. Place the egg yolks, Marsala wine, and sugar into a metal mixing bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water. Beat constantly with a wire whisk until the Zabaglione turns pale yellow and thickens to the consistency of softly whipped cream. Scrape the Zabaglione into a clean mixing bowl, and set over ice, stirring occasionally until cold. The Zabaglione will continue to thicken as it cools.
While Zabaglione cools, whip cream to stiff peaks. Once Zabaglione is cold, fold in the whipped cream.
To serve: If using Angel Food Cake, cut a few pieces to fit into bottom of dessert glasses. Top cake with fresh berries until half-full. Top with Whipped Cream Zabaglione and serve. If omitting cake, simply fill glasses half-full with berries and top with Whipped Cream Zabaglione.