Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gluten free lady fingers - take 2

After the first, gritty lady fingers attempt, I decided to consult a few more recipes. The one in Jacqueline Mallorca's Gluten-Free Italian looked promising. So what did I do, try it as its written, of course not, I tinkered.

4 tbsp sweet rice flour
2 tbsp millet flour
2 tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp potato starch
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs separated
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar (~1 tbsp for dusting piped fingers)
*silpat or parchment paper

1. Combine the rice, millet, corn, potato starches, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum into a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until they form soft peaks. Slowly sprinkle in 2tbsp of the 1/4 cup of sugar. Whip until soft peaks.
3. In a separate bowl combine the remaining sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Whip until light yellow and the batter forms ribbons when you dip the beater into it - it should ooze off in a ribbon. This is going to take at least 5 minutes.
4. Add 1/4 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, fold until almost combined. In three separate stages, sift in the dry ingredients into the yolk mixture. (The last addition completely seized up the batter and I thought it was over - but keep going. I think the xanthan was a mistake.)
5. In two more additions, gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
6. Load the batter into a pastry bag with a 1/2" round tip or into a zip-top bag, and cut a 1/2" hole in the corner.
7. Pipe the mixture onto the baking pan lined with a silpat or parchment. Shoot for 3-4" lines with 1'' of space between each cookie.
8. Sprinkle with powdered sugar... or forget to do this, and try to do it while they are in the oven, burn yourself and laugh, after cursing.
9. Bake at 325F for 10-15 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden brown.
10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes, then gently pull back the silpat/parchment and place the cookies on a wire rack to completely cool.

While they are warm, they are going to be soft, but as the cool they will crisp up.

Overall, these are a lot better than the first go round, much more cakey and they don't have a weird too eggy flavor. They are a bit more subtle too and not gritty.
I think they will make pretty good tiramisu, though they are about half as thick as traditional cookies, so I am wondering if they are going to get soggy once dipped in the espresso. I might try it one more time without the xanthan gum to see how they turn out.

Egg yolks, vanilla and sugar just combined.

Egg whites mixed, then sugar added - look at those peaks!

Back to the yolks, check out how much lighter they get:

First addition of the whites:

Adding in the dry:

Weird batter seizing:

Whites in, batter smooth:

Folding a bag over a 4 cup container for pouring in the batter:

Snip the tip:

Piped cookies:
Forgetting the powdered sugar, adding it while they are in the oven - not a good idea.

Done cookies:
Just a hint of color on the bottom

I really wish they were taller. I think the xanthan gum screwed everything up cause I had to work the batter a lot more and probably lost some of the height from the egg whites.

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