I had this dessert on my first date with Drew. I feel like I should make some earth shattering conclusion from that sentence, but my head is spinning and I can’t think of anything clever, so feel free to make your own conclusions. It had originally caught my eye because who’da THUNK that Balsamic Vinegar would go well with strawberries in a DESSERT?! I mean, ok, the strawberries and cream thing I get, but vinegar? Turns out, balsamic vinegar can be aged, and have vintages, like wine, (Raise your hand if you knew that little tidbit) so the balsamic used in this recipe should be aged, and sweet, and thick, like molasses. We had to find ours at the local (very) Italian deli.
Now, zabaglione is a creamy egg custard customarily made with Marsala wine. In this case, I used Tuaca, an Italian liqueur that tastes a little of citrus and vanilla. But I’m sure you can also make it with Chambord (mmm, Chambord zabaglione over raspberries!), or any other sweet liqueur. If you are not into alcohol, you can substitute in a sweet fruit juice. Can someone say Goya fruit nectars?!
This would make a great dessert for Valentine’s Day, or anytime, really.
Ok, I’m going to stop chit-chatting. On to the goodness.
For this treat (seriously, I’m getting hungry just looking at it), you’ll need:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar, plus a bit for the whipped cream
1/2 cup of marsala wine or sweet liqueur of your choice
heavy cream (I honestly can’t remember how much it was, but it was the little carton at the supermarket, as opposed to the larger carton)
2 Tbsp of powdered sugar
pound of strawberries, cut into bitsize pieces
some aged sweet balsamic vinegar
A couple of quick notes here: The first three ingredients are for the zabaglione. I found this particular ratio to be easy to manage. Of course, you are welcome to add more or less liqueur to taste! The rest of the quantities is really up to your tastes – how sweet, how light and how tangy you want it to be. This quantity makes 4 normal people portions, less if you’re like me.
1. Put a pot with about an inch of water on the stove, and bring it to a steady simmer. This is the bottom of your double boiler.
2. Combine the egg yolks, sugar and liqueur into a large metal mixing bowl. This is the top of your double boiler.
3. Whip the mixture while holding the mixing bowl over the simmering pot of water until the mixture thickens into a fluffy custard-like consistency. You’ll see bubbles first, then the mixture will start to thicken. This part is a bit tricky. Too much heat, and you will get very sweet scrambled eggs. Too little heat and the custard won’t form. To adjust, you can take the bowl off the heat occasionally, but keep mixing! I went hardcore and mixed by hand. Having an electric mixer makes this job a lot easier!
4. The custard is done when it’s fairly thick and can coat the back of a spoon.
5. Set the custard aside to cool.
6. Combine the heavy cream with a tablespoon of sugar and mix until the cream is thick enough to form peaks. Set aside. This is your whipped cream.
7. Add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to your strawberries, and mix. Try not to house the strawberries now. The final result is better, I promise!
8. Once the zabaglione is cooled, gently fold it in with the whipped cream.
9. I had drizzled the balsamic vinegar over the strawberries just before serving, but you can mix the balsamic in when you add the powdered sugar to the strawberries. This makes the flavor of the balsamic a little more even.
10. To serve, just scoop the zabaglione over the strawberries and DIG IN! YUM!