When I think of wines and dessert, my mind usually jumps right to Port, Icewine, or Vin Santo with biscotti. One that rarely, if ever, springs to mind is Vermouth, yet the sweet red version of this classic wine is a key ingredient in a very simple, but extremely decadent dessert called Zabaglione (pronounced zab-ah-YON). It is a fluffy, creamy custard styled dessert that takes only minutes to prepare, and is a real taste treat.
The most time consuming part of making Zabaglione is boiling a pot of water (my kind of dessert)! It takes a few minutes of whipping with a hand mixer, but is very simple to make. All you need is:
4 Egg yolks
¼ Cup of sugar (I use the Superfine for ease of blending)
¼ Cup of Sweet Vermouth
Your favorite berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry or a mix of all!)
While the water simmers, mix the egg yolks and sugar together until they are pale yellow and creamy. When the water is ready, turn the heat off (you don’t want the eggs to actually cook!), add the Vermouth to the egg/sugar mixture, and using a hand mixer, start whipping it all together with the pot on top of the hot water, double-boiler style. The heat from the water will eventually cause the mix to foam, then swell to a light, soft mass. Keep beating it until it reaches a thickness that pleases you.
Whether you like it a bit runny or as thick as pudding, it’s best served warm, especially on a mixture of your favorite berries! Spoon it into goblets, cups or champagne glasses for a festive appearance. Total time (after the water boils) is less than 5 minutes!
Now all you have to worry about is what to do with the leftovers. For those egg whites, I suggest rum-drunk macaroons.
And for the remaining Vermouth, another very simple recipe is the Manhattan: 50% Seagrams VO, 50% Sweet Vermouth, a dash of bitters, shaken on ice and strained into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. (My shaker is a mason jar with the 2-piece lid!) Enjoy!!