Chocolate and Orange Sabayon

December 4, 2009

Ok this post took a long while to get here! It’s been nearly 2 months since our Daring Cooks Pho challenge and as a small side project, we got creative with wonton wrappers. I made a Chocolate Sabayon with wonton batons and I promised the recipe but forgot about it. Thanks to a lovely email I received for reminding me!

A sabayon is the French version of the Italian dessert Zabaglione. It’s simply egg yolks, sugar and sweet white wine that has been whipped over heat to make a gorgeous light, airy custard. This is my favourite version, which omits the wine and is laced instead with chocolate and orange. It should be served warm otherwise it’ll start to go weird and sometimes split when it’s cold. Obviously it’s wonderful on its own with nothing but a spoon as your tool but in this case, it makes for a killer chocolate pool to dip all sorts of edible objects – churros, rolled up filo ‘cigars’ or in this case, wonton batons. If only I had some for my recently tried-and-failed cannoli!

Served with deep fried wonton wrapper batons

Sabayons are simple to make but it’s a bitch on your arms after 8-10 minutes of constant whisking over a double boiler! I usually try and rope in an extra set of limbs for the old tag-team routine and it helps (even if they’re like the chicken arms of The Captain). But if your arm has the stamina to see through the whole whisking period then all power to you (can you come whisk my sabayon next time?). Alternatively you can be crazy like me and use an electric whisk over the double boiler. It’ll save your strength and it’ll mean that you can enjoy the sabayon faster. Just be careful with wires near open flames… trust me!

Chocolate and Orange Sabayon


150g caster sugar
150ml water
4 egg yolks
150g good quality dark chocolate, melted
finely grated zest of 1 orange


Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat immediately and leave the sugar syrup to cool completely.

Fill a double boiler or saucepan (large enough to fit your round-bottomed bowl) halfway with water and heat gently to a very low simmer.

Whisk the egg yolks to break it up. While constantly whisking the yolks, slowly add the cooled sugar syrup in a steady stream and continue whisking until all combined.

Place the bowl over the double boiler/saucepan (make sure the water is at a low simmer and the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water), and continuously whisk over for 8-10 minutes until it’s a light ribbon consistency (an electric whisk will cut this time down and make life easier). On a candy thermometer, it is ready at 65°C.

Turn off the heat and continue whisking until the sabayon is a very thick ribbon consistency and it is shiny and fluffy.

Remove the bowl from the double boiler/saucepan, then gently fold in the melted chocolate and orange zest until incorporated.

Serve sabayon immediately in glasses (will serve 4 small glasses or 2 large).

Recipe adapted from Michel Roux