Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lady fingers/ Savoiardi

The  couple days of break from school for kids, the cabin fever & us snowed in from the blizzard has been good for me baking wise. I finally got to crossing off more from my 'to-do's' as well as making savoiardi. And why not, it takes only basic ingredients + it is fun to pipe them in neat rows & the kids love to sprinkle sugar & watch them dissappear. I now wonder why I waited so long to make these delicate fingers.

In the past, I have spent a lot of time at the bread isle & the bakery section looking for lady fingers at every trip at the grocery. If I did get my hands on them, they looked very flat & underbaked. Making them sounded  much simpler than going in search of these.

I followed the trustworthy The Cordon Bleu At Home . 
Makes about 36 fingers

Eggs, 3 separated
Granulated Sugar, 6 tbs
Cake Flour, sifted, 3/4 c
Confectioner's Sugar, 6 tbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then brush 2 baking sheets with softened butter and line with parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites with a whisk or electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form again; the meringue will be glossy and smooth..
Lightly beat the egg yolks till you see ribbons like above. Gently fold into the meringue with a wooden spoon.  Don't overfold or the batter will deflate and lose volume resulting in ladyfingers which are flat and not spongy.
Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in gently.

Pipe the ladyfingers: Fit the pastry bag with the large plain tip and fill with the ladyfinger batter.
 Pipe strips of batter 5 in. long and 3/4 in. wide diagonally onto the baking sheets, leaving 1 to 2 in. between each strip.

 Sprinkle half the confectioner's sugar over the ladyfingers; wait 5 minutes and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Sprinkle half the confectioner's sugar over the ladyfingers and wait for 5 minutes. The sugar will pearl or look wet and glisten. Now sprinkle the remaining sugar. This helps to give the ladyfingers their characteristic crispness.
 Holding the parchment paper in place with your thumb, lift one side of the baking sheet and gently tap it on the work surface to remove excess confectioner's sugar. I skipped this step so as to not disturb my perfect looking biscuits; besides they didn't effect my final product.

Bake  for 10 min (without opening the oven door). Then, rotate the baking sheet so the ladyfingers color evenly, bake another 5 minutes.

Remove the ladyfingers from the baking sheet with a metal spatula while still hot, and let cool on a rack.

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