I haven't felt like turning on the oven much lately. Yes, of course, part of it is the heat. But also, more than that, I'm just not getting the fulfillment from baking that I usually do.
Normally, whatever that means, I bake. I bake when I'm happy. I bake when I'm sad. I bake when I'm struggling. It's how I process change. It's how I mull over difficult decisions. It's how I manage stress. It's how I ground myself.
But for the past month or so, I haven't felt like baking.
I recall another time in my life when I was struggling and didn't feel like doing something that I loved and my doctor told me to do it anyway. And keep doing it, whether I wanted to or not. And eventually, I would embrace it again.
Basically, she said to fake it.
But I don't want to fake bake. I don't want to just go through the motions.
Yet, my sweet tooth hasn't waned with my desire to bake, which led me to the creation of this dessert.
It's a seasonal twist on tiramisu, but rather than coffee, rum and cocoa, it's flavored with peaches, bourbon and just a touch of cinnamon.
3 peaches, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ cups whipping cream, chilled
8 ounces mascarpone
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons bourbon, divided use
1 cup milk
3 (3-ounce) packages ladyfingers
Ground cinnamon, for dusting
In a large bowl, combine the peaches, brown sugar and lemon juice; toss well to coat. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream, mascarpone, granulated sugar and 4 tablespoons of the bourbon until thick and fluffy; set aside.
In a shallow dish, combine the milk and remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon.
Drizzle the ladyfingers with milk-bourbon mixture.
Line the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with the milk-and-bourbon-drizzled ladyfingers.
Top ladyfingers with peaches, arranging peaches in a single layer, slightly overlapping. Add another layer of ladyfingers
Spread the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and dust with a little cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 12 hours before serving.
Makes about 8 servings.