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Strawberry Charlotte

Posted By admin On March 19, 2012 @ 2:48 am In Desserts | No Comments

Strawberry Charlotte

Charlotte are a classic French desserts composed of a mold of liqueur-soaked ladyfingers surrounding a rich Bavarian cream or mousse filling. This one combines a suave kirsch-and strawberry spiked white chocolate mousse with fresh, ripe strawberries. You could think of this charlotte as a sort of strawberry shortcake… if strawberry shortcake spent a year in Paris and came back unrecognizably glamorous!

Note: if you are not possessed of a springform pan, or of the patience to fiddle about with creating a tidy parade of ladyfingers around the one, the charlotte will be just as delicious if assembled in flat layers in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Just line the bottom with rows of ladyfingers, spread the mousse over, then top with the strawberries and Creme Chantilly before serving.

This dessert needs at least 4 hours to chill after assembling, and will be better if it can chill overnight.

— 10-12 servings

*Items marked in green are available from The Gourmet Corner.

Ingredients

Charlotte Mold

  • 1.5 packages (~36) Grand Jury Cuillers (French Ladyfingers)
  • 4 Tb Kirsch
  • 3 Tb Grand Jury or Teisseire Strawberry Syrup (Sirop Fraise)

White Chocolate Mousse

  • 12 oz Cacao Noel White chocolate calets
  • 4 Tb Kirsch + 3 Tb water
  • 2 c whipping cream
  • 4 Tb Grand Jury or Teisseire Strawberry Syrup (Sirop Fraise)

2 lb fragrantly ripe medium-size strawberries (large ones can be used, but you may need more to cover the top of the charlotte).

Creme Chantilly

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 Tbs powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Assembly

  • (Optional, but makes a splendid presentation) 1 yard 1.5-2” wide ribbon

Preparing the Charlotte Mold

Combine 4 Tb Kirsch with 3 Tb strawberry syrup. Line a 9” springform pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Trim 8 ladyfingers to a sharp point at one end. Brush each ladyfinger with the Kirsch mixture and arrange them flat side down in a starburst shape in the center of the pan, with the pointed ends meeting in the middle. Cut 4 more ladyfingers in half at a 45” angle and fit the angled pieces in between the spokes of the ‘starburst’. There should be ¾ -1” space between the rounded ends and the side of the pan. Using a ladyfinger as a guide, trim the ends of the ladyfingers on the bottom of the pan to make enough space for the vertical ones that will be added around the sides of the pan.

Set aside the lined mold and the remaining strawberry-Kirsch mixture while you prepare the white chocolate mousse.

White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberry Ripple

Melt white chocolate, Kirsch and water in a medium bowl set in a barely simmering pan of water. Stir frequently to ensure even melting. Or, melt in a microwave on low power (30%) for about 2 minutes (white chocolate overheats easily, so always use low power and heat it in short bursts, to avoid causing it to curdle and clump). Stir until smooth, then set aside until barely warm (~85°F).

Place the 4 Tbs strawberry syrup in a small bowl near where you will beat the cream.

Beat the cream just until it holds its shape softly — do not beat until stiff, or it will curdle when you fold it into the mousse. Pour the cooled white chocolate mixture into it and gently but quickly fold until evenly incorporated. lightly drizzle about half the strawberry syrup over the mousse, fold twice, then drizzle the rest of the syrup and fold once — you want it to remain in distinct streaks in the mousse.

Immediately pile the mousse into the center of the lined mold, gently spreading it to within 1″ of the edge. Carefully brush the flat side of a ladyfinger with the remaining strawberry-Kirsch mixture and slide it, rounded side out between the mousse and the side of the springform. Repeat with as many ladyfingers as needed to line the sides of the pan, lightly spreading the mousse against them to hold them in place.

Refrigerate the charlotte for 6 hours to overnight, to allow the flavors to blend and the mousse to set.

Finishing and Serving

Carefully expand the springform ring so that the bottom and sides separate. Keeping the ring around the charlotte, slide the charlotte (on its parchment) onto the serving tray.

Carefully remove the ring from the springform. Gently tie the ribbon around the charlotte, if using.

Rinse and pat dry the strawberries, then trim off the hulls. Set them in neat, concentric rows on the mousse, starting from the outer edge and working toward the center.

Whip 1 cup cream until almost stiff, then stir in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla

Use a pastry bag with a large star tip to pipe the creme chantilly in decorative rosettes or swirls on the top of the charlotte. Serve immediately. Remove the ribbon before cutting!


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