Ladyfingers, or in British English sponge fingers (sometimes known by their Italian name savoiardi [savoˈjardi] or their French one boudoirs [budwaʁ]), are low density, dry, egg-based, sweet sponge biscuits roughly shaped like a large finger. They are a principal ingredient in many dessert recipes, such as trifles and charlottes, and are also used as fruit or chocolate gateau linings, and sometimes for the sponge element of tiramisu. They are typically soaked in a sugar syrup or liqueur, or in coffee or espresso for the dessert tiramisu. Plain ladyfingers are commonly given to infants, being soft enough for teething mouths, but easy to grasp and firm enough not to fall apart.
|Alternative names||Savoiardi, sponge fingers Boudoir|
|Place of origin||Savoy|
|Created by||15th-century official cuisine of the Duchy of Savoy (may pre-date in vernacular cuisine)|
|Main ingredients||Flour, egg whites, egg yolks, sugar, powdered sugar|
Ladyfingers originated in the late 15th century at the court of the Duchy of Savoy and were created to mark the occasion of a visit by the King of France. Later, they were given the name Savoiardi and recognized as an "official" court biscuit. They were particularly appreciated by the younger members of the court and offered to visitors as an example of the local cuisine.
They have gained many regional names:
- In Argentina: vainillas
- In Australia: "sponge fingers"
- In Austria: Biskotte
- In Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia: piškote/piškoti
- In Brazil: bolacha/biscoito champagne ("champagne biscuits")
- In Bulgaria: bishkoti (бишкоти)
- In Canada: "ladyfingers"
- In Catalonia and Balearic Islands: melindro
- In Chile: galletas de champaña ("champagne biscuits")
- In China: shǒuzhǐ bǐnggān (手指饼干, "finger biscuits")
- In Colombia: lenguas ("tongues", after their form)
- In Cuba: bizcocho
- In the Czech Republic: dlouhé piškoty ("long sponge biscuits") or cukrářské piškoty ("confectioner's biscuits")
- In France: boudoirs or biscuits à la cuillère ("spoon cookies/biscuits") or biscuits champagne
- In Germany: Löffelbiskuits ("spoon cookies/biscuits")
- In Greece: savouayiár (σαβουαγιάρ, a Frenchified adaptation of the Italian name)
- In Hungary: babapiskóta ("baby sponge cake")
- In Indonesia: kue lidah kucing ("cat's tongue cookies")
- In Iran: latifeh (لطیفه)
- In Israel: biskot (בישקוט)
- In Italy: savoiardi
- In Macedonia: biskviti (бисквити)
- In Mexico: soletas ("little soles")
- In Flanders and the Netherlands: lange vingers ("long fingers")
- In the Philippines: broas or broa (Spanish for some more nutritive types of bread, sometimes misspelled as brojas); variants include camachile and lengua de gato
- In Poland: kocie języczki ("cats' little tongues") or biszkopty ("sponge cakes/biscuits")
- In Portugal: biscoitos de champanhe ("champagne biscuits") or palitos la reine
- In Romania: pișcoturi
- In Russia: damskiye pal'chiki (дамские пальчики, "lady's fingers")
- In Slovakia: cukrárske piškóty ("Konditor's biscuits")
- In Slovenia: bebi piškoti ("baby cookies")
- In South Africa: sold as "boudoir biscuits", but best known as "finger biscuits"
- In Spain: bizcochos de soletilla ("little sole biscuits")
- In Turkey: kedi dili ("cat's tongue")
- In the United Kingdom: "sponge-fingers", "boudoir biscuits", "baby biscuits", "savoy biscuits" or "boudoir fingers"
- In the United States: "ladyfingers"
- In Uruguay and Venezuela: plantillas ("little plants")
Like other sponge cakes, ladyfingers traditionally contain no chemical leavening agent, and rely on air incorporated into the eggs for their "sponge" texture. However, some brands contain ammonium bicarbonate. The egg whites and egg yolks mixed with sugar are typically beaten separately and folded together with flour. They contain more flour than the average sponge cake. The mixture is piped through a pastry bag in short lines onto sheets, giving the biscuits their notable shape.
- The Ultimate Cookie Book. Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Series. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 2014. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-544-33929-3. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
- Parkinson, A. (2005). Italian Desserts. A. Parkinson. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-4116-4464-9. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
- Biszkopty (Polski) Carrefour. Poland.
- Sinclair, Charles (1 January 2009). "Dictionary of Food: International Food and Cooking Terms from A to Z". A&C Black – via Google Books.
Media related to Ladyfingers (biscuits) at Wikimedia Commons