Ladyfingers- Bánh Sâm Banh/Champagne

Vietnamese food


Ladyfingers or sponge fingers knowing in Italy as savoiardi  are dry, sweet, finger shaped cookies.  This recipe is used for Tiramisu. Champagne cookies in Vietnam are the same texture but large granulate sugar is used instead of powder sugar.  It is sponge cake without leaven agent.  The standard size of ladyfingers mold about 1 inch x 4 inch but the batter can be piped into long shape with a 1/2 inch plain tip or spread into a thin layer on baking sheet, baked and cut into desired shapes.  This recipe makes more ladyfingers needed for Tiramisu but they can be stored in freezer or dry out then store in an air tight container.  I like to dip them into coffee and slowly let it disintegrated in my mouth.  These are also  great for little kids to start eating solid food.  It is strong enough for  little fingers holding and get soft easy  when being moistened in mouth.

Cold eggs are easy to separate.  Sugar can be increased up to 2/3 cup for sweeter cookies. There are different way to make a sponge cake batter.  Do what you feel comfortable but this recipe turns out beautiful.

6 large egg, separated
135 gram (about 1 cup all purpose flour) sift 2-3 times
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
115  gram ( about 1/2 cup) granulate sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting
2-3 baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpak

  1. Preheat oven to 400 of with 2 racks at upper and lower third of middle section 
  2. Sift flour 2 times, set aside.  
  3. Beat egg yolks with vanilla  on high until the color is pale and a thick ribbon forms when the beater is lifted about 7-8 minutes.  Set aside.
  4. In a clean mixing bowl, whip/beat egg whites and sugar until a very stiff peak form.  Scrape the side one or twice.  Quickly scrape  egg yolk in egg white and fold gently with a spatula until almost homogeneous.  Sift/sprinkle flour over egg mixture and fold gently until smooth but do not overfold.
  5. Spoon batter into a piping bag.  Piping 2 rows  of 4 inch long fingers about 12  pieces in a row.  Adjust pressure while piping about 3/4 inch width.  Batter can be spread  into 2 baking trays.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Let they sit  1-2 minutes then dust again.  Bake until golden brown about 10 minutes.  If bake two trays at a time, shift and turn after 10 minutes and bake 3-4 minutes more.  Cookies should dry outside but soft inside and springy to the touch.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Store in an air tight container a few days at room temperature or freeze them for later use.  If you want drier cookies, , turn off oven a few minutes earlier when cookies just turn very pale golden color and leave the door open or leave them uncovered near the heat source overnight until they totally dried, store in an airtight container.

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