Category Archives: Charlottes

Making Charlotte Royale

Just like a Charlotte russe, a Charlotte royale can take a variety of forms. This domed version is probably the classic, though I’ve seen lots of flat ones made in rounds as well. They can be just about any flavor. Mango is a true delight. It starts with a sheet of joconde, half as thick as my regular recipe calls for. It should be only lightly browned so that it remains flexible enough to roll. About like so:

Loosen it from the pan as soon as it emerges from the oven.

Then lay on a sheet of parchment and a rack.

Flip everything over and peel away the paper.

Apply another parchment sheet and another rack (or an upside-down sheet pan)…

…and flip it back. Remove the top piece of parchment and allow the cake to cool completely.

Reader Ed had the suggestion that instead of making one long jelly roll, which would leave leftovers of jelly roll and a bottomless Charlotte, I should use half the sheet for the roll and half for a bottom. It’s an excellent idea and it makes the finished Charlotte a whole lot easier to serve. Depending on the size of the form you’re using it can result in a shortage of pieces to completely cover the Charlotte, though that certainly isn’t the end of the world. I’m going with Ed’s suggestion. So I’ll cut the sheet in two…

…then trim off the crusty edges to make it easier to roll.

Now I’ll apply some orange marmalade.

I’ll spread it over evenly, but leave a small ridge at the far end to give the roll a “center” as it were…something for the cake to roll around.

Then I’ll just roll up the marmalade-covered half. To give the Charlotte a somewhat more refined appearance you can roll the joconde the “short” way. This will give you smaller cross-sections, though the sheet can be a bit harder to roll tightly and to slice (you need to cut the pieces quite thin so you have enough of the small pieces to cover). Either way the roll will crack here and there. Fear not.

I’ll wrap that in plastic wrap…

…then give it a gentle roll on the board to help ensure a tubular shape. I’ll then stash it in the freezer for a few hours (or a few days).

Then I’ll lay down a cake circle on the other half of the joconde sheet, one that’s the same size as my form, in this case eight inches. Then I’ll trim away the excess which I’ll eat when no one’s looking.

There’s my Charlotte bottom. Still needs a little trimming, but it looks good.

Now I’ll fetch my mold. You can use any sort of round-bottomed bowl, but the advantage of a stainless steel mold like this is that it won’t react with anything (like acidic fruits). Hey! Who’s the dork holding the camera?

To keep a round-bottomed bowl steady while you work, just place it in another smaller bowl that has a flat bottom.

Press in a layer of plastic wrap, which will ensure no sticking.

Now simply slice your jelly roll into 1/4″ to 3/8″ slices…

…and lay them into the mold, pressing gently.

Paint the interior with the rum syrup and stash the whole works in the fridge while you prepare your mango mousse.

When the mousse is ready, spoon it into the mold.

Apply the bottom (cardboard side up) and press it down firmly. Refrigerate everything for a minimum of three hours.

When you’re ready to finish the Charlotte, simply up-end the mold, loosen the plastic from around the sides and lift it off.

Peel back the plastic wrap and set your creation aside while you make the glaze.

Combine the water and gelatin and let them sit…

…while you heat the sugar and orange juice together in a small saucepan.

With the juice mixture at a simmer, add the gelatin mixture and stir until it’s melted.

Place the saucepan in an ice bath to cool it and encourage the gelatin to begin setting up.

Keep scraping/stirring with a spatula so it doesn’t set up in a mass. When you start to see tracks on the bottom, the glaze is ready.

Just paint it onto your Charlotte and you’re done.

The Charlotte is ready to serve immediate, but can be refrigerated for several hours prior to serving. It’s great served with the traditional sauce of crème anglaise, spiked of course with a little rum.

Filed under:  Charlotte Royale, Pastry | Comments Off

Charlotte Royale Recipe

In coming up with this recipe I borrowed liberally from Bruce Healy and Paul Bugat’s The Art of the Cake. I liked the details they added (especially the finishing sauce) which I’m sure will produce a superior Charlotte. Or at least I’m pretty sure…so don’t try this until I’ve done it, K?

For the jelly roll:

1/2 recipe joconde
2-3 ounces heavy syrup
1 1/2 cups orange marmalade, melted and strained

For the filling:

1 recipe mango mousse

For the rum syrup:

1 tablespoon heavy syrup
1 tablespoon light rum

For the glaze:

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 ounces (1/4 cup) cold water
2 ounces (1/4 cup) strained orange juice
1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar

To serve:

1 recipe crème anglaise spiked with two tablespoons light rum.

