To be honest, more than charred, I’m fried.
I’m dragging my feet, so much so that the edges of my toes are burned and my shoes have holes in them.
Or, they would, if I were wearing shoes.  The past two days, it has been scorchingly hot.
Like, dash-reads-100-degrees hot.  
Like, yes-absolutely-let’s-go-to-the-grocery-store-it-has-AC hot.
Like, why-the-f@&#-did-I-turn-on-the-oven hot.
It’s cooled down, now.
This morning/midday was Sahara desert-esque (right when I was making ratatouille AND savoiardi like wat why me), but this afternoon and evening…
Well, holy monsoon Batman!!
All that rain practically sizzled off of the sidewalks, but eventually drowned out the heat.
I mean, phew, cause I’ve started cooking with apples and pears already, and there’s no turning back.
I just ain’t got time for no more summer, let me tell you.
Ah, yes.  What am I dragging my feet for, you say?
Well, I have 9 8 more days left here in Ith, and I haven’t started packing!!
I have shit to do, guys!  And I can’t bring myself to do it.
It’s just like, ugh, it’s so hot and like I don’t really want to think about like organization and fitting my closet into my dorm room, let alone my kitchen.
Those are the two largest entities in my house.
Because, yes! 
Surprise (or, rather, less than a surprise) surprise, this blog is not stopping here.
I’ll have access to a kitchen…
Which means baking and blogging and sugar and butter and flour.
Comin’ at yo face.
In turn, this means that I have to make a packing list for normal living things- linens, clothing, cosmetics, decor, etc., but also for kitchen supplies.
I can’t bear to think of the beloved appliances I’ll have to leave behind.
Examples: my ice cream behemoth machine
my pro WOLF convection oven
my big food processor
my stand blender
copper pots, wok, little pots, little saucepans, omelette pan, panini pan, roasting pan, all MY PANS
random prop materials- china, silverware, fabrics, wooden pieces, marble, much of my mason jar collection
… Pour one out for da homiez.  Seriously.
On a less dour note, this is a lovely little charlotte that I’m sharing today.
Get it?!?!?! Charlotte- charred
No? Damn, and I thought I was being a clever little monkey. (Insert that cute emoji here, you know the one, the little monkey with its little hands over its mouth.)
A charlotte is a molded cake, usually with savoiardi, or ladyfingers, around the outside.
(There are a few variations on what is on the exterior.)  
Where the imagination and difference comes in is the interior.
You could make a charlotte with literally any flavor or idea.
I chose tiramisù, because ladyfingers. 
And because I had never made tiramisù before.
It’s incredibly simple- just 3 components to the dish- savoiardi, coffee/liqueur to soak, and a cream/zabaglione/mascarpone mixture to add richness.
So simple, in fact, that I undertook to make my own ladyfingers, which may seem imposing, but are, in actuality, very simple.
This is a cookie that’s been around for 600 or so years.  How hard can it be?  Fo’ realz. 
On the inside is a classic tiramisù, except that I used whiskey, which is, erm… not traditional.
But to hell with it.  Use whatever liqueur tickles your fancy.
The ladyfingers are sponge cake’s sister, just piped out.
They’re layered with coffee/whiskey/vanilla (can I have that as my morning pick-me-up?!) and a deeeeelicious mascarpone/heavy cream/zabaglione mixture (wait no I want that…), topped with a mountain of raspberries, then chilled until set.
Wrap a ribbon around the whole shebang and give it to someone as a present!
HA just kidding.  
Untie the ribbon, cut yourself a fat wedge, watch the raspberries tumble out like so many ruby jewels, and MANGIA! 

Tiramisù Charlotte
makes 1 6×3 inch cake
note: brew some strong coffee before starting, then allow it to cool.  If you are making ladyfingers, make those right after the coffee and let them cool as well.  You can always use store-bought.
for the savoiardi (ladyfingers):
makes 1 1/2 sheet pans of 4×1 inch savoiardi
3.5 egg yolks (1/2 yolk is approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons, or 0.3 ounce)
3 tablespoons sugar
3.5 egg whites (1/2 white is approximately 1 tablespoon, or 0.5 ounce)
pinch cream of tartar
4 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup cake flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Draw out 4×1 inch grids on two sheets of parchment paper; place them on two sheet pans, pencil or pen side down.
Have a pastry bag fitted with a 1 inch tip at the ready.
Place the egg yolks in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with the cream of tartar.
Whip the egg yolks briskly (or with a hand mixer) until they become pale, thick, and double in size.
Meanwhile, whip the egg whites, slowly streaming in 4 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar once they begin to foam.  
Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.
Sift the cake flour over the egg yolks, but don’t mix in, then fold the egg whites into the egg yolk/flour until homogenous; be careful not to overmix.
Place into pastry bag and pipe out finger shapes, approximately 4×1 inch tall/wide.  (They will touch each other during baking.)
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until they are golden and puffy but not particularly hard. (They should not feel raw or look runny, but should still be slightly spongy to the touch.)
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

for the mascarpone cream:
adapted from Chef Dennis via Bake and Bait
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mascarpone
scant cup heavy cream
Whisk yolks and sugar together very well; place in a small pot over low heat and cook until sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from heat, pour into a different bowl, and whip until thick and about doubled in size.
Whisk in mascarpone.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks, then fold it into the zabaglione/mascarpone mixture.
Set in fridge until ready to use (but not for too long; an hour at most before you should use it).

to assemble:
1/4 cup coffee, cold but strong
1 tablespoon liqueur (Marsala, Kahlua, etc.  Go nuts.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cocoa powder, for dusting
1 pint of raspberries, optional
mascarpone cream, recipe above
ladyfingers (about 30 small ones, less if you have larger), either store bought or homemade, recipe above
Line a 6×3 inch pan with ladyfingers standing upright.
Place a cake board in the bottom, then place as many ladyfingers as can fit along the bottom, using torn pieces to fill in gaps.
Stir the coffee, liqueur, and vanilla together.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the coffee mixture over the ladyfingers- they should absorb it, but do not add so much that they are soaked.  
Smooth 1/3 of the cream mixture onto the soaked ladyfingers.
Layer more ladyfingers over the cream mixture, brush with coffee, and layer with cream.
Repeat layering once more.
Dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa powder, and top with raspberries, if desired.
Refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours before unmolding.
Tie a ribbon around the outside for clean presentation.

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