Recipe: Chocolate Zabaglione Trifle

And now for something completely sweet…

This is a gorgeous dessert that combines foamy, light zabaglione with dark chocolate and espresso, creating a sublime melt-in-the-mouth combination of flavors.

What’s really good here is that you can eat it at the initial hot zabaglione stage if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to do any more whisking beyond the whisked egg, Marsala wine and sugar stage. *Serve it right away in wine or martini glasses with some delicate sponge fingers on the side for dipping – perfect if you want to impress your guests as they can crowd around and watch you perform a minor miracle on the stove.

Or take it to another level by cooling it, folding in whipped cream then layering it with grated/finely chopped good quality dark chocolate**. This is the most heavenly combo and takes just a few extra minutes. It can be eaten immediately if you just can’t wait, or chilled for 30 minutes and up to a few hours ( in which case, covered).

However, if you want to go the whole hog, layer the zabaglione mousse with the chopped chocolate and chunks of espresso-soaked chocolate cake to create a wonderful trifle. And I happen to know this version freezes well as I’ve made it for 150 people.

I think its pretty served in individual glasses. I also believe its best made with a balloon hand whisk rather than an electric thingy that lacks the touchy-feely quality.

BLOG Chocolate zabaglione trifle, oct 2011 014CHOCOLATE ZABAGLIONE TRIFLE

(Serves 8 as a mousse or 10, if you make it with the chocolate sponge cake)


8 large egg yolks

6 tablespoons of fine white/caster sugar

1 cup of Marsala wine

¾ cup of whipping cream, whipped to the soft peak stage

2 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin crystals

2 tablespoons of cold water

6 oz / 170g of best quality dark chocolate, shaved, grated or finely chopped

1 ½ cups of espresso or strong black coffee

One really good quality 11 x 16 inch / 28 x 40cm chocolate sponge cake


Put the gelatin crystals in a cup with the cold water and set aside for 5 mins or so, until spongy. Place the cup into a bowl of very hot water and leave to dissolve.

In a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water (I use a Pyrex saucepan as I can monitor it), whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala until completely pale, foamy and it leaves a ribbon trail.

(*You can serve it immediately in individual glasses with sponge fingers) – or…

Remove it from the heat and whisk in the dissolved gelatin. Continue to whisk until cool, then with a metal spoon carefully fold in the whipped cream.

**Here’s where you can layer it with the chopped chocolate in pretty glasses and either eat right away or chill it 30 mins up to a few hours, covered…otherwise…

In a 2.5 qt / 3 liter trifle bowl (or 8-10 individual glass dishes), start with a layer of zabaglione mousse on the base, then slice the chocolate cake into thin layers and tear into pieces. Scatter half of the cake evenly over the base and sprinkle liberally with half of the coffee. Distribute 1/3 of the chopped chocolate over the cake.

Repeat with another layer of zabaglione mousse and the remaining cake/coffee and half of the remaining chocolate.

Top with the final layer of zabaglione mousse and the remaining chocolate.

Chill covered for at least 6 hrs – up to 2 days, or cover with a double layer of heavy duty foil and freeze.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
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