Prepare the joconde according to directions, except you’ll be using only half the batter to cover the same size (13″ x 18″) pan. The reason for this? Because you want a tighter roll and that means a thinner joconde sheet. Keep in mind that it’ll bake up in less time, about 8 minutes.

When the sheet has cooled, transfer it to a sheet of waxed paper or parchment. Trim the edges with a serrated knife. You’ll have to judge for yourself if the sheet is flexible enough to roll as it is. If it seems rigid, brush on some of the heavy syrup to give it flexibility.

Cut the joconde in two and apply the marmalade to half of the sheet. Then roll up the marmalade-covered half like a jelly roll, being sure to keep the roll tight. Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it. Cut a bottom layer out of the remaining half and keep it in the freezer.

To assemble, slice the piece of frozen jelly roll into 1/4″ to 3/8″ (1 cm) pieces. You should have about 24 of them. Line a domed Charlotte mold (8″ across) or round-bottomed bowl in plastic wrap, then with the slices. Paint the slices with the rum syrup. Insert the mold into the fridge while you prepare the mango mousse.

When you’ve got the mousse ready, spoon it into the mold, apply the joconde bottom along with an 8″ cake circle, and insert the mold into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. A few hours before serving, de=pan the Charlotte by turning it upside-down and removing the mold and the plastic.

Now prepare the glaze. Stir the gelatin and cold water together and let the gelatin soften. Warm the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar melts. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until it dissolves. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and insert the bowl into an ice bath. Just as it’s starting to thicken, remove the glaze from the bath and use.

Glazed, the Charlotte can be eaten immediately or held in the fridge for several hours.

Filed under:  Charlotte Royale, Pastry | 6 Comments

Making Charlotte Russe

This obviously isn’t the New York version, but rather the more classic version filled with Bavarian cream and topped with fruit. New Yorkers, I promise I’ll get to your eventually.

Though a charlotte is a great choice any time of year, it’s especially good in the hot summer months. For one, it’s a no-bake dessert. For two, it’s light and airy yet still rich and creamy, and can be adapted to just about any summer fruit. Here I’ve added on some sliced poached white peach, but that’s just one of any number of possibilities. Begin the process a minimum of six hours ahead of serving, a day or two ahead is ideal. To prepare the mold — and I’m using a classic slope-sided mold — get yourself a two-foot long sheet of aluminum foil.

Fold it in half.

Insert it into the mold along the sides. It won’t be a perfect fit…

…you’ll need to tear the edges so you can fold the foil down over the lip.

Press the foil as flat as you can.

For the bottom you can use a cut circle from a pre-made waxed cake circle. If you don’t have that, a piece of cardboard and a piece of wax paper work great.

Now to lay in the ladyfingers. You can see I’ve piped these a little longer and narrower than my last batch, this is because the sides of a classic charlotte mold are about 4″ high. If you were using a different mold, say a springform pan or a cake ring, standard-sized ladyfingers are all you need. Work with them frozen if you can, they’re a little easier to handle.

Trim up the edges for neatness.

Drop one ladyfinger in the mold for size.

Trim off any excess.

Then use the trimmed one as a guide for the others.

Lay them into the mold, overlapping slightly so the filling doesn’t leak out the sides.

Hmm…I seem to have a few corners still poking up there, better trim them down to the level of the bavarian cream so they won’t throw off the balance of the finished charlotte. Now where did I put my shears?

Ah yes, there they are.

Time to scrape the Bavarian cream into the mold and get it into the refrigerator.

It will take a good four hours for the Bavarian cream to set up. I recommend overnight.

Here’s what it looks like, but as you can see it hasn’t changed terribly much, except for that little rough patch where I tapped it to make sure it had thickened. To unmold it, peel back the foil around the lip and bend it outward so it won’t get caught on the mold.

Now place your platter of choice over the top, upside-down of course…

…and flip everything over.

Take off the mold…

…gently remove the foil…

…and peel back the top. Those small blobs of Bavarian cream that leaked out around the top can be easily removed at this point if you wish, or you can leave them. Either way is fine. Decorate the top however you’d like. I used peaches I’d poached, canned is fine, fresh berries or piped whipped cream work cream too.

Don’t that look purty on a plate? Tastes good, too.

Filed under:  Charlotte Russe, Charlottes, Pastry | 8 Comments