Sunday, July 3, 2011
This is actually part 1 of 2 of a cake but it is a recipe in itself. Tomorrow is the Lemon Canadian Crown AND a little fourth of July happy so stay tuned for that!
Apparently you can buy ladyfingers at the grocery store but since it is in the book it was much more practical to make them myself. Plus, Rose commented that "there is, perhaps, no cake more ethereal, exquisitely plain, or purely delightful as a homemade ladyfinger." After reading that, do you really have a choice in whether or not to buy them at the grocery store or make them yourself?
I've actually never had a ladyfinger nor have I ever seen one so I didn't really know what to expect. What I can tell you is that I was pleasantly surprised.
The only downfall of the recipe is that it takes 6 eggs. I feel like the only thing I do these days is go back and forth to the store to buy more eggs. But today, there was something particularly interesting about the eggs- I had an egg with double yolks in it! I have a friend who recently cracked every single egg in her carton that were all double yolks. She freaked me out a little bit because she told me that it was because of the hormones that they give chickens. After I got my double yolk, I decided to do further research and see if it really is a hormonal issue in the chickens. I don't know how I feel about that.
My findings? If you go the scientific route, it means that the hen is old and 1 in 1000 eggs are double yolked. If you go with superstition, it's either bad luck, means i'm going to have twins, means someone is about to get married, or that someone is about to have an accident. So whichever way you go, it seems that the cake is free of scary chicken hormones.
Basically to make lady fingers, you separate your eggs and then add sugar, water, and vanilla to the egg whites. After you beat them for a while, you add the flour (make sure it's Wondra flour for these otherwise they will spread too much and won't retain their structure) and then prep the meringue.
The meringue is just the egg whites with some cream of tartar and sugar.
Then you gently fold the batter and the meringue together and you're ready to pipe them onto the sheet!
The piping was actually the trickiest part of the recipe. Since it has so much volume from the whipped eggs, you have to do it rather quickly so the batter won't collapse.
I didn't have the right tip to pipe it with so I just went with the bag. It actually worked out quite well. I used a 16" bag and cut the bottom a little bit higher than it was originally. They ladyfingers may not have been as poofy as they could have been but the final product was tasty enough for me.
I used them for the Lemon Canadian Crown and then of course ate all the leftovers with the help of a roommate. We'll see what everyone else thinks of them in the Lemon Canadian Crown!
Rose's Heavenly Cakes
Ladyfingers- page 264