how to make: oysters and champagne sabayon

2013-03-16 19.06.41

Just how amazing are eggs? I mean seriously amazing?

Aside from basic poaching, frying and the comfort of boiled eggs and toast soldiers, omelettes and frittatas, coddling and baking, there’s the really magic part.

Take Annabel Langbein’s Strawberry Cloud Cake for instance? Who would think that 2 egg whites, some sugar and a punnet of strawberries could transform into something so light and completely delectable as it does? It’s a little like a frozen mousse, but miraculously lighter. I’ve made this a lot and am still astounded.

Those same egg whites become something different when baked as meringues with crispy outsides and sticky, squelchy insides. I fold some sifted cocoa and finely chopped chocolate into mine- it’s a variation on Nigella Lawson’s chocolate pavlova.

Then there’s the sabayon.

With the sabayon it’s the egg yolk that provides the alchemy.

The other night egg yolk, clarified butter and champagne combined to form a light, creamy topping for succulent oysters.

Now, I’m an oysters natural girl, but this fluffy topping allows the ocean to shine through. And, let’s face it- champagne and oysters is a match made in heaven.

Anyways, here’s the recipe. It should be enough for 18 rock oysters or 12 pacific oysters.

What you need

  • Oysters 12-18, depending on what you’re using. Freshly shucked, of course.
  • 200ml champagne
  • pinch caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 75g clarified butter- warmed
  • salt & a little cayenne pepper

What you do with it

  • Preheat the grill to high
  • Pop the champagne and sugar into a small pan, bring to the boil and reduce until there’s about 4 tablespoons left. Make sure you pour a glass for yourself.
  • Pour into a heat-proof bowl and leave to cool.
  • Meanwhile, bring a small pan of water to a point that is barely simmering.
  • Add the egg yolks, place the bowl over the simmering water and get whisking.
  • This is the magic bit. The mixture will become light, thick and frothy.
  • When you trail the whisk over the surface and get ribbons, it’s done.
  • Remove from the heat and slowly whisk through the clarified butter.
  • Season with salt to taste.
  • Spoon the sabayon into the oyster and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.
  • Place under the grill for about 30 seconds, or lightly browned on top.
  • Serve immediately…with champagne.
  • Use the egg whites to make meringue 🙂

This recipe comes from Rick Steins’s French Odyssey. All credit and rights to him…

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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