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.
801,311 53.7/5 for 162 ratings
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Last modified on: November 12th 2017

For 230 g, you will need:

Change those ingredients for: 115 g 230 g 345 g

How long does it take?

Time required for this recipe:
PreparationCookingStart to finish
8 min.10 min.18 min.
Keeping: 1 or 2 minutes, no longer.
At what time?
  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
    When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub) : Photo of step #1
Put in a container that can go over a bain-marie, 4 egg yolks and 60 g caster sugar.

Without delay, beat until mixture whitens.

Stage 2
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub) : Photo of step #2
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) : Photo of step #3
Add 12 tablespoons sweet white wine to mixture (or sweet wine, fruit juice, coffee, etc.) and 2 pinches 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) : Photo of step #4
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) : Photo of step #5
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) : Photo of step #6
After few minutes, the mixture will begin to foam and thicken.

Stage 7
How to succeed in making sabayon (syllabub) : Photo of step #7
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.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
621 Kcal or 2,600 Kj13 gr85 gr25 gr
31 %5 %8 %4 %
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).

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Some recipes that use this recipe

Fresh fruit in sabayon
Fresh fruit in sabayon

Fresh grapefruit and / or pears, covered with a sabayon and a pinch of citrus crunch.
252,0244.7/5 for 20 ratings 55 min.
Soft fruits in sabayon
Soft fruits in sabayon

This recipe is made by briefly cooking an assortment of soft fruits (raspberries, blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries, currants...) with a little sugar to glaze them. They are served in a small dish, covered with a delicious sabayon which can be lightly "burned" on surface.
227,2493.9/5 for 18 ratings 46 min.
See all recipes that use it


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.

More recipes?

This recipe uses (among others)
Caster sugarCaster sugar: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Meringues, Chestnut cake, Chocolate and vanilla crème brûlée, Lemon tart, Oaty walnut cake , ... All
Egg yolkEgg yolk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Deep leek and potato quiche, Salmon chard rolls, Leek and fresh tuna tart, Hollandaise sauce, Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream), ... All
FlourFlour: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Corsican tarts, Crackers, Chestnut Fudge Cupcakes, Nanou's chocolate cake, Ciabatta, ... All

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