Saturday, September 4, 2010
recipe from Joy of Baking who got it from Cordon Bleu at Home
-makes 24 big ladyfingers or 45 small (2 1/2″ to 3″ long) ladyfingers
3 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons /75gms granulated sugar
3/4 cup/95gms cake flour, sifted (or 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn starch)
6 tablespoons /50gms confectioner’s sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees, then lightly brush 2 baking sheets with oil or softened butter and line with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add granulate sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff again, glossy and smooth.
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and fold them into the meringue, using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour over this mixture and fold gently until just mixed. It is important to fold very gently and not overdo the folding. Otherwise the batter would deflate and lose volume resulting in ladyfingers which are flat and not spongy.
Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip (or just snip the end off; you could also use a Ziploc bag) and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into 5″ long and 3/4″ wide strips leaving about 1″ space in between the strips. 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.
Hold the parchment paper in place with your thumb and lift one side of the baking sheet and gently tap it on the work surface to remove excess sprinkled sugar.
Bake the ladyfingers for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the puff up, turn lightly golden brown and are still soft. Allow them to cool slightly on the sheets for about 5 minutes and then remove the ladyfingers from the baking sheet with a metal spatula while still hot, and cool on a rack. Store them in an airtight container till required. They should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.
Today, I decided to tackle the ladyfingers component of my all time favorite dessert- tiramisu! One baby step at a time toward my goal of making a whole tiramisu(:
I won't say the ladyfinger was a complete success but they surely were not a failure. They came out tasting pretty good.. a nostalgic taste indeed. They reminded me so much of this puff crackers I used to love and eat all the time when I was little.
image from Google
The outside is crunchy which I love and the inside is moderately soft and dry. Exactly like the puff crackers.(: From what I've been reading, I feel like ladyfingers shouldn't be like this. Maybe more airy and sponge-like. I suspect that I might just have over-folded the yolk/ dry ingredients and kill the volume in the meringue. My plastic bag pipping also failed on me. It was all over the place. And I think this resulted in the dense texture as well. Tiramisu is so daunting with its bajilion components (= bajilion ingredients) needed but I believe.. I can overcome this by taking it sloooooowly. Who doesn't love a challenge?