A simple but sumptuous dessert.


  • 4 egg yolks (or three egg yolks and one whole egg)
  • 75 g sugar
  • 50 ml marsala
  • orange shortbread
  • makes small biscotti (a delicious accompaniment to zabaglione)
  • 180 g white flour
  • 120 g butter
  • 60 g castor sugar
  • juice and zest of 1 orange


  • Place egg yolks and sugar into a large bowl and whisk for about five or six minutes, until it is thick and pale yellow. Set the egg mixture over a bain marie and gradually drizzle in the marsala, whisking all the time. Continue whisking until the mixture doubles in volume and is holding soft peaks.
  • This will take about twelve to fifteen minutes. It is important not to let the eggs cook around the edges of the bowl. Spoon into 4 glasses and serve warm or chilled.
  • For the orange shortbread:
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Put the flour, orange zest and sugar into a bowl, rub in the butter as for short crust pastry.
  • Gather the mixture together, add just sufficient juice to bind. Knead it lightly and roll out to 7mm thick. Then cut it into squares or any preferred small shape.
  • Pop in the oven and bake until the biscuits are pale brown, for about eight to ten minutes. Remove them from the oven, cool on a rack and serve with the zabaglione for a delicious Italian dessert.

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