Chef Forum banner

help with this cake making issue

887 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  luc_h
I've been trying to perfect making my mother's secret cake and I'm trying to overcome one particular problem. Sadly mom is no longer around so I'm on my own with this. This is a very delicious cake btw and people absolutely love it.

The cake is a non-bake cake -- which I guess technically makes it a dessert -- that is made using lady fingers dipped in warmed milk with a bit of cognac and cointreau in lieu of baked cake layers. The lady fingers are dipped in the milk to get soft and moist and then are arranged on a serving plate to form a layer. Each "cake layer" is 2 lady fingers high and there are 3 layers of "cake." In between each layer of lady fingers is a layer of chocolate-orange icing with a final layer of icing on top. The cake is then topped with a layer of crushed caramelized almonds.

The problem I have is with the lady fingers dipped in warm milk. They are very brittle and crumble very easily. The more you allow them time to drain the excess milk the more brittle they become. And still, after the cake is assembled, milk continues to leach out.

I bought a round pizza pan with holes thinking I could rest the dipped lady fingers on it, let the milk drain out, and then transfer them to the serving plate and build the cake.

Does anyone have any other suggestions to tackle this problem?


1 - 2 of 12 Posts
I have had similar problems when I switched lady fingers when making a decadent tiramisu.

I can tell you that Italian lady finger soak up liquid much more evenly than locally made cookies which easily crumble when wet.

As for dipping, it's hard to get the timing right, I have not tried the spray bottle technique but I know that brushing the liquid on the surface, like painting, of the cookie works well. One stroke per side.

It takes time for the liquid to make it through and through to soften the cookie but it will.  My technique is brush one side, brush the other than place the cookie in the cake where it needs to be.  I serve my cake 24hours after making it.

Hope all our suggestions helps!

Luc H.
See less See more
I'm so sorry to hear it did not work for you. Those cookies should work as well as the ones I usually use Savoiardi.

Did these crumble like the previous ones you used?

To be clear I use a natural bristle brush

not synthetic like these

The difference between our recipes is you use warm milk and I use warm sweetened espresso coffee with some alcohol.

Maybe for some reason milk does not migrate as well... It should work though.

i found a recipe that resembles yours. They say to dip the cookies exactly 2 sec:

I think it's now a question of trial an error.

Luc H.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.