In the afternoon, I suddenly got the irrepresible urge to make something sweet.
269. Zabaione (One & Two)
Mum and her friend Lena happened to be having coffee in the kitchen, but seeing as I didn't have the energy to explain what zabaione was (I was unsure myself), and that it's "not comfortable to make for any number larger than two", I decided against offering them any. And having never made or eaten it before, I didn't know if it would be nice enough to offer to company. So, I just made it at the stove, as discreetly as I could, and once it was done, shared it with my brother in the lounge room.
I don't know how discreet I was, however, as making zabaione necessitates your standing at the stove for 20 minutes whirring away with an electric mixer. You have to whisk egg yolks and sugar in a double boiler, and then slowly add marsala and continue beating until it is "a soft, foaming, bulkily billowing mass". I did switch to a whisk towards the end though.
zabaione in glasses
So as I said, I took the 2 glasses into the lounge room, along with a packet of langue de chat biscuits, for my brother and I to eat. In my experience, I've realised that for some infathomable reason, not everybody appreciates the beauty of a good langue de chat. However, I knew that they would be well received in my house.
Me: Dan, try this, it's sweet.
Daniel: Ok, what is it?
Me: Zabaione. It's an Italian dessert, apparently. You have to eat it with the biscuits.
Daniel: Er, ok.
...after eating some...
Daniel: So this is some sort of ice-cream, custardy, mousse-type thing?
Me: Er, ok.
I didn't mind it, but it was a bit too sweet for my taste. I loved the texture, though, which contrasted fabulously with the crunchy langue de chat. Nigella's description of zabaione as a "soft, foaming, bulkily billowing mass" was very accurate. Given Daniel's unsure, seemingly lukewarm reception, I thought he didn't like it. But how wrong I was! Apparently, as soon as he finished his portion, he ran into the kitchen, clutching the empty glass, and exclaimed to my mother, in front of Lena, "Mum! Did you try this dessert thing Sarah made? It's fantastic!! Have you tried it?!"
There went all my hopes of being discreet. Whoops. Sorry Mum! I guess I should have made more.