A light, delicate sponge cake roughly shaped like a rather large, fat finger. It's used as an accompaniment to ice cream, puddings and other desserts, and employed as an integral part of some desserts, such as charlottes. Ladyfingers can be purchased in bakeries or supermarkets or made at home. They can either be piped onto a baking sheet with a pastry bag or the batter can be spooned into a ladyfinger pan, which is a tinned steel tray with 10 oblong indentations. The pan is commonly found in gourmet kitchenware shops.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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