When I developed this aromatic sabayon recipe, the restaurant I was working in did not yet have its gas lines turned on, so the stove was inoperative. Left to my own devices, I turned to the microwave–and it worked beautifully. I often make this easy sabayon to pair with different fruit desserts, including this one when fresh oranges are in season.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
2 teaspoons corn syrup
½ cup (4 ounces/113 grams) heavy whipping cream
8 small oranges, preferably a variety
½ cup (2 1/8 ounces/50 grams) slivered almonds, toasted and salted
2 mint leaves, torn, optional
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside. Put the yolks, sugar, sake, orange blossom water, and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl and whisk until well combined. Microwave on the high setting, uncovered, for 10 seconds. Remove from the microwave, whisk well, and microwave for another 10 seconds. Repeat this procedure until the mixture is as thick as custard and almost like soft scrambled eggs in consistency, about 80 seconds total. The time will vary depending on the strength of your microwave, so start watching the consistency closely after 1 minute.
2. Continue whisking as you remove the bowl from the microwave and set it on top of the ice water bath. Whisk constantly until the mixture is cool to the touch.
3. Put the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk until soft peaks form. (When you lift the whisk from the mixture, a peak will form and then fall back down.) Gently fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture until well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Trim off the ends of each orange. Stand an orange on one end and use a sharp knife to peel off the skin from top to bottom in strips, leaving no white pith. Repeat with the remaining oranges. Cut the oranges into ¼-inch-thick slices crosswise, and set aside.
5. Arrange the orange slices decoratively on individual dessert plates. Top with the sabayon and garnish with the toasted almonds and mint, if desired. Serve immediately.
CHEF’S TIP: Use an assortment of oranges, like Valencia, navel, blood, or Cara Cara, for the most interesting flavor and a striking presentation.