Thursday, February 23, 2017

Piedmont royal cookies

or savoiardi better known in English as Lady fingers 😋

These are the top royal Piedmontese cookies invented in the 14th century by the chef of Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy when the King of France and his court came over to Turin for an official visit.
They loved them so much that that's how savoiardi became the official royal cookies and were offered to all the royal guests as a symbol of the local cuisine.


The first registered recipe dates back to the 16th century and it precises that these royal cookies made in the Savoy kingdom require little flour, egg whites and sugar.

Even though this is a traditional Piedmontese cookie, it spread out to all the lands governed by the Savoy dynasty and this is why you can find savoiardi in many Italian regions with slightly different recipes and under different names.
Their spongy texture allows them to fit many Italian desserts like tiramisu', trifles, bavarois, charlottes, vanilla and chocolate creams and many more.
They even made it over the borders, to France where they are known as biscuits a' la cuillere or spoon shaped cookies, and Dumas wrote about them in his food dictionary.

Savoiardi are usually soaked into liqueur, coffee and are easily given to infants. They are also rather light and crumbly; like many other traditional cookies, they don't contain any leavening agent, and their sponge texture is given by the egg white meringue. While baking, the air bubbles of the meringue grow and provide their typical spongy texture.

Savoiardi recipe 

makes about 40 cookies

00 flour 80 gr - 2/3 cup (slightly less)
7 eggs
potato starch 80gr
1 vanilla pod
sugar 120 gr - 1/2 cup + barely 2 tablespoons
1/2 lemon zest
a pinch of salt

to sprinkle: as much granulated and powder sugar as you like

oven: 200C - 400F

*This recipe is easier if you have a Kitchen Aid or similar kitchen machine.


  • Carefully separate the egg whites and whisk the egg yolks up with half of the sugar. Then add the vanilla beans and the lemon zest. Whisk the yolks for about 10 minutes till they get fluffy and light in color.
  • Get the 7 egg whites in a bowl with a pinch of salt and beat them up till getting stiff glossy peaks. With a spoon, slowly fold in the other half of the remaining granulated sugar. Be careful to fully incorporate the sugar but not to deflate the meringue.
  • Gently fold in half of the egg yolks batter; then, slowly, add the sifted flour with the potato starch. Then add the other half of the egg yolks, folding them in with a spatula.   
         The firm and fluffy batter you end you with ensures that the lady fingers keep their shape while           baking.

  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper, fill a pastry chef bag (sac a' poche) with the batter and cut a 1cm - 1/2inch opening to lay the cookies down. Each cookie should be about 10 cm - 5 inches long; remember to allow some distance because they grow while baking.
  • Generously sprinkle all the cookies with some granulated sugar and then sprinkle the powder sugar too.
         
         Bake at 200C - 400F for about 10-15minutes

Check they are golden baked before getting them out of the oven.
With a spatula lift them up or let the parchment paper slide on the table where once cooled off, you will easily be able to pick them up without breaking them.

If you aren't eating them all up right away with your tiramisu', trifle, fruit salad or milk, you can keep them in a tin box for up to 2 weeks! Make layers with some parchment paper so they won't stick together.


Wine pairings:

Best wine pairing for savoiardi: Moscato D'Asti DOCG
Best wine pairing for tiramisu': Erbaluce Passito DOCG

Plus of course all the bubbly wines both sweet and dry from Piedmont ;)


Enjoy!!



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Turin: love at first taste!

Our food and travel blogger friend Patty Boner talks about her love at first taste with Turin! As her guest post is very detailed, you will be traveling with her while enjoying her writing and pictures!
Patty is the author and photographer of delish Foodie Sneak Peeks where you can find all her culinary adventures around the world and at home!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cintia Soto's Turin

This week we are sharing a guest post by our friend Cintia Soto, an amazing photographer and lover of all things Italian. After years of online friendship, we met her in person last September during the Slow Food convention Terra Madre in Turin and in front of a bicerin coffee, she shared with us her love for Piedmont and the authenticity of Turin.