At times it can be difficult to procure what I always considered the correct ingredient for Zabaione - Marsala. However, I have discovered that I can use other fortified wines or spirits. Wikipedia suggests Cognac - which got me thinking about a good smooth whiskey - such as - Redbreast. I don't know enough about whiskey to make the right choice here - would a cheap brand do just as well?
Great question for the dessert enhancement front.
Zabaglione is generally thought as sweet, however it can also be made without sugar, using dry wine and egg yolks, thus becoming a fine sauce for fish, chicken or vegetables. It is used this way in French cuisine as well as Italian.
In Italy chefs and home cooks often measure the ingredients for zabaglione quite casually. Six egg yolks, for example, would be combined with six egg shells of sugar and 12 of wine or liqueur. Although Marsala is most often used for zabaglione, there is no reason why other wines or liqueurs can't be substituted, depending on the final flavor desired. Italian recipes usually call for dry Marsala. If a sweet wine or liqueur is used, the amount of sugar should be substantially decreased. Grand Marnier, Sauternes, Madeira, oloroso sherry, Southern Comfort, anisette, coffee- flavored liqueurs, Amaretto or La Grande Passion, the new passion- fruit liqueur, are just a few of the possibilities. - ZABAGLIONE, AN ITALIAN DESSERT
Personally, I would not use whiskey or cognac in this dessert. But this is a personal preference. I am impartial to either a blackberry wine or strawberry wine. When I say these particular wines, I mean real blackberry wine and not simply blackberry flavored wine. It makes a difference in my mind. All said and done whiskey can be used in zabaglione and in fact here is an Italian recipe for it. The following is in Italian:
Sbattete 4 tuorli con 60 g di zucchero, versate a filo 1/2 dl di whisky e cuocete a bagnomaria, montando con una frusta. Montate 1 dl di panna e unitela allo zabaione. Per un'alternativa sprint: Zabov (0,70 litri, 8,50 e). - Zabaione al whisky.
Angela Hartnett’s zabaglione recipe uses whiskey, brandy and a sweet wine.
How about an Irish Zabaglione recipe and once again it is in Italian: Zabaione Irlandese.
Bon Appetite and Pleasant Drinks Everyone.