Zabaione al Caffé

Making coffee at home in the morning is a ritual Jesse and I shared from day one. It was a habit that preceded our relationship, that we brought together effortlessly.  Of course, the habit of making moka pot coffee was mine before it was ours – Jesse was always brewing his cup with a French press before moving to Italy – yet it entered our joined life without much questioning. Living in Italy, the ritual and gestures just made their way into our morning routine quite naturally.

We have always been caffeinated people, and lovers of coffee in general. Coffee in liquid form aside, we are also fan of anything coffee flavoured, most especially if it comes at the end of a meal. Coffee gelato, affogato, coffee chocolate cake, you name it. Coffee zabaione is also a special favourite. And so, because we are approaching the holiday season, I thought to take the chance to share my recipe for it.

A riff on the classic and much-loved Venetian zabaione, I swapped the usual wine or liqueur with the same amount of strong-brewed coffee. The result is a lush, velvety cream where the flavour of coffee is beautifully powerful, and yet muffled by the gentle sweetness of the egg base. Hope you’ll love it. To me, it feels is equally at home ladled in small cups and enjoyed by the spoonful or as a sauce for cake. I love it served as a light dessert with a couple of almond biscuits, or else poured over a lightly toasted slice of panettone.

Zabaione al Caffé

Serves 4
4 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons caster sugar
4 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee

Bing a small pot with 500 ml (2 cups) of water to the boil. In a large stainless steel bowl, whip the yolks with the sugar until very creamy and pale yellow. Pour in the coffee and whisk to combine.

Place the bowl over the simmering pot of water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Start whisking your zabaione and keep going until you see it thickening and becoming dense and opaque. The colour should be light brown. When done, remove from the heat and place in a bowl with ice-cold water to stop the curdling process. Keep whisking to cool evenly.

Divide the zabaione into four serving bowls, then place in the fridge to chill for at least one hour. Alternatively, transfer it to a pouring jug or creamer and serve it at room temperature as a sauce for cake.

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  1. Valeria, the light in these pictures is unbelieveable. And I love how vividly you describe your and Jesse's passion for coffee.
    Thank you so much for agreeing to be a part of this blog party and sharing this stunning creation.
    Big hug

  2. Carole Poirot December 7, 2015

    Mmmm, love zabaione and love coffee, so this is pretty much the perfect recipe for me! xo

    • Valeria December 8, 2015

      I hear you! Possibly one of my favourite combinations, too. 😉 x

  3. I have always been intrigued by zabaione, and this would clearly marry the best of both worlds for me – a light dessert with the bitter finish of coffee. Perfection!

    • Valeria December 8, 2015

      It is a great end to a meal, no doubt – not too heavy and just so satisfying! x

  4. Rosemarie December 17, 2015

    Yep, it's definitely case of the best of both world's with this wonderful zabaglione. Not only do you get your after meal sweet fix, you get your caffeine hit too!

    I love coffee and moka pots too and I remember being sad about having to part with the Bialetti moka pot I had while I was living in France. I handed it down to a local who I knew would treasure it – a fellow coffee lover who adored the coffee I made with it. Knoinwg it was in good hands made me feel better about it!

    • Valeria December 21, 2015

      That's what I thought, too – you get both end-of-the-meal flavours (sweet & bitter).
      Yes, knowing our moka pot is at my parents', safe and sound, makes us feel slightly less sad about this separation! x


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