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Sabayon. Sweet or salt? Dessert or sauce? What is it and how to prepare it?

Sabayon. Sweet or salt? Dessert or sauce? What is it and how to prepare it?

people icon For 4 euro icon € 1.1 /pers. calories icon 341 kcal/100g


  • For the sweet sabayon:
  • 5 egg yolks M
  • 1 cup of icing sugar or white sugar (approx. 200 g)
  • 1 cup of Port wine or Marsala wine (approx. 200 ml.)
  • For the sweet sabayon to make tiramisu:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 150g. powdered icing sugar (recommended) or normal white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of Amaretto or the liqueur that we like
  • For the salty sabayon:
  • 5 egg yolks M
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup fish broth or meat or poultry broth
  • a pinch of salt
  • Optional: Aromatic herbs

Sabayón sauce , which you can also see under the name zabaione or sambayón , is a recipe of Italian origin that is traditionally prepared with egg yolks, wine and sugar. If you are Argentinian or have spent some time there, it is more likely that sabayon is familiar to you, thanks to the Italian-Argentine ties and the popularity that this recipe has in the area.

In other Latin American countries, such as Colombia or Venezuela, their own versions of sabayon are also made, under the names “sabajón” and “ponche de crema” . This dessert recipe has a certain complexity in its preparation, since the ingredients are delicate and can be cut in the process. If you want a recipe that will help you prepare it perfectly, this is your place.

What is generally known as sabayon is quite similar, at least in texture, to custard or crème brûlée , that is, a thick but fluid cream that is served warm. The particular thing about this dessert is that touch of flavor that the wine gives it, which gives it a unique personality.

The name sabayon is also called a kind of sauce with a texture similar to mayonnaise . In today’s post we are going to tell you how to prepare both the sweet sabayon and the dessert; like salty sabayon , the one with the sauce . It’s up to you to decide which one you try first.

Preparation of sweet sabayon cream. An exquisite dessert

  1. The first thing we must do is prepare a bowl that will serve us well to mix the ingredients. Once we have it, we pour the egg yolks, which we have to separate from the whites, and the powdered sugar into our container. We also add the Port wine (or Marsala) and stir, mixing all the ingredients well.
  2. We heat a pot of water that is a good size to make a bain-marie. We do not have to fill it to the top because, if we do, when we insert the jar the water will overflow.
  3. We pour the mixture from the bowl into the container we have to make the bain-marie, a jar, a bowl, etc. Put the container in the pot with the already hot water and stir constantly to avoid letting the mixture start to boil. This will give us the thick texture we are looking for so it is important. To stir, you can use a whisk or a mixer, it is the most practical.
  4. Once we have a sufficiently thick texture without lumps, we will have our sabayon ready. All that remains is to serve it in individual portions, for which you can use glasses, for example.

To serve it, it can be great served with some butter cookies . They are very easy to prepare and combine great with sabayon. In addition, sabayon can go amazingly well to accompany a pudding on top or rice pudding .

How to make sweet sabayon cream for tiramisu

Sabayón cream ( sambayón, cream punch, zabaglione or zabaione ) to make the base cream of an Italian tiramisu , is a thick cream of Italian tradition based on 3 basic ingredients: raw egg yolks, sugar and Marsala wine or Amaretto liqueur , everything beat in a bain-marie until it has a creamy texture.

  1. Heat water in a large saucepan, it should be hot but not boiling. While the water is heating, we separate the yolks from the whites and put them aside in a cup. We are going to assemble the whites later, we reserve.
  2. The eggs must be fresh and must be handled at room temperature. We mix the sugar, in a metal bowl, with all the yolks. We start by whisking the bowl out of the water and when it begins to foam we place the bowl in the saucepan with the hot water.
  3. Once inside, we beat with some whisks manually or with those of the mixer until the yolks double in size. Little by little we add the four tablespoons of amaretto and mix thoroughly until they are incorporated into the cream. After mixing everything, we take it out of the water bath and continue cold until we have a fluffy and compact cream. We reserve for the assembly of the tiramisu.
Christmas appetizer in a glass with salted dill sabayon, salmon roe, salmon mousse and smoked salmon with chives

Preparation of salted sabayon. A great sauce to accompany fish or meat

This way of understanding sabayon works as a kind of mousseline sauce , which is why it is usually used to gratin on top of some fish. Salted sabayon can be great to accompany salmon or hake fillets . To do this, the procedure will be the same, but we will replace the powdered sugar with fish broth and the port wine with dry white wine . And we will test the salt point at the end of the preparation.

The only variation in the recipe, apart from replacing the powdered sugar, is to be a little less insistent in the batter, since we are not looking for a texture as consistent as with sweet sabayon. As you can see, this recipe is also simple, although not easy.

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