If you've ever had a slice of authentic Tiramisu, you know quite well the dreamy deliciousness of Italian zabaglione. It's a dessert cream made with sweet Marsala, sugar and egg yolks and it's sublime. Layered with a light cake that has been imbibed with the buzz of coffee or espresso, it transforms into a heavenly dessert. So heavenly in fact, it's been a widely beloved dessert in America for years.
Zabaglione, or sabayon as it's known in France, is made by gently whisking the ingredients over a water bath until it thickens into a foamy light custard. Once it's cooled, it's folded with whipped cream to add another layer of lusciousness. It's pretty easy to prepare, takes just a few minutes and is a perfect complement for the bright juicy acidity of fresh strawberries. And it's a surprisingly light dessert cream given the ingredients.
As we move rapidly toward the fall season, we are seeing less and less of all the fruit that makes pastry so beautiful in the spring and summer. But if you happen to have the company of some delicious strawberries to revere, consider this lofty pairing. Add a slice of Yogurt Cake and it's a perfect comfort to welcome the season ahead.
- I like olive oil in this cake but canola can certainly be substituted.
- Letting cake cool for 10 minutes after removing from the oven and before depanning ensures that it's cool enough not to be too fragile but still warm enough to release from the pan with relative ease.
- Marsala is a wine produced in Marsala, Sicily. Use a sweet Marsala for desserts rather than dry Marsala, which is used in savory dishes such as Chicken Marsala.
- For lighter fare, skip the cake. The fruit and the zabaglione are a feast.
Yogurt Cake with Strawberries & Zabaglione
1 1/2 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 C olive oil
1 C sugar
zest of 1 large lemon
3/4 C plain yogurt
1/2 t vanilla
2 pints fresh strawberries
4 egg yolks
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C sweet Marsala
1/2 C heavy cream
For the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9" x 2 1/2" cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the olive oil, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, yogurt and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Cool cake for 10 minutes. Invert it and gently peel off the parchment. Revert it again and place right side up on a wire rack to cool completely.
When ready to serve, hull and slice the strawberries and set aside.
For the zabaglione, place the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala in a heatproof bowl and set over a water bath of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Whisk constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, and cook about 5 - 7 minutes until the mixture is thickened, expanded in volume, opaque and slightly foamy. Remove from heat and continue whisking for another minute to blend thoroughly. Set aside to cool.
Whip heavy cream to soft peak and fold into the cooled zabaglione. Place a slice of cake on a plate, distribute the sliced strawberries and garnish with a dollop of zabaglione. Serve immediately.