Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
for the coffee zabaglione:
4 egg yolks
50 g caster sugar
2 tblsp strong black coffee (such as espresso)
1 tsp double or regular cream
3 tblsp marsala or medium sherry
for the tuiles biscuits:
2 egg whites
110 g caster sugar
50 g plain flour (sifted)
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
50 g butter (melted and cooled)
4 small glasses
Place the egg yolks and the sugar in a heatproof bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water on a low-medium heat. Whisk together over the heat until the sugar dissolves. The mixture will be runny at this point: continue to whisk for another 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens and becomes quite pale in colour.
Now add the remaining ingredients and whisk again for a further 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick and fluffy.
Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before pouring into the sherry glasses and serving with the tuiles biscuits on the side.
For the Tuiles Biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
Place the egg whites in a spotlessly clean, dry bowl and whisk for 1-2 minutes or until they are foamy and just turning white. Gently fold in the remaining ingredients.
For each biscuit, spoon 1 teaspoon of the mixture onto a baking sheet and gently spread into a circle, about 5cm (2in) in diameter. The biscuits will spread a little while baking, so do leave space between them. Place in the oven and bake for 3-6 minutes or until they turn light golden brown around the edge and still pale in the middle.
Remove from the oven and very gently lift off each biscuit from the baking parchment. Lay while still warm over a rolling pin or the side of a wine bottle to give a curved shape (tuile means 'tile' in French, as in a curved roof tile) and place on a wire rack to cool. If you would prefer flat biscuits, just place the tuiles straight on the wire rack without curving them first. The tuiles need to be warm to be pliable so keep the rest warm on the baking sheets - in the oven with the heat off and the door open - as you mould each biscuit.
Rachel's tip: Take care not to leave the tuiles in a steamy atmosphere as they will soften very quickly; make sure they are stored somewhere dry.