Lascivious Zabaglione Torte with Rude Raspberries

In my teens my mother always made me zabaglione when it was my birthday. Zabaglione has to be eaten, like a soufflé, immediately – it’s instant gratification.

But last month, on my birthday, I wanted to share my cake with all my colleagues… it had to be something that could hang about in the office and be scoffed as a rewarding treat on finishing difficult phone calls……exiting, with relief, overlong meetings……completing complex, focus-requiring, projects.

So this is a sort of zabaglione-as-cake recipe.

Why lascivious? Well, there’s something blousy, something out-of-control, something damn flirtatious about this soft, usually gently leaning, torte.

And I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you why the hollow raspberry, with its hundred or so flavour-filled, red and ready to burst, druplets, is so deliciously rude.

I think this might serve about 16. Do not attempt to increase quantities, any bigger and the cake would be impossible to assemble.


Recipe for lascivious zabaglione torte with rude raspberries

for about 16

for the cake:

  • couple of knobs of butter
  • 105g/¾ cup plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g/½ cup sugar


for the zabaglione filling:

  • 3 yolks
  • 100g/½ cup sugar
  • 70g/½ cup flour
  • 240 ml/1 cup marsala
  • 360 ml/1½ cups double cream


for the pink fruit filling:

  • 400g rhubarb compote (or you could stew fresh rhubarb in the normal way)
  • 150g (approx) raspberries
  • Freeze-dried raspberries for cake decoration (or real)


  1. preheat the oven to 180ºC
  2. grease a cake tin with a removable bottom
  3. whisk the eggs and sugar together until they become thicker
  4. sieve in the flour and fold in with a metal spoon and a light hand
  5. mix in the butter quickly
  6. pour into the cake tin and bake for about a quarter of an hour (it should be golden)
  7. cool for a few minutes and then turn out onto a rack
  8. meanwhile make the zabaglione filling, whisk the yolks and the sugar together in a saucepan (big enough to allow you to fold in the whipped cream later) until they go a paler colour
  9. sieve in the flour, stirring all the time
  10. stir in the marsala
  11. heat gently for about five minutes – don’t let it simmer
  12. leave to cool and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours
  13. depending on the height of your cake, use a bread knife to cut it into either two or three layers
  14. whip the cream and fold it into the marsala mixture
  15. spread the rhubarb compote over the top of all the cake layers, with a thick spread on the top layer
  16. spread the marsala filling over the cake layers
  17. decorate the top of the cake with the raspberries before assembling – if there are any over add them to the middle layers.
  18. Sprinkle over some freeze-dried raspberries to give a bit of extra crunch and tang


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