Strawberry Charlottes

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By Chef Ed Dychauco

Pots and Pans

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A BEAUTIFUL and grand version (according to me!) of an ice box cake, Charlotte (cake) is a type of dessert that is normally served cold.

Classic Charlottes uses stale breads that are dipped in butter and used as the lining.

However, nowadays, sponge cakes and lady fingers (usually store bought or commercially prepared) are preferred for a better and upscale flavor and look.


Just like the ice box cakes we did recently, it can be filled, sandwiched or layered with custard cream, whipped cream or fruit purees.

Similar to the Italian dessert, Tiramisu, where lady fingers are also used as “sidings,” Charlottes is said to have been named after Queen Charlotte, wife of George III of United Kingdom, although it can also be named after Alexander I sister-in-law, Charlotte of Prussia.

Popularly, it uses custard, Bavarian cream or mousse as filling within layers of cakes or lady fingers.

Here in the Philippines, we often use chiffon cake instead of the sponge cake which is almost similar in taste and texture.

Charlottes are chilled well and comes in not so big layers.

Usually, they are between 5” to 8” in diameter, presented with the borders covered with ladyfingers and about 3” to 4” high.

Custard or whipped cream fillings are filled with fruit purees and maybe some slices also of fresh fruits.

To save time, fruit purees, a.k.a. fruit fillings, are available commercially which saves time in the preparation.

Charlotte Russe (russe, being the word for Russian), uses Bavarian cream set in a mold lined with ladyfingers.

Technically, when Swiss roll is used in lining the mold, it is then called Charlotte Royale. And this dessert looks really attractive.

Strawberry Charlotte

lady fingers
1 tbsp gelatin powder
2 ½ cup evaporated milk
1 tbsp strawberry flavoring
drops Pink coloring
8 pcs egg yolks
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt

2-3 cups whipped cream

¼-1/3 cup sugar

Fresh strawberries

Brush bottom and sides of spring fold pan (or mold) with butter.
Line with lady fingers, both bottom and sides.
Refrigerate while making the filling.
Let gelatin “bloom” in 3-4 tbsps. of cold water.
Heat the milk and add the gelatin till dissolved.
Add the coloring and flavoring.

Let cool, slowly beat in the egg yolks, powdered sugar and salt till well blended.

Cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate till almost set.

Meanwhile, whip cream with the sugar.
Slowly fold in the custard.
Pour into the prepared pan.
Chill for a few hours or overnight.
Remove from pan and tie a ribbon around the Charlotte for a dainty presentation.
Decorate top with fresh strawberries.

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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 07, 2014.


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