Floating Island Cake with Zabaione: A Classic Dessert with an Argentine Twist

Revel in the exquisite taste of the Floating Island Cake, a beloved dessert that combines the lightness of meringue with the rich, velvety texture of Zabaione, known as Sambayon in Argentina. This recipe, cherished and perfected by Patti, the adored mother-in-law, brings a delightful culinary tradition into your home. Discover how this cake, originally served floating in a pool of Sambayon, creates an impressive and elegant dessert that’s sure to dazzle.

Why You’ll Love This: This flourless cake is a marvel of textures and flavors, featuring a cloud-like meringue base drenched in a luxurious Zabaione sauce. The contrast between the airy meringue and the creamy, wine-infused custard makes each bite a heavenly experience. It’s a testament to the simplicity and elegance of traditional desserts, showcasing how few ingredients can create a masterpiece.

Perfect Occasion: The Floating Island Cake is perfect for special occasions, offering a sophisticated touch to dinner parties, celebrations, or any gathering where you want to impress your guests. Its unique presentation and sumptuous taste make it an unforgettable centerpiece for your dessert table.

Decoration Tips: Garnish the cake with a generous sprinkle of chopped walnuts for a delightful crunch that complements the smooth textures of the meringue and Zabaione. For an extra touch of elegance, decorate with fresh berries or a mint leaf, and serve the cake on a beautiful platter to enhance its visual appeal.

For the Caramel:

  • 150g of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water

For the Meringue (Island):

  • 8 egg whites
  • 160g of sugar

For the Zabaione:

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100g of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Port wine (or your preferred liquor)


  1. Caramel Preparation: In a small saucepan, gently heat the sugar and water over low heat until the sugar dissolves and turns amber. Do not stir to prevent crystallization. Coat the inside of a pudding mold with the caramel and set aside.
  2. Meringue: Preheat the oven to 190°C (374°F). Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, gradually add the sugar, and continue beating until glossy. Fill the caramel-lined mold with the meringue.
  3. Baking: Place the mold in a larger baking dish filled with boiling water to create a water bath. Bake at 190°C for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 140°C (284°F) and bake for an hour.
  4. Cooling: Allow the cake to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. To unmold, place the mold in a large dish with boiling water for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate. Patience is key as it may take time to release. Cover with chopped walnuts.


  1. Prepare a double boiler with simmering water. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and Port wine until warm to the touch. Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer until cooled. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To serve, drench the meringue island with the chilled Zabaione.

Enjoy this sophisticated Floating Island Cake with Zabaione, a dessert that promises to bring a taste of Argentine elegance and tradition to your table.

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