So I have to say, I’m getting pretty good at making ladyfingers. Having never made them before this year, I really never gave them much of second thought. In fact, all I knew of these spongy finger-shaped biscuits was that my dad really liked them. I remember them being around the house growing up, because they were one of the few dessert-type items my sweet-toothless dad would consume (see My Dad Hates Cake). It was only once I started going to school that I learned how these fingers o’ ladies were actually made, and of their many uses in classical desserts.
So this week, in my class, we made mini desserts (Small Indulgences, people!), one of which was an individual sized tiramisu, complete with ladyfingers.
The other was made with a Joconde, which is an almond sponge cake baked in a thin sheet and cut to size, and filled with Bavarian Cream. The end result looked like this:
Now, of course I can only get better – that’s why I’m in school – but I have to say that these are in no uncertain terms the best dessert “plates” I’ve done thus far in my baking life. Like Eliza Doolittle, I started off as a layman – a commoner with no plating skills. It was tough at first – I got frustrated decorating plate after plate, only to wipe them clean and start anew time and time again. I too, set a few things on fire as Eliza did, during this tumultuous practice. I was about to throw in the towel on more than one occasion, assuming I’d never make a beautiful plate that looked good enough to eat.
Then one day, the rain in Spain fell mainly on the plain – or plate. Now, I’m not claiming to suddenly be a Picasso of dessert plating, I still have a long way to go. But I did it. I made restaurant caliber dessert art. Of course, I’m not out of the water yet. There is still much practice to be had before I can spend the day at the races without the fear of telling Dover to move his bloomin’ ass. But it will happen. You really can do anything you set your mind to, whether it’s becoming a high-class broad, or plating a high-class dessert.