January 21, 2009

3 Part Birthday Feast - Part 3

And now for the long awaited dessert.

Zabaglione cake with berries

I made individual Zabaglione cakes from a recipe in Gourmet Traveler. I adjusted the amount of ingredients and made a couple of changes. I also cheated. I didn't have alot of time, so instead of making the sponge myself, I decided to buy a Madeira cake and use that as the sponge. For the original recipe, please go here.

But here is the way I made the dessert.


Makes 6 1 cup capacity cakes

1 plain madeira cake

To serve

1 punnet each of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
For dusting, pure icing sugar
extra raspberries and white sugar


4 egg yolks
50 gm white sugar
100 ml dry Marsala, plus extra for brushing
1 gelatin sheets (titanium strength), softened in cold water
150 ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks, refrigerated


1. First assemble 1 cup capacity ramekins and line with plastic wrap. Make sure to get the plastic wrap right into the corners, and to leave enough so that you can fold it over the top and cover the cake. Cut Madeira cut into 1 cm thick slices (my opinion is the thinner the better).

Sliced Madeira cake

2. Cut round pieces of cake to be placed into the bottom of the ramekin. I don't have any cookie cutters yet, so these would be ideal to cut the perfect circle every time. I had to resort to using a knife, not as pretty, but did the job.

Cutting round pieces of cake for base

3. Cut cake slices vertically into 1-2cm-wide rectangles and arrange around sides of bowl, leaving a gap between each. Halve remaining sponge rectangles diagonally to form triangles and fit into gaps with pointed ends towards the base. This is tricky, because my ramekins weren't perfectly round, but with a little extra trimming it all came along nicely. Brush prepared sponge lining with Marsala and set aside.

Arranging pieces into ramekins


4. For zabaglione (straight from the original recipe), place egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk until thick and creamy (5-10 minutes). Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, then add the Marsala and whisk until mixture is very thick and holds a ribbon (10-15 minutes). Squeeze excess water from gelatin and whisk into egg mixture until dissolved. Remove from heat and place over ice, whisking occasionally until chilled (10-20 minutes), then gently fold through cream and spoon into cake-lined ramekins. Trim edges of sponge flush with zabaglione. Make another round piece of cake to fit into the top of the ramekin. Brush with Marsala, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (6 hours-overnight).

Filling cake moulds with Zabaglione goodness


Romeo (right hand bottom corner) making sure that ramekins are filled to his standard


5. For Raspberry sauce, take half a punnet of rasberries and place in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook of medium heat until sauce become thick and raspberries are completely broken up. Cool slightly then strain to remove any seeds (optional)

6. Serve cake topped with berries, dusted with icing sugar and a drizzle of raspberry sauce.

Cake ready to go into the fridge with the larger version in the background

I really enjoyed this dessert. I really enjoyed making it, even though it was really fiddly and time consuming, I especially enjoyed eating it. The soft sweet smooth cream in the middle was well offset by the tangy berries and sauce. I really want to make this again soon. I reminds me of the whole essence of summer.

The finished product

By the way, the birthday girl really enjoyed her birthday feast.


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Great step by step pics and I love the bonus cat paw. How cute is Romeo? It's like he's saying "I want my piece too!"

Miss Honey said...

I have watching this blow by blow account of your dinner with glee - being cooked for is so lovely anyway, but a feast like this on your birthday --> AWESOME!

Agnes said...

Yum, that looks great! How long did it take you to put it together?

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi guys thanks for the comments!

Hi Lorraine - Romeo's the cutest, he always has to see whats happening, and ALWAYs has to have a taste test. Hes my kinda cat!

Hi Miss Honey - Thanks for keeping an eye on the posts. Miss
V really enjoyed the dinner, and shes special enough to go to all that effort!

Hi Agnes - It too me about 2-3 hours to do the dessert,
not including fridge time. It took me so long because 1. I have never done it before and 2. I thought making MANY mini cakes would be awesome. They turned out well so well worth all the time invested.

Way Existential said...

This looks to die for! I've just added your blog to my favourites - much excited about reading your culinary adventures :)

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Thanks Way Existential! Hopefully I wont disappoint and I'll keep you interested in all the eating that I do. The next couple of weeks should be really fun!