Making the ladyfingers was by far my favorite part of the February tiramisu challenge. I enjoyed it so much that I thought it merited a separate post. I don't really have anything special to say about them, other than a recommendation that if you ever need ladyfingers, you make them yourself instead of purchasing them.
The recipe required by the Daring Bakers comes from Cordon Bleu at Home. I did think that the cookies tasted just slightly eggy (is that a word?), especially after they had sat out for a while. Fresh out of the oven however, they are deliciously soft and sweet. In the summer, I could imagine serving them as an alternative to tuiles on ice cream.
The recipe struck me as very similar to macarons, only with egg yolks added and regular flour instead of almond meal. The technique is similar - whip up a stiff meringue and break it down carefully when you add the dry ingredients. Too make ladyfingers, you need the following:
3 eggs, seperated
6 tablespoons/75gms granulated sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp corn starch
6 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Start by whipping the egg whites into a meringue. Once soft peaks begin to form, gradually add the granulated sugar, and continue to beat the whites until they are stiff. Next fold in the egg yolks until the mixture is blended and pale yellow.
In a separate bowl, blend the cornstarch and flour. Then sift the flour into the eggs and gently fold it in, being careful not to deflate the mixture too much (just like macarons!). The mixture will be shiny, but not smooth, and quite frankly kind of gross looking when its ready.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe out into strips about 3-4 inches long. Sprinkle the piped batter generously with about half of the powdered sugar and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Then sprinkle with the remaining powdered sugar and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes on a baking sheet covered in either a silpat or greased parchment paper.
Though the recipe says that these will keep for a few weeks in an air tight container, as I mentioned above, they definitely taste the best straight out of the oven. While still good after they have been sitting for awhile, I would not recommend eating them without some sort of accompaniment at that point.