Zabaglione Cake

Zabaglione Cake


Serves 8-10.

For the Zabaglione Filling:

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 3 oz (75 grams) golden caster sugar

  • 1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) plain flour, sifted

  • 9 fl oz (250 ml) Marsala

  • 12 fl oz (340 ml) double cream

For the Cake:

  • 4 oz (110 grams) self-raising flour

  • 1/2 level teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 4 oz (110 grams) very soft butter

  • 4 oz (110 grams) golden caster sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • A little sifted icing sugar, to dust


Prepare the Zabaglione Filling:

  1. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg yolks for 1 minute in a medium bowl, then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and pale yellow (about 3 minutes).

  2. Whisk in the flour a tablespoon at a time, mixing in very thoroughly, then gradually whisk in the Marsala.

  3. Tip the mixture into a medium heavy-based saucepan and place over a medium heat.

  4. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it has thickened and is just about to boil; this will take about 5 minutes (if it looks a bit lumpy, tip it into a clean bowl, then whisk until smooth again).

  5. Let the custard cool, whisking it from time to time to stop a skin forming.

  6. When it is cold, cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

  7. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F (170°C) Gas Mark 3.

Prepare the Cake:

  1. Take a large mixing bowl, place the flour and baking powder in a sieve and sift into the bowl, holding the sieve high to give them a good airing as they go down.

  2. Add the other cake ingredients to the bowl and, provided the butter is really soft, just go in with the electric hand whisk and whisk everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined mixture, which will take about 1 minute (if it seems a bit stiff, add a little water and mix again).

  3. Prepare a 1 and 1/2 in (4 cm) deep sponge tin, 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, lightly greased and the base lined with silicone paper or baking parchment.

  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin, level it out with the back of a spoon and place the tin on the center shelf of the oven. The cake will take 30-35 minutes to cook. To test whether it is cooked or not, touch the center lightly with a finger: if it leaves no impression and the sponge springs back, it is ready.

  5. Remove from the oven, then wait about 5 minutes before turning it out on to a wire cooling rack.

  6. Carefully peel off the base paper then pull it gently away without trying to lift it off.

  7. Leave the sponge to cool completely.

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Whip the double cream in a large bowl until stiff, then add the zabaglione custard to the bowl and whisk again until thoroughly mixed.

  2. Place the cake flat on a board, then, holding a serrated palette knife horizontally, carefully slice it into 2 thin halves.

  3. Next, reserve 2-3 heaped tablespoons of the zabaglione filling to decorate the sides of the cake and spread the rest of the filling over the bottom half, easing it gently to the edges.

  4. Place the other cake half on top and press down very gently.

  5. Before you spread the mixture on the sides of the cake, it’s a good idea to brush away any loose crumbs, so they don’t get mixed up in it.

  6. Now, using a small palette knife, spread the reserved filling evenly all around the sides of the cake.

  7. Finally, dust the top with the icing sugar before serving.

Note: If the cake is made ahead of time, store it, covered, in the fridge (to keep it firm), but remove it half an hour before serving.

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