the oven to 325ºF. Coat 2 baking sheets
with the cooking spray and set aside. Also coat
an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-in loaf pan, line the
bottom and sides with wax papper, and set aside.
the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the
egg yolks at moderate speed until thick and
pale, then add 1/4 cup of the confectioner's
sugar, 1 tbs at a time. Increase the speed to
high and beat the yolks until they are the consistency
of mayonnaise. Beat in the vanilla extract.
a medium-size bowl, with clean beaters, beat
3 of the egg whites and the salt at moderate
speed until foamy. Add 2 tbs of the remaining
confectioner's sugar, 1 tbs at a time, then
increase the speed to moderately high and beat
until the whites hold stiff peaks.
a small bowl, combine another 2 tbs of the confectioner's
sugar with the flour. With a rubber spatula,
alternately fold the flour mixture and the beaten
egg whites into the yolk mixture a little at
a time, beginning and ending with the flour
the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a
1/2-inch plain tip and pipe 4-inch long ladyfinger
strips on the baking sheets, spacing the strips
about 2 inches apart. Sift another 2 tbs of
the confectioner's sugar over the strips and
bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until pale golden.
Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then
transfer the ladyfingers to wire racks
and cool completely - about 30 minutes.
line the loaf pan, arrange some of the ladyfingers
over the bottom of the pan, then stand additional
ladyfingers around the sides, trimming them
to fit snugly and reserving any leftovers. Set
the pan aside.
a small bowl, soften the gelatin in the water
for 5 minutes; then set the bowl in a pan of
hot water and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
In an electric blender or food processor, whirl
the pint of strawberries for 1 minute, then
strain into a large bowl; stir in the gelatin
mixture, lemon juice, and, if desired, the kirsch
or cassis. Fold in the yogurt.
the small bowl of the electric mixer, beat the
2 remaining egg whites at moderate speed until
foamy. Add the superfine sugar, 1 tbs at a time,
then increase the speed to moderately high and
beat until the whites hold stiff peaks. With
a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the beaten whites
into the strawberry mixture, then gently but
thoroughly fold in the balance. Spoon the strawberry
mixture into the ladyfinger-lined pan, smoothing
the top, and crumble any remaining ladyfingers
on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
at least 4 hours or overnight.
serve, cover the pan with a small oblong platter
and invert the charlotte onto it. Garnish with
the whole strawberries, slicing some of them,
if you wish, then sift the remaining 2 tbs confectioner's
sugar on top.