Gluten-free Lady Finger Cookies are ridiculously expensive to buy, and rather easy to make. And you’re simply not going to get through your whole life without making a really lovely gluten free tiramisu. So let’s get to work!
First, these are chocolate because they’re so lightly sweet that it’s fun to give them some zing. I bet you can’t even buy gluten-free chocolate lady finger cookies, so that makes them even more special (Valentine’s Day anyone?). Second, they’re chocolate because, well, the recipe is adapted from a Gluten Free Lady Fingers recipe of the vanilla persuasion in my First Cookbook (please see page 197), and I can’t very well reprint all of the recipes in that cookbook without really piquing my publisher, now can I.
I am, admittedly, a bit bossypants in the recipe directions. There’s a very good reason for my attitude, and its name is “I messed this recipe up quite a lot myself first, second and third.”
Switching up the recipe to take it from vanilla to chocolate makes it a little tougher to handle, too, so do us all a favor and chill the batter before piping it into fingers. Think of it as the difference between enjoying making edible fingers, and actually giving me the actual finger as the batter runs right out of your piping bag. It’s also a little insurance in case you are a little vigorous in your “folding” of the whipped egg whites into the batter and you accidentally burst a few more egg white bubbles than originally intended.
One way or another, you’ll get there. And then you’ll have these lovely little gluten free lady fingers to show for it. Lady fingers are like finger-shaped angel food cake, and without all the will-it-come-out-of-the-tube-pan stress. And with the distinct possibility of the most fabulous, classic gluten-free tiramisu sometime in your very near future. Like maybe tomorrow. Or something.
Gluten Free Chocolate Lady Fingers
2/3 cup (93 g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour (any of these gluten free blends will work)
5 tablespoons (25 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 egg whites (180 g) + 5 egg yolks (150 g)
1/2 cup (58 g) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons (24 g) granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. In a small bowl, place the flour, cocoa powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. Set the bowl aside.
Whip the egg whites. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer), place the 6 egg whites. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form (about 3 minutes). Once soft peaks form, and with the mixer on low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar slowly until it is incorporated into the egg whites. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed, and whip until stiff and glossy peaks form (about 4 minutes). Stop before the egg whites become dry, or they will be difficult to fold into the batter.
Beat the egg yolks. While the egg whites are beginning to whip, in a large bowl, place the 5 egg yolks and the granulated sugar, and whisk until the mixture turns from dark yellow and thin to pale yellow and thicker (about 3 minutes, by hand).
Combine into a batter. Once the egg whites are ready, begin to combine all of the ingredients in the following manner: To the large bowl with the egg yolk mixture, add 1/3 of the flour and cocoa powder mixture and mix to combine. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg white mixture, and fold in as gently as possible while still combining completely. Repeat alternating the flour mixture with the egg white mixture by thirds until everything is fully incorporated. If you add the dry ingredients all at once, the mixture will be too thick to absorb the egg white mixture and everything will clump.
Shape the “fingers.” To thicken the batter enough to make shaping the cookies much more manageable, place the large bowl with the lady finger batter in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the freezer and fill a large piping bag fitted with a 3/4 inch plain piping tip with batter, and pipe “fingers” on the prepared baking sheet about 4 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, placing fingers about 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Bake the cookies. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until the cookies spring back readily when lightly pressed in the center (about 12 minutes).