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Chocolate, Stawberries, and Sparkling Wine and the Whole Day is Better

May 17, 2007

Chocolate Zabaglione and Strawberries

Last Friday, I had a crappy, crappy day. One of those “I woke up this grouchy” days. Despite gorgeous spring weather (we’re actually getting spring this year in Boston!) and working only a half day and the fact that it was Friday, I just felt like booty all day. And Crystal, who didn’t start out the day pissed, sure ended it that way when she was stuck in traffic for an hour and a half on the way home from work. What did we need to rectify this crapaliciousness? Sparkling wine and dessert.

Crystal picked up a lovely Cava on the way home, and I pondered and pondered what to make. Something light, because it was hot out. Something that would work with fizzy wine. Something that wouldn’t make us feel like heifers after a week of too much beer. What to do, what to do? Well, once again, it was Giada to the rescue.

I don’t usually even look at the dessert sections of cookbooks. I know, I know, I’m one of those crazy people who’d rather eat some mashed potatoes. But Giada’s desserts seduced me! Loaded down with fruit, and offering interesting variations of Italian classics, man…I wanted to make all of them. And her Chocolate Zabaglione seemed perfect for a hot, irritable Friday evening. And it was. It might, at first glance, seem a little complicated and time-consuming, but nothing could be easier. The hardest part was cutting the recipe into thirds, because we just really didn’t need that much chocolate in our house. We had leftovers as it is.

I can’t even begin to tell you how delectable this was. It was like eating chocolate air. It was like rich, caramel-y, chocolately, fluffy perfection. It was freaking impressive. You could do a million things with this stuff, but that night, it served to remind me that strawberries and chocolate are really an ideal combination. Man, we couldn’t stop talking about this stuff all night. And to think: I only picked this particular dessert because I didn’t need to buy too much extra stuff.

Giada’s Chocolate Zabaglione

This makes six servings. I did manage to cut the recipe in thirds, but I have no idea how I did it, so here I’m sharing the original measurements. Sorry.

  • 1/4 c. whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. dry Marsala
  • 8 egg yolks
  • a pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, bring the cream just to a simmer. Remove it from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Once the chocolate is melted and incorporated with the cream, set it aside.

Create a double boiler with a saucepan, some water, and a metal or glass bowl. In the bowl, whisk together the sugar, Marsala, yolks, and a bit of salt. Set it over the simmering water and whisk and whisk and whisk until it turns thick and creamy. The internal temperature is supposed to be 160F or something like that, but I don’t have a temperature. I just whisked and waited for the texture to change, and whisked, and whisked, and finally it kind of miraculously thickened up and became creamy.

Then just fold the chocolate into the creamy egg mixture, and you’re done. It can be served warm or cold, but the warm stuff over cold strawberries was pretty spectacular. And I can guarantee it will turn around a whole crappy day and make you feel better. Which is kind of the point of dessert, right? At least, it’s the point of chocolate.

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