Ladyfinger
Ladyfingers
Ladyfingers
Alternative namesSavoiardi, sponge fingers, Boudoir
TypeCookie
CourseDessert
Place of originSavoy
Region or statePiedmont
Created by15th-century official cuisine of the Duchy of Savoy (may pre-date in vernacular cuisine)
Main ingredientsFlour, egg whites, egg yolks, sugar, powdered sugar

Ladyfingers, or in British English sponge fingers (sometimes known by the Italian name savoiardi [savoˈjardi] or by the French name boudoirs [budwaʁ]) also known in the Haredi Jewish community as baby fingers (due to concerns of modesty[citation needed]), are low density, dry, egg-based, sweet sponge cake biscuits roughly shaped like a large finger. They are a principal ingredient in many dessert recipes, such as trifles and charlottes, and are also used as fruit or chocolate gateau linings, and sometimes for the sponge element of tiramisu.[1] They are typically soaked in a sugar syrup or liqueur, or in coffee or espresso for the dessert tiramisu.[2] Plain ladyfingers are commonly given to infants, being soft enough for teething mouths, but easy to grasp and firm enough not to fall apart.[citation needed]

History

Ladyfingers in transparent plastic packages
Ladyfingers in transparent plastic packages

Ladyfingers originated in the late 15th century at the court of the Duchy of Savoy and were created to mark the occasion of a visit by the King of France. Later, they were given the name Savoiardi and recognized as an "official" court biscuit.[citation needed] They were particularly appreciated by the younger members of the court and offered to visitors as an example of the local cuisine.

Name

They have gained many regional names:

Preparation

Close-up view of a Vicenzovo-brand Italian ladyfinger
Close-up view of a Vicenzovo-brand Italian ladyfinger

Like other sponge cakes, ladyfingers traditionally contain no chemical leavening agent, and rely on air incorporated into the eggs for their "sponge" texture. However, some brands contain ammonium bicarbonate. The egg whites and egg yolks mixed with sugar are typically beaten separately and folded together with flour. They contain more flour than the average sponge cake. The mixture is piped through a pastry bag in short lines onto sheets,[1] giving the biscuits their notable shape.

Before baking, powdered sugar is usually sifted over the top[1] to give a soft crust. The finished ladyfingers are usually layered into a dessert such as tiramisu or trifle.

References

  1. ^ a b c The Ultimate Cookie Book. Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Series. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 2014. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-544-33929-3. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  2. ^ Parkinson, A. (2005). Italian Desserts. A. Parkinson. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-4116-4464-9. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Biszkopty (Polski) Carrefour. Poland.
  4. ^ Sinclair, Charles (1 January 2009). Dictionary of Food: International Food and Cooking Terms from A to Z. A&C Black. ISBN 9781408102183 – via Google Books.

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