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SPONGE FINGERS Sponge fingers
3 eggs
100 ml + 1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
150 ml flour
icing sugar for dusting

Separate the egg yolks and whites. Beat the yolks, sugar (100 ml) and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the egg whites, salt and sugar (1 tbsp) until stiff and glossy.

Carefully fold the egg whites and sifted flour into the egg yolk mixture in four parts, mixing very gently after every addition to prevent knocking out the air.

Sponge fingers before baking Using a pastry bag fitted with a plain nozzle, pipe the batter into 10 cm long and 2½ - 3 cm wide finger shaped biscuits onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (see the picture on right).

Leave some space between the biscuits, as they spread a bit during baking.

Lightly dust the fingers with icing sugar though a fine sieve. Bake the fingers immediately at 150 °C for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are lightly browned underneath the icing sugar and feel crisp on top but are still soft inside.

Using a spatula, gently lift the biscuits on wire racks to cool until thoroughly crisp. If the cooled biscuits remain soft and spongy or sticky, they are underbaked. Overbaked biscuits are too dry and hard. Soft, underbaked biscuits can be dried in oven at 70 - 100 °C for about 30 to 60 minutes, or until sufficiently dry.

Serve the sponge fingers plain with coffee or tea or use them in desserts, like tiramisu. Store the biscuits in a sealed tin to maintain their crispness.
Makes about 25 - 30 sponge fingers.

Recipe source: adapted from "Sokerileivät", Child, J. et al. (1983) Ranskalaisen keittiön salaisuudet. Trans. Kyllikki Villa and Kirsti Rannikko. Juva: WSOY.


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