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Parma-style Zabaione

  • 20 minutes
  • Medium
  • Desserts and Fruit
A decadent, aromatic and filling Italian dessert.


  • ½ cup Marsala wine, dry
  • ¼ cup Rum
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 oz granulated sugar


In a saucepan, mix together egg yolks, sugar, Marsala and rum. Place the pan on the heat and start to cook, stirring without over-whisking.

Boil for a few minutes, so that the zabaione is firm but not foaming. Serve hot or warm.

A variant uses white wine instead of the Marsala and rum.

Food History

There are various stories about the origins of zabaione, the most fun of which suggests that the sweet cream was invented by a Franciscan monk, a certain Pasquale de Baylon (1540-1592). It is believed that during the time he lived in the Parish of Saint Thomas in Turin, Pasquale suggested to the members of the parish to serve this dessert to the sick to help them regain their strength and to husbands to help them to regain their passion. According to the legend, woman appreciated the positive effects of this dessert and, having after Pasquale had been made a saint, they named his recipe “San Bajon,” which became zabaione in Italian.

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