When vacationing at the Benin Sheraton in Cotonou, Benin, I chanced on this unique creation in the Sika Sika restaurant. Not only did it pique my curiosity, but its intriguing use of a local product made it a classic example of what happens when European culinary techniques come into contact with African ingredients. Sodabi is Benin’s version of white lightning. It adds its own distinctive taste to the classic sabayon. Because sodabi is not readily available, I have substituted white rum. Brazil’s cachaa or Jamaica’s Wray and Nephew 101-proof rum would also be good substitutes.


6 eggs, separated

cup sugar

cup white rum

cup heavy cream, whipped

1 tablespoon vanilla


Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they are a creamy mixture. Add the rum and cook the mixture in the top of a double boiler until it has thickened. Cool in a bowl for 10 - 15 minutes. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Add the whipped cream and vanilla to the yolk mixture, then fold in the beaten egg whites. Spoon the Sabayon into fancy wine glasses and chill for 3 hours or more. Serve cold.


Serves 4.


country : Benin

course : dessert


source : Iron Pots & Wooden Spoons : Africa’s Gifts to New World Cooking / Jessica B. Harris