Ladyfinger Sponge

In making the Tiramisu the first step in doing it completely homemade is making the sponge base for the layers. I went over it briefly before but now... with pictures!

Ingredients: Yolks, sugar, whites, lemon, more sugar, flour

In industrial amounts you start with about 14 yolks but in this case I only used 4 (should have used about 7 or maybe 9 would have been good. I ended up short of batter).

Beat merrily, with sugar, over hot water until it reaches 43C [110F]. Apparently it it's fluffier if warm. Just to slightly above body temp; we're not making scrambled eggs here; we're making sabayon. Add some lemon juice here.

Dump into a bowl; continue beating until cool.

Sift the flour over the sabayon at this point and let it sit. Next time I'm going to try mixing them together after a little while so that it's more of a batter .

Egg whites.

Adding sugar, 1/3 of it at a time, once it's developing some body. Add another drop or two of lemon juice. Acidity helps hold volume too.

Until nice and peaky.

Fold into the sabayon batter gently but thoroughly.

Put into a piping bag and ... pipe into nice diagonal rows on the pan.

It wasn't even that evenly piped.

I didn't have enough batter for the whole (gigantic) pan so I had to smooth it to cover the empty quarter of the pan.

Bake at 190C [375F] for 10 minutes or so

Came out okay but too thin.

All in all not a success nor a blatant failure.


  • 180 g egg yolks [6 oz, about 9 large]
  • 90 g sugar [3 oz, big 1/3 C]
  • 270 g egg whites [9 oz, about 9 whites]
  • 150 g sugar[5 oz, small 2/3 C]
  • 1 ml lemon juice [¼ t]
  • 300 g pastry flour [10 oz, 2½ C]

Procedure (official)

  1. Beat yolks and sugar (ingreds 1&2) over hot water & beat until it's 43C [110F] (that is, make a sabayon)
  2. Whip whites, sugar & lemon juice (3&4&5) until firm, moist, peaks (lemoned meringue)
  3. Fold these 2 mixes alternately into the flour (sabayon and meringue with flour)
  4. Pipe into fingers or a sheet-pan

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