Peach Charlotte

I have made charlottes before, but with this one, I wanted to emphasize the flavors of peaches, and I wanted to test out a new trick with making a ruby chocolate collar. So the components of a charlotte are primarily ladyfingers and spongecake that are stacked with cream and fruit. For mine, I went with peach-mascarpone mousse, fresh peaches, and a simple syrup to soak the ladyfingers with. The key to making the ladyfingers really lies in getting the mixture just mixed, and being consistent with how wide and long you pipe them. I use a piping bag with a round tip and a ruler, because that precision would be key. For the collar, I figured if there were any imperfections with the ladyfingers, such as them being too long or inconsistent, I could slice them to be the same height, then cover up the base with that pretty little collar so that nobody would ever know!

For the ladyfingers:
6 egg whites
2 egg yolks
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Whip your sugar, egg whites, vanilla, and salt together to stiff peaks. Sift your cornstarch into the egg yolks. Then sift on top of that your flour. Fold in the egg whites, one third at a time, until everything is fully incorporated. Pipe the ladyfinger batter onto a lined sheet tray to be 1/2-inch wide and about 3 inches long. Also be sure to pipe two 5-inch disks out of the batter as well. Optionally, you can dust onto the unbaked sponge batter some confectioner’s sugar. This will help with the browning. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Allow these to cool before using for assembly.

For the peach mousse:
2 fresh peaches, pitted and diced
2 teaspoons gelatin powder
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
12 oz mascarpone cheese

In a blender, puree everything except for the cheese together. Pour that mixture into a pot, through a sieve. Reduce on medium heat while stirring until it has been cooked down by about half. Cool down the peach mixture to room temperature then stir it into the mascarpone to combine.

For the simple syrup:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
juice from 1 lemon
a pinch of salt

Heat everything until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Brush onto the flat sides of the ladyfingers and dunk each 5-inch round of sponge into the liquid. Reserve the rest for your fresh peaches.

For assembly:
2 peach, pitted
Line a 6-inch ring mold with acetate. Then start with one round. Dice one of your peaches. Pour in half of the mousse and sprinkle on half of tone peach. Place on the next round then repeat. Freeze this portion until set, 2 to 3 hours. With the other peach, slice it into thin wedges on a mandolin, being careful when doing so, then toss in the remaining simple syrup so that the slices do no oxidize. Refrigerate and store in an airtight until the charlotte is set. Once the charlotte is set, unmold it and remove the acetate. Arrange the peach slices on top of the charlotte

For the ruby chocolate collar:
1/2 cup ruby chocolate
1/2 teaspoon cacao butter, finely grated
a pinch of salt

Over a double boiler, heat up the ruby chocolate until it is fully melted. Take off heat and stir in the salt first. Stir until the chocolate is about 90 degrees F. Pour in your cacao butter and stir until it dissolves into the chocolate as well. Once the ruby chocolate is down to 87 degrees F, measure out a 2 1/2-inch by 20-inch strip of acetate. Pour the ruby chocolate onto that and allow it to sit at room temperature first for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer it onto the charlotte. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes before removing the acetate and serving.

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