Italian savoiardi sponge fingers

savoiardi biscuits

I have used the Italian name for these extremely light and delicate sponge biscuits, which over here are known as lady fingers, for the simple reason I don’t like the English name. It reminds me of body parts from a CSI investigates episode. Savoiardi is much nicer! And apart from anything else it’s a royal name as it means: from the house of Savoy ( which was our Royal family…:-))How posh is that?  Generally speaking these biscuits are used to make other desserts, like tiramisus,  trifles or  Charlottes (which incidentally I have never made). I can see no reason why they can’t be dunked in a nice cup of coffee, though. They are ideal if you are on a fat free diet as their only ingredients are eggs, flour and sugar. What could be simpler? I had never made them before and was intrigued to discover you have to air them , after baking, for at least 24 hours in order to dry them out. So make sure you bake them in advance!


3 medium eggs, separated

65 gr. sugar plus 2 extra tbpsoons to sprinkle

60 gr. plain flour, sifted

grated zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon (or half a tsp vanilla essence).

Icing sugar


Whisk the yolks with 10 gr. of the sugar until light and airy. Add the lemon zest and stir well. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until really stiff. Stir in the egg yolks mixture.  Add the sifted flour gently folding it in. When everything is well mixed put the lot in a large plastic bag (the ones you use to freeze stuff) and cut one of the corners so that you end up with a hole 1cm.wide. Of course you can use a professional piping bag but I didn’t have it. Pipe approximately 22-24 biscuits, 6-8 cm. long, on two baking trays lined with non stick greaseproof paper, making sure you leave plenty of space between them. Dust them with some granulated caster sugar.

Bake at 200 degrees for approx. 10-12 minutes. Don’t worry if they appear a bit soft and spongy when they have cooled. That’s completely normal, apparently. They have to be left drying in the air for at least 24 hours. Dust them with icing sugar when you are ready to serve them.


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