Sunday, February 1, 2015

Savoiardi (Ladyfingers)

Not long ago, I was discussing the topic of homemade desserts with some friends and one of them mentioned the desire for a really good tiramisu. Having had this dessert before, I knew that two of the key ingredients were Marscapone cheese and ladyfingers. 

Both of these items are not commonly found here in Corozal. So I wondered if I could make them from scratch. 

I decided to tackle the ladyfingers first and searched around for an authentic Italian recipe and landed on this one.

One of the first things I did was to put the required amount of granulated sugar into a mini food processor and pulsed it for a bit. The reason? The sugar here is coarser than what you might find in the States. I've found that it dissolves much better once it gets ground up.

Next I beat egg whites, 1/4 cup of sugar, and lemon juice until they reached the stiff peak stage.

The egg yolks then got whipped with the rest of the sugar, lemon juice, and salt until it was thick and pale yellow.

The flour and cornstarch got sifted over the egg yolk mixture and I folded it in until combined.

The egg whites were then folded in.

I don't have a pastry bag (yet), but I had David cut the corner of a gallon-size ziplock bag by 1/2 inch.

Half the batter was put in the bag and I piped out the ladyfingers onto prepared baking sheets.

At this point, my island countertop looked like a baking war zone.

Powdered sugar was sprinkled over the fingers and left to rest about five minutes, then a another round of powder sugar was applied.

The pans were put into a preheated 350 degree over for about 15 minutes until they turned a light gold color.

The result? When I've purchased store-bought ladyfingers, I always found them a tad bit on the hard, dense side. These are light, airy biscuits with just the right touch of sweetness. They are perfect on their own, but I think they will be the perfect base for a tiramisu.

And what about the Marscapone cheese? Well I found a recipe and plan on giving it a try in the next week or two. If it turns out, I'm two steps closer to making a hopefully authentic Italian dessert!

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