Savoiardi cookies, the ladyfinger recipe

According to the chronicles, delicate Savoiardi ladyfinger cookies were invented by the master pastry chefs of the Court of the Dukes of Savoy in 1300. The exact date isn’t certain, but this typical biscotto originating in Piemonte and Sardinia affirms itself as a fundamental ingredient in a number of dishes, from Zuppa inglese to Charlotte cakes, even if Tiramisù has perhaps given them the most fame.

The Savoiardi recipe, by Italian law, requires a dough that contains sugars, wheat flour and nothing less than 26% grade “A” eggs. The process utilized to create Savoiardi involves the blending of the mixture until it is frothy and airy. It is then dripped into the Savoiardi ladyfinger forms impressed onto specific cookie pans, and sprinkled with sugar before baking.

Ideal for dipping or used in the place of sponge cake, light Savoiardi cookies are long, soft and crumbly to the touch. They are famous all over the world, and have been copied time and again. Like many things in Italy, Savoiardi are exalted and re-worked at the regional level. In Naples they are covered in a local dessert called Sanguinaccio, while the Sardinian (Pistoccu) and Sicilian versions contain more egg compared to the Piemontese standard.

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