Charlotte Russe, a delicious bavarian cream type of dessert with rasberries. Perfect for when you are entertaining guests and very easy to make beforehand. The idea to try a Charlotte Russe came from watching an episode of Downton Abbey. Those of you who are familiar with the British show will have also noticed the delicious pastries and dessert Mrs. Pattmore put on the table. We talked to our inner chefs and decided to give it a go.
Considering neither one of us has any experience making these kinds of desserts we decided to try a mini version of the famous Charlotte first. You can immediately try out the big cake but the minis do have something cute.
The Charlotte Russe is an invention by big French chef Marie-Antoine Careme (1784-1833), who named the dessert after the daughter of his former employer King George the IVth of England, princess Charlotte, and his current Russian employer Czar Alexander the Great.
There are multiple varieties of the Charlotte Russe. Big and small formats, flavours such as rasberry or orange. You can trully go in every direction with this dessert.
We choose to make 4 minis based on the recipe of chickslovefood. However, we did give it our own twist. The preparations take up 2 hrs and 35 min. approximately, but for the ultimate resulte we chose to leave the desserts to cool in the fridge overnight. For this recipe it’s best to make the minis a day in advance.
What do you need?
- 350 g finger biscuits/ sponge fingers
- 2 sheets of gelatine
- 50 ml boiling water
- 300 g rasberries
- 100 g crème fraîche
- 120 g creme cheese
- 50 g powdered sugar (and a little extra for decorating)
- 4 ribbons for the minis
Next to the ingredients you also need kitchen equipment.
- blender/ food processor
- mug/glas with a diameter of 8 cm
- a mixing bowl
- a deep plate
- measuring cup
- optional: mortar
Grab the 4 mugs or glasses with a diameter of 8 cm. Make sure it is a straight glass or mug without curvings. Cover the inside with some foil.
Take a few finger biscuits/ sponge fingers and crush them in the mortar until all that’s left is dust. Once this is done put some in every glass and make sure it covers the bottom. Follow this step by taking 8 finger biscuits/ sponge fingers and placing them along the side of the glass with the sugary side facing outside. Should there still be space between the fingers then take an extra finger and shave it until it’s thin enough to fill the leftover space.
Next, put the two sheets of gelatine in a deep plate. Poor 3 tablespoons of cold water over them. Add the boiling water too and stirr lightly with a whisk until the sheets are dissolved. Put the plate aside for a minute as you prefer for step 3.
Puree 250 g of rasberries in a blender or food processor. Add crème fraîche, creme cheese and the powdered sugar. Whisk until it is a smooth substance. Add the gelatine and mix thoroughly.
At this point you can do one of two things. The Chickslovefood recipe asks to fill the glasses with the mixture and leave them to cool in the fridge for two hours. Our first attempt failed and didn’t quite come out the way it was supposed to.
So for the second attempt we left the batter in the fridge for two hours. Afterwards you grab a pastry bag or a sandwich bag and but some of the batter in. Use this to put the batter in the glasses evenly without touching the fingers. Once you’ve done this you place the glasses back in the fridge and leave them over night.
In this case see what works for you. Our tip would be to leave it over night for optimal result.
When it is time to present the dessert, carefully pull the Charlotte’s from the glass by pulling on the foil. Don’t pull too hard or you’ll run the risk of it falling apart. Remove the foil and decorate the top of the dessert with the remaining rasberries. An alternative to this is to first put on a bit of whip cream before adding the fruits. Finish the dessert with some powdered sugar on top and a ribbon around it. Finally, put it on the designated plate and you’re done.
The end result
The end result is delicious and beautiful to look at. You’re guests will be amazed. Our first attempt at the Charlotte’s failed but the second attempt was beautiful. Don’t be afraid to try things out. It makes cooking and baking more fun. Discover what works for you and what doesn’t.
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