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Ladyfinger biscuits are oval-shaped biscuits that are also known as sponge fingers in England, savoiardi in Italy or boudoirs in France. They are popular snacks around the world especially in the UK. These low-density biscuits are dry, egg-based sweet sponge biscuits shaped like delicate fingers.
Ladyfingers are an ancient biscuit, born out of the traditions of the 11th century. Can’t believe it when I first heard that this kind of little biscuit had lasted 900 years. In the late 15th century at the court of the Dutch of Savoy, they were made to mark the occasion of a visit by the King of France. Later ladyfingers were often given as gifts to visitors to France. Then in the 18th century, folklore has that Czar Peter the Great of Russia and his wife Catherine came to visit France, Catherine fell so hard for these biscuits that she bought the baker and sent him immediately back to Saint Petersburg. So that she could enjoy the famed delicacy every time she want.
In addition to eating directly, ladyfingers often play a supporting role in deserts. Providing a cakey texture, these lovely biscuits could soak up the flavor of cream or chocolate perfectly. Being light and spongy, they give the dessert a larger body without being too heavy. Ladyfingers are light, delicate and airy with a sweet crispy crust. Therefore, they are the key ingredient of typical desserts like universally known tiramisu or panna cotta.
In commercial production lines, the production process begins with whipping egg whites until they are extremely soft, adding sugar to the mix. After that, the egg yolks are added to the mix, and later sugar and vanilla extract are added to the mixture for further whisking. Sifted flours are added to whisk for the final mixture. The mixture is extruded in the shape of fingers, baked, sprinkled with sugar, cooled, and packaged.
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