Vegan Zabaglione

The traditional classic light and foamy dessert sauce called zabaglione (or sometimes the French name sabayon) is made by whisking egg yolks, wine and sugar together over gentle heat. It is usually served barely warm in cups or glasses (as is the Roman tradition) or poured over a dessert.

My vegan version replaces the egg yolks with a combination of blended cashew nuts, soft silken tofu and tapioca starch. This preparation comes very close to the original texture and taste.

The choice of wine used in the preparation is open to accommodate variations; use champagne, other sweet wines (Sauternes or Hungarian Tokay), fortified wines (port, Banyuls, sweet sherry) or even spirits (brandy, kirsch, rum). Zabaglione can be flavored with vanilla, citrus or saffron. The key is to use gentle heat and add just a touch of baking soda before serving to encourage bubbles to form.

Difficulty: simple
Yield: makes about 250 ml (1 cup)

  • 30 grams (about 1-ounce) cashew nuts
  • 80 ml. (1/3-cup) marsala wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons soft silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • juice and peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 50 grams (1/4-cup) granulated sugar
  • 120 ml. (1/2-cup) water, soy milk or soy yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Soak the cashew nuts for a minimum of 30 minutes. Drain and add the nuts to a blender – ideally a high-speed blender.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except the baking soda. Blend slowly, then gradually increase the speed to high. Blend for 30 seconds at high speed.
  • Add the mixture to a saucepan and gently heat, stirring the mixture constantly, until it thickens – about 7-9 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
  • Just before serving, heat the sauce until warm then whisk in the baking soda. Whisk aggressively to aid in the formation of bubbles. Serve right away.

Jack’s Fresh Tip

Replace the tapioca starch with an equal amount of corn starch as an alternative. Corn starch doesn’t hold up over time when combined with an acidic solution, so it may loosen and separate with prolonged refrigeration. Heat gently and whisk in a small amount of corn starch to bring it back to your desired thickness.

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