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The Food of Love
I have pretty much given up reading for the last year and a half. I love to read but, when you have four kids, there just isn’t time for it. I believed that if I set it in my head that I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t get upset about it and it worked for a long time. But, then I discovered that one of the local libraries has not only an excellent toddler program with book-reading, songs, crafts and kid-friendly computer games, but also a READ AGAIN DISCOUNT SHOP FULL OF BOOKS FOR NEXT TO NOTHING PRICES! I have piled books high on the counter and been shocked at the $3-$5 price on the till! I LOVE IT!
When my husband reads this, he will surely laugh as he has made the mistake of taking me to an old mom and pop book store only to find himself begging me to leave two hours later. There’s something about old books that appeal to me. I have a Kindle, but it just can’t replace the smell and feel of a good old hardback.
No big surprise, amongst my digging, I found an old book about food!!
Normally, I clean, do laundry, plan activities, help with homework, make lunches or cook during Andrew’s nap time which is my ONLY free time. However, for the last few days, I haven’t been able to resist delving into the musty-smelling pages of this tattered book!
One of the dolci mentioned in this book is a very traditional dish, zabaglione. This is a simple dessert with only three ingredients; egg yolks, sugar and a sweet wine, usually Marsala or Moscato. The recipe results in a whipped custard that is perfectly sweetened and well complemented by biscotti or fruit. Mike’s grandmother was Italian and her handwritten recipes are treasured by all of her descendants, so authentic Italian recipes are always appreciated around my house.
Aside from the laborious whisking, this is one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made. Combine 3 eggs yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp dry Marsala wine. I started with my KitchenAid mixer, whisking the ingredients together until smooth and frothy.
Making Traditional Italian Zabaglione
Then onto a double boiler, barely simmering and whisk, whisk, whisk and then whisk some more. The recipe called for whisking with a hand mixer for 8 minutes. I do not own a hand mixer. I tried to dodge the drudgery with my KitchenAid emulsifier but, it didn’t work; I was left with no choice but, to use some good, old fashioned elbow grease.
You don’t want the eggs to curdle, so you can not allow your mix to get hot. The double boiler is essential, unless you are in Italy, whereas you would use a rounded copper pot. If the custard gets warm, you should remove it from the heat, temporarily. Continue to whisk until tripled in volume and thickened significantly.
I thought it would never happen but, the fluid froth finally transformed into a thick and delicious, yet simple custard.
Here you are. A beautiful Italian dolce, served with an almond chocolate biscotti.