Charlotte Russe

Its summer, and what better way to celebrate than having a slice of an amazing creamy, raspberry, blackberry bavaroise with a crunchiness of biscuits! Bliss! Yes! Im talking about the very famous Charlotte Russe! Here is how I make mine! And yes, you can make your lady fingers at home! Easy peasey lemon squeezy! 😉

Here’s how you make it!

INGREDIENTS

Lady Fingers and Base of cake

  • 3eggsseparated
  • 100gramsgranulated sugardivided in half (so 50g by 50g)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 2teaspoonsfreshly squeezed lemon juicedivided
  • the zest of 1 lemongrated
  • 65gcake floursifted
  • 2 tbsp potato starch (or Maizena)
  • powdered sugar for dusting

The Berry Bavaroise Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup frozen black berries
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon
  • 3 gelatin sheets (or 1 1/4 packets or powdered gelatin or agar agar powder)
  • 3 cups heavy cream (whipped, and left in the fridge until ready to use)
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar

METHOD

The Lady Fingers and Base of cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.
  2. Line one baking tray with baking sheet or parchment paper. Place a 6″ cake tin on one side of the tray and line the bottom of the pan with baking paper as well. If you have a springpan then you can take the bottom out, close the pan and just place it onto the tray lined with sheet directly. At this point you can also prepare your pastry bag, and fit it with a 1.5 cm (or 1/2inch) tip. (I used Ateco 806 tip)
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites, 50 grams of sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice until stiff peaks form.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and salt until thick and lightly pale yellow.
  5. Sift the flour and potato starch over the egg mixture and gently fold it in with a rubber spatula until smooth and well combined.
  6. Gently fold in the egg whites.
  7. Transfer half of the batter to the prepared piping bag. On the ‘free’ side of the baking tray (the side without the springpan on) pipe the batter into lines about 8cm long, keeping distance between them. I piped 18, which fit my 6″ baking spring baking pan.
  8. With the rest of the batter pipe a swirl inside the springpan, and spread with a flat spatula to make it even ontop.
  9. Sprinkle the cookies lightly with icing sugar. Let them rest for about 5 minutes and sprinkle again with icing sugar and some granulated sugar. Just enough to cover the top, and that the ladyfingers have a nice crunchy top to them when they are baked.
  10. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 15-18 minutes until lightly golden.
  11. Let the ladyfingers cool for a few minutes then release them from the parchment paper, with a flat spatula, while they are still warm.
  12. The cake base inside the springform, let that cool completely before removing the parchmant from it. Then cut around the circle roughly 0.5cm from the edge. And place it back into the 6″ baking pan. The reason for you to cut half a cm off of the circular base is so that you are able to place and fit the lady fingers into the pan. Now this is the tricky part. Take each lady finger one by one, and place with the sugar side out (facing the springpan sides). Gently push them down so they ‘lock’ into the pan in between the bottom layer of cake and the cakepans outer ring. Do this until the entire cake is covered.
  13. Keep this on the side until ready to be filled.

Berry Bavaroise Filling

  1. In a small bowl, pour 1 cup of cold water and place the gelatine in it and leave it soften.
  2. Meanwhile in medium sauce pan, combine: 1 1/4 cup of the frozen raspberries, 3/4 cup black berries, 3/4 cup of the strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook stirring occasionally until you get a jam consistency. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve, pressing on the fruit with a spoon to extract as much berry juice as possible (you should get 2/3 cup syrup).
  3. Into the berry syrup, stir in the lemon juice and then sqeeze out the water from the bloomed gelatin and add that into the mixture. Pour the syrup back into the sauce pan and place back over medium heat, whisk until gelatin is fully dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temp.
  4. Once the berry syrup is completely at room temp (don’t wait way too long or it will thicken and become difficult to blend), fold it into the whipped cream adding 1/4 syrup at a time and folding between each addition. Drop in the remaining berries and fold them in evenly. This is your berry bavaroise ready.

Assembling the cake

  1. Spread the bavaroise over cake layer inside the springform.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (3 hours or overnight). To serve, remove springform walls and plastic wrap.
  3. Once you are ready to serve, top the cake with fresh berries and tie a cute little pink ribbon around it!

Enjoy!

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