Chocolate Zabaglione with Brandy-Soaked Dried Cherries

March 12, 2010

There have been way too many savory dishes posted on this site recently, so I’m happy to post a little something for your sweet tooth tonight.

My good friend Rachel came over for dinner tonight. This week I’ll post a number of the recipes from this dinner, so stay tuned for those!

But to close the meal, I whipped up an adaptation of Giada de Laurentiis’ Chocolate Zabaglione.

For the uninitiated, zabaglione is an italian dessert custard typically made up of egg yolks, sugar, and marsala wine. This version includes a small amount of cream and bittersweet chocolate chips to create the richest, creamiest, and most delicate chocolate experience imaginable.

My version includes dried cherries rehydrated in hot brandy. They fall to the bottom of the dish and are like a little brandy-soaked surprise! Love ’em.

Buon Appetito!

Chocolate Zabaglione with Brandy-Soaked Dried Cherries
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’ Chocolate Zabaglione, courtesy Food Network.

1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
8 large egg yolks
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. dry marsala wine
2 pinches kosher salt
Appx. 24 dried cherries (bing are great, but any dried cherry will do)
1/4 c. brandy

  • In a small saucepan heat cream until just barely simmering. Pour over chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Alternatively, place both chocolate chips and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30-45 seconds. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, place the cherries. Bring brandy almost to a boil and pour over cherries. Set aside.
  • In a metal bowl — stainless steel or copper are your best choices but any metal bowl will do — whisk together egg yolks, sugar, marsala wine, and salt until combined.
  • Bring a small amount of water to a boil in a small saucepan. When boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Place metal bowl over the simmering water, being careful that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. This method is called ‘double boiling’ and is a common way to moderate the heat for delicate sauces or custards such as zabaglione.
  • Begin whisking constantly and steadily until the mixture begins to thicken considerably and become foamy. This process takes somewhere between 5 and 7 minutes.
  • When the zabaglione is ready, give it a taste. It should be sweet, smooth, and very rich. It should be “eggy” at all, and if it is, cook for a minute longer, still whisking constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and, using a large rubber or silicone spatula, fold in the chocolate mixture. It doesn’t have to be fully incorporated, as a little marbling is quite pretty.
  • Distribute evenly between 4 – 6 ramekins. Drop cherries to each ramekin and a little brandy, too. The cherries will sink to the bottom leaving only a few tiny air bubbles on the surface.
  • Serve immediately while still hot. Zabaglione doesn’t reheat well, so just dive in and eat the whole thing.

Recommended wine/beer pairing: Chimay Red Ale



  1. Seth, LOVED the blog! Congrats! And everything you’ve made looks amazing! Glad to have met you, will certainly keep an eye on your posts! I’ll have to have you over to be 1 of my critics so you can comment! Stay in touch!

  2. The subject is fully clear but why does the text lack clarity? But in general your blog is great.

    • @Gualetar, I’m sorry the post isn’t clear for you. I’ll definitely make sure future posts are more explicit and in the meantime, feel free to let me know if there’s something about this recipe you want more clarity on!

  3. Sounds delicious! I make a great chicken salad with dried cherries.

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