If you are looking for some alternatives to savoiardi cookies or ladyfingers that you can use in a tiramisu recipe or any other dessert then I have a list of perfect solutions for you.
Ladyfingers are a perfect match created for making desserts. Savoiardi cookie is an airy spongy biscuit cake that is on the drier side and perfectly absorbs liquid. If you had no opportunity to buy them at your local store, then the most obvious solution is to bake ladyfinger cookies at home. However, if it is not for you then I have several substitutes that are a perfect fit.
What to use instead of ladyfingers
The key to a perfect lady finger substitute in tiramisu is to copy the flavor that the cookie brings to the dessert. With that in mind, ladyfingers substitutes can be divided into two distinct groups: cookies and cakes/sweetbreads. As there are products that are easier to get ahold of, some of the substitutes you prepare in advance and some bear only a slight resemblance to the original ingredient, you can decide for yourself what option is better for you to use.
If you have no time or opportunity to bake your savoiardi cookies, the next best substitute for lady fingers is to buy a type of cookie that has a resembling texture and is similar to its taste. And you have quite a variety to choose from with some options easier to find in stores than others. Pavesini cookies and Margherite cookies are among the most popular substitutes. They both have a somewhat crumbly texture that is perfect for soaking up the liquid. Besides they have a similar shape to ladyfingers.
If you have no Italian groceries nearby or it is difficult for you to locate those two types of cookies, then any type of butter cookies or shortbread cookies with vanilla flavor is another option. At the end of the day, when left overnight to soak in all the moisture, you will barely notice the difference.
There are three types of cakes that you can use to substitute for ladyfingers in tiramisu: Sponge Cake, Pound Cake, and Panettone. I know that these three desserts are so far from Italian cookies as they can go, but hear me out. These options are easier to find at the bakery and they have one distinctive feature – they are excellent at absorbing liquid when they are dried out.
There are two ways to prepare cakes for using them to make homemade tiramisu. First, you need to cut the cake into strips that resemble the shape and form of ladyfingers. For the weight of cookies in the recipe, you will need the same amount of cake. You can leave these strips uncovered overnight or you can use an oven for the purpose. Layout strips of Panettone or cake strip on the baking tray and bake them in the oven at a very low oven temperature until the necessary consistency. It should take you from thirty minutes to an hour to get them dried.
You should be more careful with using pound cake, as it will be the hardest to dry out. It can still carry some moisture even after the whole night of drying out. That is why if you over soak it, it can break apart before you can even arrange it in a serving dish. Simply adjust the amount of liquid, brush it over the cake or pour it over the pound cake strips after you add them to the dish.
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