Ladyfinger cookies are nothing more sponge cake, piped into finger forms. Feel free to use your favorite sponge recipe, if you have one. This is often done with the whites and yolks whipped separately and then folded together. I find whipping them together over the warmth of the water bath stabilizes the whites well and you need less time whipping. If you don't have a piping bag, fill a zip-top bag, then cut the corner off. If you aren't comfortable piping, you can also do these as drop cookies, where you simply "drop" spoonfuls of batter onto the lined baking sheet for round cookies instead. —Emiko
(120 grams) superfine sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Beat together the sugar and eggs in a metal bowl set over a bain-marie (double boiler) until the mixture reaches 45°C or 110°F (the mixture should feel like a very warm bath—it takes about 2 to 3 minutes) and is doubled in size and pale, thick and creamy.
Fold in the flour gently, bit by bit, until smooth.
Prepare a cookie tray with baking paper. Fill a piping bag with the batter and pipe cookies roughly 4 inches (10cm) long, 1 inch (2 1/2cm) wide and 1/2 inch (1cm) high. Leave plenty of space between each cookie.
Sprinkle the cookies with some sugar, and then dust over some powdered sugar.
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed, dry to the touch, and deep golden in color.
Remove from the oven and let cookies cool completely on baking sheet before removing carefully. Use immediately or, if you want to keep them for later, let the cookies dry out on a wire rack overnight before packing into an airtight container. They will keep this way for 2 weeks.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.