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Strawberry Charlotte isn’t quite as hard as it looks; plus you will get lots of oohs and aahs from your guests, not to mention a ton of satisfaction. It’s a simple recipe: sponge cake, strawberry mousse, fresh fruit. Welcome to the perfect summer dessert!
1/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 cup potato starch, sifted
Preheat the oven to F 350. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round baking pan. (If your Charlotte pan is also 9 inches, simply cut the sponge cake to size.) Sift both flours. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Continue beating and gradually add the sugar spoon by spoon. When all the sugar is incorporated, add the egg yolks, beating all the while. Using a spatula, slowly add the flour into the egg mixture until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes. When the cake has completely cooled, cut the sponge cake in half horizontally.
The baking pan for the sponge cake must be about 0.8 in (2 cm) smaller than the dish in which you will make the Charlotte.
7 oz of Savoiardi ladyfingers
A handful of fresh strawberries and other fruits
11 oz frozen strawberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream, well chilled
2 sponge cake bases (recipe above)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 1/2 tsp gelatin
In a saucepan, combine the frozen strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook slowly until the strawberries are soft. Blend until smooth, and pass through a sieve. Leave aside to cool. Meanwhile, place the gelatin in a small pot and pour enough water to cover it; leave aside till it swells. At this time heat it up slowly until the gelatin has dissolved, but not boiled, as it would lose the gelling properties. Slowly add the dissolved gelatin to the strawberry mousse and mix well.
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Cut the tips of the ladyfingers on one side so they can stand vertically in the Charlotte pan. Prepare a pan roughly 8in/20cm in diameter. Place one of the sponge cake bases on the bottom and surround it with ladyfingers, cut side down.
At this time whip the whipping cream till stiff, and then slowly, using a spatula, add the mousse in several batches, (reserving a few tablespoons), and mix till it has a uniform color. Spread the remainder of the strawberry mouse on the sponge cake. Pour half of the whipped cream/strawberry mixture on top. Put the remaining sponge cake piece in on top, then arrange some sliced strawberries and cover with the remainder of the whipped cream/strawberry mixture. Refrigerate for a few hours, ideally overnight. Decorate with fresh fruit. Enjoy!
*Sponge cake recipe comes from mojewypieki.com
This article was originally published in the Polish Edition of Aleteia.