These are light and sweet sponge cake like biscuits which are lightly crisp on the outside and soft inside. Often used in dessert recipes. Can also been enjoyed as a time time snack.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) and line baking tray/s with parchment paper.
- Have ready a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain round tip.(You can alternatively use a Zip lock bag and cut off the corner to pipe the batter)
- Separate the eggs in two clean and dry bowls. (Let the yolks and whites reach room temperature if using cold eggs)
- Beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup (65 grams) white sugar on high speed until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow. (Takes about 5-10 minutes.)
- Beat in the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder over the batter. Do not mix at this stage.
- In a clean dry bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar(you can also use a pinch of salt or 2-3 drops of lemon juice) on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup white sugar and whip until stiff peaks form and the whites are glossy.
- Fold the whites into the egg yolk and flour mixture taking 1/3rd of the white each time, mixing only until incorporated.
- Transfer the batter to your pastry bag and, holding the bag at about a 45 degree angle to the baking sheet, pipe the batter into 2.5 to 3 inch long ladyfingers. Space the ladyfingers about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
- After the ladyfingers have been piped, place the powdered sugar in a fine strainer, and lightly sift the sugar over the tops of the cookies.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the ladyfingers are firm but lightly brown and are still soft and spongy when lightly pressed
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and immediately slide the parchment paper (with the ladyfingers) from the baking sheet onto a wire rack.
- Let the ladyfingers cool for a minute and then remove the each ladyfinger from the parchment paper, using a flat spatula or knife, and let cool completely. (These tend to stick and are hard to remove without breaking if left longer)
The ladyfingers are best tasting the day they are made.
Also while separating the eggs, make sure there is no yolk in the whites. It's ok to have white in the yolk.(Use cold eggs for easy separation of yolk and white)
Whipping the Egg whites to the right consistency is the key.