How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)

How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)
A sabayon is a delicious and delicate preparation based on egg yolks and sugar, with a liquid added (wine, alcohol, fruit juice, etc), which is then whipped in a bain-marie until it is both light and smooth.

Usually sabayon is sweet (syllabub), but you can make it savoury, in which case there is only egg yolk, salt, and the chosen liquid, which could be stock, reduced wine, roasting juices, etc...

This recipe is for a sweet sabayon, using just two egg yolks. You will need to adapt quantities according to your needs, or your recipe.
924K 3.6/5 based on 204 reviews
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Last modified on: November 12th 2017

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For 115 g, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 115 g 230 g 345 g
How long will it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationCookingStart to finish
8 min.10 min.18 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)
Put in a container that can go over a bain-marie, 2 egg yolks and 30 g caster sugar.

Without delay, beat until mixture whitens.

Stage 2
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)
This whitening of the mixture happens because by beating, you incorporate thousands of tiny air bubbles into it.

Stage 3 - 3 min.
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)
Add 6 tablespoons sweet white wine to mixture (or sweet wine, fruit juice, coffee, etc.) and 1 pinch flour, mix thoroughly.

Please note, this pinch of flour is vital to the success of the sabayon. While over the bain-marie, this will facilitate the blending of the mixture: an essential knack to make your sabayon work every time (or almost), so you do not finish up with an omelette...

This is the first "secret" of success.

Stage 4 - 10 min.
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)
Put mixture in the bain-marie, and begin beating.

The bain-marie is the second "secret" of success, you need the temperature of the mixture to rise gradually.

You need to beat constantly until obtaining the shiny and smooth mixture desired.

Stage 5
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)
You can use an electric whisk, in which case do not beat too fast, but nothing is better than a simple hand whisk, you will keep operations under control.

Stage 6
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)
After few minutes, the mixture will begin to foam and thicken.

Stage 7
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub)
Stop when you like, it is necessary to arrive at a good compromise: quite shiny and very smooth... It's an absolute delight!
The two important points for making a good sabayon are: a pinch of flour (for easier blending) and a bain-marie (gradual rise in temperature).

Syllabub is often poured over a dessert, but you can also serve it plain in a small cup (warmed beforehand) instead of coffee or tea.

Syllabub is best served warm, on something which should be neither too hot ( not straight from the oven), nor too cold (not straight from the fridge).

This recipe is for a sweet syllabub but it can also be made savoury (see above). You will notice that in this case, because of the absence of sugar, the syllabub thickens much more quickly.
1 or 2 minutes, no longer.
Home made, but I am deeply grateful to Hervé This for his explanations of how syllabub works and the essential role played by the pinch of flour.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
310 Kcal or 1,298 Kj7 gr43 gr13 gr
16 %3 %4 %2 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
194 Kcal or 812 Kj4 gr27 gr8 gr
10 %2 %3 %1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Egg, Sulfites, Gluten
How much will it cost?
  • For 115 g : 0.86 €

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Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.

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Egg yolkEgg yolk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Chocolate-verbena cream, Real custard sauce (crème anglaise), Hazelnut and orange cake, Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream), Ramekins of duchess potatoes, ... All
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The 5 comments already posted on this recipe
  • No, it is not a whipped cream, at all, there is no cream in this recipe.
    Posted by jh december 1st 2015 at 12:04 n° 5
  • You do not use flour, it is a whipped cream ... Whipped by hand adding flour is a. Lazy and b. Gross in texture. you must whip eggs until 180°. And whip until room temperature using either an electric mixture or by hand.
    Posted by Anonymous november 30th 2015 at 05:25 n° 4
  • It's a good idea to use Sambuca, like all sweet liquor (like amaretto, ...) it will certainly make a very good result. If you try it, come back to tell us what you've got?
    Posted by jh may 16th 2011 at 07:15 n° 3
  • I thank you sharing for your secrets! Seattle restaurant, 13 Coins served this using Sambuca as the alcohol. Has anyone else a similar experience? I can't wait to experiment.. :)
    Posted by Biggie may 16th 2011 at 06:11 n° 2
  • Hi there, I have made this according to directions, and it worked like a charm! Thank you for rescuing me from zabajone disasters - merci beaucoup.
    Posted by Walter Apile march 25th 2009 at 16:53 n° 1
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