The first time I tasted Zabaglione con le Pansarole – a traditional, doughy dessert served with a sweet marsala-wine-infused custard – was at Delio’s in the village of Apricale where the dish originated. I was so smitten with it that I had to have the recipe, which I got from Delio himself, the restaurant’s flamboyant owner. Since sharing it in the début issue of JAN the Journal, I’ve deviated from tradition somewhat and made Zabaglione to go with various other baked desserts – most often one involving cinnamon. What can I say, I’m South African! Of all my attempts at reinventing this Italian classic, these rice-based, coconutty treats were my absolute favourite – hands down.


TIME: 3 hours | MAKES: about 55


for the doughnuts

125 ml SPEKKO Royal Umbrella Jasmine Long Grain White Rice

250 ml water

1 x 10 g packet instant yeast

35 g (40 ml) caster sugar

190 ml water

1 egg

5 ml salt

125 ml coconut cream

450 g (800 ml) cake flour

15 ml ground cinnamon

50 g (150 ml) desiccated coconut

30 ml melted butter

750 ml canola oil, for frying


for the cinnamon sugar
200 g (250 ml) sugar

10 ml ground cinnamon


for the zabaglione

5 egg yolks

1 whole egg

100 g (120 ml) caster sugar

100 ml marsala or good quality brandy

30 ml coconut flakes


for the doughnuts

Place the rice and the 250 ml water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally.

Reduce the heat and cover with a lid and cook over very low heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Let it cool.

Mix the yeast, caster sugar and 190 ml water. Let it stand for 10 minutes.

Mix the egg, salt and coconut cream.

Mix the flour, cinnamon and coconut in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hook.

Add the yeast mixture, coconut mixture, cooked rice and melted butter. Mix till dough forms and let it knead for 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl and let the dough double. This could take up to 1½ hours, depending on how warm it is. Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle – 24 mm.

Heat the canola oil in a saucepan. Carefully pipe dough into preheated oil, into about 3 cm pieces, cut end with clean scissors.

Move the doughnuts around in the oil with a slotted spoon, so that the doughnuts fry golden all around. The doughnuts should fry for about 4 minutes.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and immediately place the fried doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar and cover. Place on kitchen towel.

for the zabaglione

Place the egg yolks, egg and caster sugar in a glass bowl. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water.

Beat with a electric beater till light and thick. This should take about 10 minutes. Once the mixture is thick and creamy add the marsala / brandy in the thin stream, while still beating.

Take the zabaglione off the heat and add the flaked coconut.

Serve with the doughnuts.

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