Did you know how easy Ladyfingers are to make? I had no idea, but I needed to find out to save my Bailey’s Marshmallows that didn’t turn out. 😦 I received Bailey’s as a gift, but since I don’t really like drinking alcohol, I was persuaded to cook with it. I thought about making Irish Cupcakes (they are such the rage on the internet) but then wanted to try something a little different. I’ve made marshmallows a few times before, and didn’t think it would be hard to make a Bailey’s version. Since marshmallows are all about getting the proportions right, I looked up a recipe to know how much of the alcohol would be needed, and when to add it. Well, the ratios didn’t seem quite right, but I went with it anyway. I didn’t know if the alcohol changed the basic marshmallow recipe or not. Unfortunately, the recipe was a dud because the marshmallows never set up the way they should, so I was left with a sticky, messy something that felt like a waste. That’s when inspiration hit!
I had received Jacques Pepin’s cookbook: Essential Pepin and I had wanted to try out different recipes, including one for ladyfingers. It had seemed so simple, so I wanted to know if Jacques was leading me astray.
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prep two sheets–you’re supposed to use butter and flour, but I just did the usual parchment.
Beat the egg whites until you get firm peaks. (I do this step first with my stand-mixer and leave it while doing the next steps.) Whisk the egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl for about a minute until you get a pale yellow mixture. Then, add the flour and whisk gently until smooth. Add half of the whites to the mixture and whisk quickly. Fold in the other half with a spatula.
Scoop the batter into a pastry bag (or equivalent) and squeeze out fingers about four inches long and 1.5 inches wide, about an inch apart onto your parchment. Sift confectioners’ sugar on top–do a lot!–then let sit for 30 seconds. Add more sugar before baking for about 15 minutes. You want the ladyfingers to be a pale beige color and to have a slight crust. After a few minutes of cooling, remove from the baking sheets and cool on a rack.
The ladyfingers worked really well for my “filling”. They were truly better than any store-bought ones I’ve had, and I loved how fluffy they were. They don’t have the usual dense texture you get from store ones.
And no, I won’t reveal the bad recipe because no one wants that, but just beware if you see any Bailey’s marshmallow recipes and compare them to regular recipes first!