Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Zabaione al Caffè

Have you always taken your coffee exactly the same way, or do you find that your style of caffeine intake alters along with your lifestyle changes?

                                                                          image source

As a uni student, I was a double-shot latte kind of girl - I needed that double kick to get me through those all-night essay writing sessions (or should I say to keep me awake during morning lectures after more festive nocturnal pursuits, more to the point). When I lived in Italy, I became a swig-in-back espresso kind of girl - you know, when in Rome and all that. Now that I'm breastfeeding and making half-hearted attempts to cut back on my lactose intake as well, my coffee of choice is a decaffeinated, soy flat white (a permutation which my Sicilian partner attests, frequently and dramatically, is tremendously offensive to the beverage).

But what kind of coffee do you drink when you go to the fridge and discover that there is absolutely no milk of any description to be found and the thought of drinking it black just makes you cringe? The answer is coffee with egg.


Yes, egg. In Italian,'Coffee with Egg' is known as zabaione al caffè (also know as zabaglione al caffè). Classic zabaione is a custard-like dessert, made from egg yolks, sugar and Marsala wine, although it is often made with other sweet liquors too. Zabaione al caffè simply substitutes the liquor with coffee.

The simplest way to prepare it is like this:

1. Get yourself an egg.

(there are easier ways of doing this. I earned myself a nasty little peck just after I snapped this photo. My chickens aren't the most cooperative of creatures).

2. Prepare some black coffee and pour it into espresso cups.

3. Using one egg yolk for every two cups of zabaione al caffè that you will be making, put the egg yolk/s into a bowl or a shaker of some description and add approximately one teaspoon of sugar for each cup of coffee.

4. Beat or shake the egg and sugar together.

5. Pour the frothy mixture over the coffee.

6. Sprinkle some cinnamon or grated chocolate over the top if you feel like it.

When Giuseppe makes this, he lets the coffee cool down a little before pouring the beaten egg mixture over the top. I'm not sure how important this is, but he says it's "so you don't cook the egg".

He got a bit carried away when I was photographing these finished products this morning ... you don't have to stick a floral arrangement on top of yours if you don't want to!

Coffee and egg might sound like an unusual combination, but it tastes fantastic and gives you a real boost of energy. It only takes five minutes to whip up and it's ideal if you are lactose intolerant or trying to cut down on dairy products. And if you are a latte lover and you go to the fridge one morning and discover that someone has drunk all the milk and not bothered to replace it, you now have a handy little trick up your sleeve ...

Do you know any other unusual ways of drinking coffee? I'd love to hear them.

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