For the June daring bakers challenge Rebecca from BakeNQuilt challenged us to make Charlotte Royale and Charlotte Russe from scratch. The term Charlotte actually refers to two different types of dish one cold and one hot. For this challenge we are making the chilled variety, which is sometimes referred to as an icebox cake. Chilled Charlottes are composed of a lined bowl or mold, which is then filled with a Bavarian cream or mousse which is firm enough to slice when chilled. The sweet Charlotte molds are typically lined with bread, cake or ladyfingers and the savory ones are lined with vegetables or bread. The two classic types of chilled Charlottes are the Charlotte Royale and the Charlotte Russe. The French Chef Marie-Antoine Carême supposedly invented the Charlotte Russe in the 1800s, naming it partly for the daughter of his former employer (George IV), as well as his current Russian employer Czar Alexander Sleepy.

The Charlotte Royale is a variation of the Charlotte Russe. The Charlotte Russe is made in a loose bottomed cake pan lined with ladyfingers and is filled with one or more layers of Bavarian Cream or mousse. The Charlotte Royale is typically made in a round bowl lined with slices of Swiss roll cake for a spiral effect. Charlottes are ideal make-ahead desserts as they have several components and require several hours of chilling before serving. They keep very well for 3 or more days and can also be frozen after assembly. There are a lot of steps in the making but if you break down the process into a couple of days it makes it a lot less intimidating. Charlottes can be shaped in any sort of mold/pan that you can unmold it from easily. The Charlotte Russe is particularly nice made in individual small molds.

CHARLOTTE ROYALE

Ingredients:

For the Biscuit Roulade

1/3 cup (80 ml) (33gm) sifted cake flour

3 tablespoon (45 ml) (23gm) unsifted cornstarch

4 large eggs (227g), room temperature

1 large egg yolk (18g), room temperature

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (113g) sugar, divided

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the Raspberry Bavarian Cream

1/3 cup (80 ml) (65gm) sugar

1 tablespoon (9.3gm) unflavored gelatin powder

3 large egg yolks (95gm)

1-2/3 cups (400 ml) milk

1 vanilla bean, split or vanilla extract/paste

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream

1½ tablespoon (22 ml) kirsch or other liqueur

½ cup of seedless raspberry jam

For the Charlotte Royale Assembly

3/4 cup (250 gm) seedless raspberry jam, divided

Apricot jam, thinned and strained for glazing, optional

Whipped cream, fresh fruit or sauce, for decoration

Method:

  • Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to hot 450°F/230°C/gas mark 8.
  • Grease the jellyroll or the sheet pan and line it with parchment paper and then grease again and flour it.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour and cornstarch. Separate 2 of the eggs in two large bowls.

  • To the bowl containing egg yolks, add the additional yolk, the 2 remaining eggs, and ½ cup of the sugar.
  • Beat yolk mixture with paddle attachment on high speed for 5 minutes until thick and tripled in volume.
  • Add vanilla. Sift ½ the flour mixture over egg mixture. Fold it in gently but rapidly with a balloon whisk.

  • Fold carefully until the flour has disappeared. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture till homogenous.
  • Beat egg whites with the whisk attachment until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, beat till soft peaks form.
  • Beat in remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

  • Fold the whites into the batter and pour into the prepared pan using an offset metal spatula to level cake.
  • Bake for 7 minutes or until golden brown, a cake tester comes out clean, and the cake is springy to touch.
  • As soon as cake is done, slide it out of pan onto a flat surface, using the parchment paper to help move it.

  • Flip cake on a clean dishtowel and carefully remove paper. You will need to set aside a piece for the base.
  • Cut off a piece from one of the ends just wide enough to cut the top. Leave piece aside to cool completely.
  • After this piece has cooled, cut it with shears or a sharp knife into the circle for the base of the Charlotte.

  • While the cake is still hot, roll the remaining cake up tightly in the dishtowel. Roll from the longest side.
  • Cool the rolled cake/dishtowel onto a wire rack. Meanwhile prepare the raspberry Bavarian cream filling.
  • Refrigerate a mixing bowl for whipping cream. Have ready a fine strainer nearby, suspended over a bowl.

  • In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together sugar, salt, gelatin and egg yolks until well blended with a spoon.
  • In another small saucepan heat milk and vanilla bean to just below a simmer (170°F/77°C – 180°F/82°C).
  • Stir a few tablespoons of hot milk into the yolk mixture to temper. Gradually add the remaining hot milk.

  • Add vanilla bean, stirring constantly. Heat egg and milk mixture, stirring constantly, just below a simmer.
  • It leaves a well-defined track when a finger is run across back of a spoon. Immediately remove from heat.
  • Pour mixture through the strainer, scraping up the thickened cream that settles on the bottom of the pan.

  • Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce. Stir till the vanilla bean seeds separate out.
  • Chill pastry cream in the refrigerator for about 1½ hours until whisk marks begin to appear when stirred.
  • In the chilled bowl, whip cream until it forms soft mounds. Whisk kirsch/other liqueur into pastry cream.

  • Fold in the whipped cream just until it is just incorporated then fold in ½ cup of seedless raspberry jam.
  • The mixture will be soupy, like melted ice cream. Pour into a cake-lined mold. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • When ready to fill, unroll the cake and leave it on the towel. Spread ½ cup raspberry jam in a thin layer.

  • Roll up cake as tightly as you can with the towel. The completed roll should be about 2″(5cm) in diameter.
  • Wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze till firm enough to slice for a couple of hours.
  • If desired, the roll and the base could be frozen for a few weeks before you make the rest of the Charlotte.

  • When the roll is firm, cut it into 1/4″ (5 mm) slices with a serrated knife to get as many spirals as possible.
  • To assemble, lightly oil a 6-cup (1½ liter) round bowl and line it as smoothly as possible with plastic wrap.
  • Measure and note diameter of the bowl. You will need a round cake base of this size for the Charlotte base.

  • To line the bowl, place 1 slice in the center and other slices around it as tightly as possible to avoid gaps.
  • You may need to cut the slices in half or smaller to fit the last rows if your slices go all the way up the mold.
  • If they do go all the way up, trim the last ones even with the edge of the bowl and adjust to eliminate gaps.

  • If there are any large gaps between the spirals, plug the gaps with some trimmings from unused spirals.
  • You want to plug these spots to prevent the Bavarian Cream from leaking through. Cover the bowl tightly.
  • Place it in the refrigerator until the filling is ready. Spoon Bavarian Cream into the bowl lined with spirals.

  • Fill up bowl till it comes up to the top of the bowl or just to the place the top spirals last touch each other.
  • Trim the top spirals even above the cream if necessary. Place the biscuit cake round on top of the cream.
  • It should be touching the edge of the spirals. Press down gently on the edges of circle so it makes contact.

  • Cover tightly and refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours. To unmold, invert onto a plate and lift bowl away.
  • Tug gently on the plastic wrap to release. To prevent drying out, leave plastic wrap in place until serving.
  • Decorate with whipped cream/fresh fruit. The cake may also be served with raspberry sauce. 8 servings.

Daring Bakers June 2015

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