Home > Cakes, Dessert > Strawberry Charlotte

Strawberry Charlotte

I’ve always thought Charlotte cakes as being charming and very impressive looking. In fact, they were so majestic looking that i was always intimidated to attempt making one.

Most of the Charlottes i’ve seen have a ring of sponge fingers around them. I have never made sponge fingers before, and i was pretty damn sure that i will screw it up somehow. The batter involved the delicate folding of temperamental egg whites into egg yolks and flour. This batter is then piped into slug-like shapes before being sent to bake. I wanted my slugs to be uniformly fat and stunted in height, so i drew guiding lines across my parchment to make sure that happens (that’s quite anal, i know).

What i didnt know was how these sponge fingers would puff. My gang of slugs grew from fat to obese.  Well, that’s all right i guess, since they all managed to puff consistently, which meant that i still will have my crown of sponge fingers in a standard size and height.

Next came the mousse, the original recipe from Annie’s eats called for raspberry and blackberry mousse. I didn’t have any of these fruits on hands, plus they are real expensive here in Indonesia. So i subbed them with the more readily available (and cheaper) strawberries.

The recipe was also designed to make 4 to 5 mini charlottes, again i didn’t have mini charlotte molds, so i had to content myself with making a huge one instead.

I then decorated the top of the mousse with a medley of fresh cherries, blueberries and strawberries.

aaah, I love working with fresh gorgeous fruits, especially when they are of vibrant bold colours. They just made everything so much prettier.

Truth be told, i haven’t had a chance to taste this yet. I wanted to, but i haven’t really had the heart to slice into it yet. But rest assured, i did taste the sponge fingers, and the mousse individually before they were assembled and they tasted pretty damn good!! 🙂

Individual Berry Charlottes
(Taken from Annie’s eats )

Yield: 4-5 individual charlottes

For the ladyfingers:
3 large eggs, separated
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour

For the blackberry mousse:
½ cup strained blackberry puree
2 tsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. gelatin
1½ tsp. cold water
½ cup heavy cream

For the raspberry mousse:
½ cup strained raspberry puree
2 tsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. gelatin
1½ tsp. cold water
½ cup heavy cream

Fresh berries, for serving

To make the lady fingers, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until foamy.  Gradually add the sifted confectioners’ sugar, and continue whipping the egg whites until a stiff, glossy meringue forms.  Transfer the meringue mixture to a medium mixing bowl.  In the empty mixer bowl, now fitted with the flat beater, combine the egg yolks and granulated sugar.  Beat on medium speed until thick and pale yellow.  With a spatula, fold the egg yolk mixture into the meringue until smooth and blended, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.  Gently fold in the flour until no streaks remain.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip.  Pipe the ladyfingers onto the prepared baking pans, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.  Additionally, pipe small rounds for the bases of the charlottes (about 2½-3 inches in diameter).  Sprinkle additional confectioners’ sugar over the piped ladyfingers.  Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Let cool on the pans 10-15 minutes, then remove the ladyfingers and cake bases to a wire rack to cool completely.  (Yield: approximately 36 ladyfingers plus 4 cake bases)

To make the blackberry mousse, combine the blackberry puree and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  While the mixture is heating, combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl to soften.  Once the fruit puree reaches a boil, remove from the heat.  Stir in the softened gelatin mixture.  Let cool to room temperature.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat!)  With a spatula, gently fold in the fruit puree until well mixed and no streaks remain.

To assemble the charlottes, place a cake disk inside the bottom of each 3-inch ring mold on a flat plate or baking sheet.

Line the edges of the mold with upright ladyfingers, flat sides facing toward the center.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip with the raspberry mousse.  Pipe a layer of the mousse into the center of the charlottes, leaving at least ½-inch of exposed ladyfingers to act as a rim for the berry topping.  Transfer the charlottes to the refrigerator to chill the mousse until ready to serve.

Before serving, gently remove the ring molds from the charlottes.  Tie a decorative bow around the outside of each cake.  Top with fresh berries and serve chilled.

  1. February 16, 2011 at 6:09 am

    beautiful colors Lina! i love the way you decorate it!

  2. NEL
    February 16, 2011 at 6:11 am

    What a gorgeous cake, Lina. Love the mix of colours from the fruits you chose and the way it’s arranged.

  3. February 16, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Looks stunning and so fresh and summery. I’ll have to remember this for when the berries come back into season. Beautiful

  4. February 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Your Charlotte is really beautiful and so impressive! The berries look so delicious and they’re really making me long for summer! 🙂

  5. February 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Lina, this is absolutely gorgeous. Your Charlotte looks like it has come from a French pastry shop. I can only imagine how good this must taste. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  6. February 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Beautiful Charlotte! I definitely want to try this one day!

  7. February 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    What an incredibly gorgeous dessert!!! I would love to make this!

  8. February 17, 2011 at 12:01 am

    That does look impressive! I hope you have the heart to eat it soon 🙂

  9. February 17, 2011 at 12:43 am

    What a beautiful dessert! Bookmarking this for when berries are in season again!

  10. February 17, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Beautiful shots!

  11. February 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    That’s so beautiful, awesome work!

  12. February 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    is this also for valentine’s day? very romantic looking cake!seems lot of work though to get this done..

  13. February 18, 2011 at 3:02 am

    This looks amazing! I wouldn’t want to cut it either!

  14. February 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Wow, that is one lovely dessert. You just totally impress me.

  15. Nina
    February 19, 2011 at 5:53 am

    WOW! It is , indeed, VERY impressive! Stunning dessert. Beautifully done!

  16. February 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    This is so beautiful. The colors definitely make me think of summer- it can’t come soon enough.

  17. February 21, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I definitely think that you’ve done justice to this traditional French dessert! It’s magnifique! 😀

  18. February 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Beautiful pics. Beautiful recipe. Great work! We’d love for you to share your recipe at dishfolio.com!

  19. February 21, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    simply sensational charlotte …. ! I’m impressed by the fact that you baked the fingers to be assorted later yourself, thats pretty tedious to make….superb recipe, will try it soon !

  20. February 22, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Very lovely. I especially like the cherries! I hope the tasting goes well.

  21. July 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    hi, I am searching the photo of Charlotte, and just found urs is very beautiful. I am doing some usage information about lady fingers for the retail company I work for. I was wondering if I could borrow your photos as an examples of Charlotte.

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