THE PIANO & LADYFINGERS
Jane Campion © Sally Bongers
An enigmatic romance as well as a fearless depiction of female rebellion, sexuality, and power, The Piano announced a major work from ingenious Kiwi filmmaker Jane Campion, who became the first female director to win the Palm d’Or at Cannes for this hauntingly expressive and beautiful tale set in the recently colonized New Zealand wilderness of the 19th century.
Electively mute Scotswoman Ada and her strong-willed daughter Flora (Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin, who both won Oscars® for their roles) journey to a remote coastal settlement to meet her new husband, wealthy and dull Stewart (Sam Neill). He callously sells her beloved piano to his workman, local eccentric Baines (Harvey Keitel), resulting in a unique arrangement and a potent attraction that betrays these characters’ confined, yet overpowering emotions. Campion brilliantly imbues the film with an over-ripe sensuality, and a ravenous and rawly stunning natural environment, entirely aloof to the fools these mortals be.
- 4 large eggs separated
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup sugar 132 grams, 4.66 oz, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 125 grams, 4.5 oz
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch 7.5 grams, 0.26 oz
- Powdered sugar or crystal sugar for sprinkling over cookies
Pre-heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper, or silicon mat. You can make a template with lines that are about 4 inches long, 2 inches apart, and place it under your parchment paper or mat to use as a piping guide. Or you can use an eclair pan.
Fit a piping bag with a round piping tip, I used a round piping tip that measures about 0.5” in diameter. Set aside.
Place egg whites in a bowl of an electric mixer. Add cream of tartar.
Whip whites until white and fluffy, when they reach soft peaks, add 1/3 cup of sugar gradually.
When they reach stiff peaks, stop whipping.
Work quickly in the next steps because you don’t want your whites to sit for a long time and get deflated.
Add yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt to a bowl. Cream at medium speed for a couple of minutes until light in color and fluffy.
Add vanilla, sifted flour, and cornstarch to the yolk mixture.
Without even stirring yet, add 1/3 of the whipped whites.
Now fold everything together with a spatula until incorporated.
Add another 1/3 of the whites.
Fold again until combined.
Add the remaining 1/3 of the whites.
Fold until incorporated. Don’t fold too much, just enough to incorporate everything together.
Transfer batter to the piping bag.
Pipe your ladyfinger cookies. You should pipe fingers that are about 3 or 4 inches long, and 1 inch wide, about 2 inches apart.
Sprinkle powdered sugar or crystal sugar on top of cookies.
Bake in pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, until cookies are slightly golden.
Remove and let them cool down.