Ladyfingers (a.k.a. Savoiardi)

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Homemade ladyfingers–crispy on the outside, slightly cakey on the inside, fluffy as air, and sweet as sugar (probably because it’s loaded with sugar inside and out!).

Ladyfingers

Ladyfingers–light, fluffy pillows of sugary divinity!

No comparison exists, absolutely zero, between storebought ladyfingers and homemade. The storebought are substitutions for rocks coated in sugar. The hardness and dryness of mass produced ladyfingers sorely disappoint next to these homemade divinities.

And they really come together with a medium amount of effort. Crack some eggs, turn on your mixer, spoon in some sugar, then add some flour. Now you pipe the batter, bake, and done. See, not too much effort.

This batter can display some finicky behavior, though. My first couple trays behaved beautifully, maintaining shape and consistency for piping and baking up puffy and proud.  The longer the batter sat on the counter, the runnier it became, hence baking up flatter and wider. Perhaps a stint in the fridge for the batter would have helped? Or not doubling the recipe, which I discovered I really didn’t need to do anyway. Doubling got me over 100 cookies about 2 1/2 inches long each (no accurate count because numerous cookies made it down my gullet; I lost control!). I thought one batch would create only 30 cookies, and I knew I needed more than that for the limoncello tiramisu I wanted to make, so I doubled it. Well, not necessary. Good to know for next time.

The other problem I encountered was the bottom of the batter grew runnier than the top. That tells me I need to fold deeper next time. I really need to get that spatula hitting the bottom of the bowl to thoroughly mix it.

I used both my silpat mat and parchment paper when baking. The baked cookies stuck to both, releasing with a wee bit of difficulty. Thankfully my ultra-thin spatula helped with this issue. Don’t know how to fix this problem for next time, but ultimately it didn’t ruin the cookies.

Even if you don’t plan to make tiramisu (but you should because it’s heavenly), these cookies totally delight the palate simply on their own. Even my manly hubby enjoyed them. Or, you can use them in trifles and charlottes if you want other uses.

And now for some fun history behind these sponge cakes: They’ve been around since the 15th century, created to celebrate the visit of the King of France at the court of the Duchy of Savoy, an area in the northern part of the Italian Peninsula. So popular were these cookies that they gained fame as the “official” court cookie and were later renamed Savoiardi.

By the way, they freeze well–bonus!

Ladyfingers (a.k.a. Savoiardi)

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Yield: about 50 ladyfingers (or less if you make them very large)

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp.
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup minus 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour (or use 1 cup cake flour)
  • powdered sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. Place egg whites in large bowl and begin mixing at low speed, building up to medium-high speed. During mixing, gradually sprinkle 2/3 cup sugar into the egg whites and continue whipping until stiff, about 10 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp. sugar and egg yolks until well mixed.
  4. Using spatula, fold half of the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites, bringing spatula to bottom of bowl to thoroughly mix egg yolks and egg whites/ Fold in remaining egg yolk mixture.
  5. Sift the flour over the egg mixture; fold until flour is well incorporated. (Don’t skip the sifting; it adds lightness to the cookies.) Make sure you get that spatula all the way to the bottom of the bowl when folding to thoroughly mix the flour and egg mixture.
  6. Using a 1/2-inch round tip, pipe the batter into long strips, about 2-2 1/2 inch bars with a height of 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. Leave about 1 inch space between each bar as they will spread a bit when baking.
  7. Dust the ladyfingers with powdered sugar and let stand for 15 minutes, then dust one more time until sugar is absorbed.
  8. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a couple minutes, then use a thin spatula to lift cookies from baking tray and onto cooling racks. Store in an airtight container for about 5 days or freeze in an airtight container for a couple months.

SOURCE: Tide and Thyme via The Novice Chef via Desserts by Pierre Herme

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One thought on “Ladyfingers (a.k.a. Savoiardi)

  1. Pingback: Limoncello Tiramisu | Scrumptious and Sumptuous

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