Coffee Zabaglione

Zabaglione is a type of Italian custard made by whisking egg yolks and fortified wine over a pan of hot water until thick and creamy. Marsala wine is the traditional choice but other aperitifs can be used. The Zabaglione can be eaten warm or chilled, both ways are delicious. Use the butter curl biscuits to dip into the custard.


Serves 4

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Cook's NoteIt is important that the cooked biscuit mixture is allowed to cool a little to enable it to be handled and curled but be aware that once the biscuit is removed from the tray it will set quite quickly. If you don’t have time to make the butter biscuit curls, readymade Italian biscotti also work well.
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For the butter biscuit curls:

  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 100g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 40g (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 50g (½ stick) melted butter

For the zabaglione:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 ml coffee liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • Chocolate powder or cinnamon to dust


Oven: 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.

To make the butter biscuit curls:

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the sugar followed by the flour and finally the melted butter.

Place four separate tablespoons of mixture onto the baking sheet spaced well apart and spread each tablespoon of mixture out very thinly into a circle shape using the back of the spoon.

Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes until light golden brown. The edges will brown a little more than the centre of the biscuit.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute before shaping each biscuit around a wooden spoon or utensil handle to make a curl. (See cook’s notes) Take care as the biscuit will still be quite hot.

Repeat stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 with the remaining mixture. Place the cooled biscuits into an airtight container until required.

To make the zabaglione:

Place the egg yolks, coffee liqueur and liquid coffee into medium to large size bowl and whisk together.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water and the water is not allowed to boil. Whisk the contents for approximately 5 minutes until the mixture becomes very thick and creamy, increasing in volume and holding its shape when trailed.

When the mixture is ready remove from the heat and spoon the mixture into the espresso mugs. Finish with a dusting of chocolate or cinnamon powder and serve with the butter biscuit curls. Alternatively the cups can be chilled and dusted before serving.