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If you want to elevate your desserts then make this incredibly delicious Sabayon Sauce. It’s a traditionally sweet sauce and a great addition to almost any dessert, like fresh berries or almond cake. This incredible sauce is made with just 3 ingredients and is ready in less than 15 minutes.
I love French desserts and I’ve thought about making this sauce for a long time. When I finally researched the recipe I couldn’t believe it was just 3 ingredients and so easy. When the sauce was done, it was smooth and creamy like billowy whipped cream with the right amount sweetness and slight tartness from the wine. And even though it tasted great spooned over strawberries I could I have eaten a bowl of this sauce by itself.
If you want to add a little French elegance to your next dinner party or impress friends and family at the next get together then make this sabayon.
What is Sabayon Sauce
A sabayon is a light sauce traditionally made with egg yolks, sugar, and wine. Sabayon is the French name of the Italian dessert sauce zabaglione. Zabaglione is traditionally made with Marsala wine, while sabayon is also is made with white wine or champagne (which is also known as sparkling wine).
Sabayon is typically served as part of a dessert. If you prefer a non-alcoholic version replace the wine with an equal amount of orange juice or sparkling apple cider.
What You'll Need for This Recipe
This delicious sauce is made with just three ingredients and tastes absolutely amazing:
- Large Egg Yolks: Use large egg yolks that weigh about 20 grams each. The egg yolks are what cause the sauce to thicken. Reserve the egg whites in the refrigerator.
- Granulated Sugar: The sugar not only sweetens the sabayon, but when combines with the eggs it helps to entrap air adding to the lightness of the sauce. The sugar also slows the formation of the protein bonds in the eggs, which allows the eggs to reach temperature without becoming scrambled.
- White Wine: This recipe is traditionally made with Marsala wine, but you can use your favorite sweet white wine or dry white wine. Use a wine that you like to drink as that will be the main flavor of the sabayon.
How to Select the Right Wine for This Dessert
One of the most important things to remember when picking a wine for this recipe is to pick a wine that you like to drink. I tested this recipe with two different wines - a Reisling, which is a sweet wine, and Chardonnay which is a dry wine and less sweet.
Both wines are from California and from vineyards certified as sustainable. At its most basic sustainable agriculture is about meeting the society’s current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Or in other words treat the land in such a way that they are able to continuously produce.
Sustainable winegrowing in California encompasses the 3 E’s of Sustainability - Environmentally sound, socially Equitable, and Economically viable. These 3 E’s show up in such areas as energy efficiency, air quality, workplace culture, and constant improvements to produce high quality grapes that produce great taste (and economically viable) wine.
So next time you’re looking to buy wine for dinner or a special occasion look for wine with a “Certified Sustainable” label. And since 80% of California wine is certified sustainable, know that you are supporting winegrowers and winemakers who believe in taking care of the land and their employees.
How to Make Sabayon Sauce
Sabayon is best served right away. If you using it as a topping for fresh fruit, prep your fruit (wash, dry it, add sugar if sweetening it) and place the fruit in the serving bowl. If serving it for a dinner party, make the sabayon right before serving dessert.
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a simmer. You only want to fill the saucepan part way because you don’t want the hot water to come in contact with the mixing bowl.
Step 1: Combine egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. I recommend a large stainless steel bowl because you want plenty of room to whisk the sabayon without the mixture spilling over.
Step 2: Whisk the eggs and sugar with a balloon whisk until the mixture is lighter in color, increased in volume, and noticeably thicker.
Step 3: Next, whisk in the wine. Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. You now have a double boiler. Whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes frothy and thick. As the mixture heats up, the sugar dissolves so it should be smooth.
Step 4: Whisk the sabayon constantly until the temperature reaches 150 degrees F or it’s thick enough to hold its shape. It needs constant whisking so that it doesn't overcook or turn into scrambled eggs. The sabayon will have the texture of billowy whipped cream. Lift the whisk up and let the ribbons of sabayon fall back into the sauce. If the shape is still visible after 15 seconds it is ready.
When it is done it will only hold for a few minutes before it starts to deflate. If you're using the sabayon to top fresh berries or a slice of cake, it should already be in its serving dish so that all you have to do is spoon the sabayon over the top.
How to Serve the Sabayon
You’ll absolutely love this amazing sauce. Serve it with:
- Fresh fruit, such as macerated strawberries or blueberries
- Fruit pie, such as blueberry pie or apple galette.
- Pancakes or waffles, for an extra fancy treat
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Whisk constantly throughout the entire cooking process. If you have to step away from the bowl remove it from top of the saucepan.
- Be sure that the water remains at a constant simmer. Don’t let it boil (the eggs will cook too quickly and possibly curdle) and don’t let it get too cool (it will take a long time to reach the right temperature and texture.
- Use a wine that you like to drink for this recipe as that will be one the main flavors in the sauce.
- The sabayon reaches the right temperate quickly, so have all your other ingredients ready, whether you’re serving it with fruit or adding to other ingredients liked whipped cream.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
The sabayon should be used right away. However if you have any leftover you can refrigerate for to two days. It will deflate and start to separate while in the refrigerator?
Sabayon is sweet and will taste like the wine or liquid that you use in the recipe. It’s creamy, a little tangy from the wine and reminds me of a billowy custard or very light mousse.
If the sabayon did not thicken you either added too much liquid or did not cook it long enough.
If you make this recipe please leave a rating and a comment below.
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If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
- 4 large (80 grams) egg yolks
- 1/3 cup (63 grams) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup Chardonnay or your favorite white wine
- This recipe makes enough for 4 servings if serving with fresh fruit.
- The sabayon should be served as soon as it is done. If serving with fresh fruit, like strawberries, prep the fruit and spoon it into the serving glass or bowl.
- Fill a 3 or 4-quart saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a simmer. A simmer is just below the boiling point (about 200 degrees F)
- In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar and the egg yolks. Whisk the mixture until the combination looks creamy and is lighter in color. Next whisk in the wine.
- Set the bowl over the pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water) and whisk vigorously and continuously until the mixture becomes frothy, thicker, and reaches 150 degrees F. The sabayon is ready when the mixture is thick and holds its shape when you lift the whisk and let some of the mixture drop back into the bowl and it holds it shape after 15 seconds.
- You can whisk slower, but if you need to stop whisking it, remove the bowl from the pan for as brief a time as possible.
- Spoon the warm sabayon over the berries. Add a cookies or cookie crumbles for a little crunch.