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Sweet sabayon sauce is closely related to the fluffy and nostalgic Zabaglione which my grand mother used to make me when I was coming back from playing football every Saturday.  The basic recipe calls for the freshest egg yolk available, sugar and Marsala. Various flavourings can be used, whether for warming dessert such as rum sabayon served with candied chestnut, orMuscatsabayon with figs and walnut pudding. Perhaps sabayon’s most popular use is to coat fresh fruit; particularly berries and orange segments.

Given the generous content of liquor or fruit juice, sweet sabayon is inclined to curdle. In a bain marie container, whisk vigorously, using very low heat so thickening does not even start for 2-3 minutes. Do not heat up the sauce too much; the bottom of the bowl should never be very hot to the touch.


Serves  4


  • 2 ripe pears
  • 125g mixed berries
  • 30g plain chocolate

For the sabayon sauce

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 60g sugar
  • 150ml Marsala or other sweet white wine


  1. Peel, halve and quarter the pears. Discard the cores and slice the quarter. Spread the slices on heatproof individual plates. Pick berries, rinsing them very quickly.
  2. Sprinkle berries over the pears; cover the plates tightly with cling film and chill.
  3. Make the sabayon sauce: put the egg, wine and sugar in a bowl, whisk the ingredients just until mixed. Set the bowl over a pan of hot but not boiling water, and whisk until done. 5-8 minutes. Sabayon can be made 10-15 minutes ahead and kept at room temperatures, keep whisking until cool, then whisk it occasionally to prevent it from separating.
  4. To serve: spoon the sabayon over the fruit, coating them completely.  If you like, brown the sabayon under the grill. Top with grated chocolate and serve.

If you ever come into problems when making this, check out our Sabayon tips blog post.

Posted by Alessandro Cristiano Head of Food