Charlotte Russe (Sharlotka)

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Total Time
5hrs 5mins
Prep
1 hr 35 mins
Cook
3 hrs 30 mins

A truly regal dessert – a ladyfinger mold, filled with a luscious Bavarian cream, and topped with a fruit puree – created by the incomparable Antoine Careme for the Russian Czar Alexander I.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a 2 quart charlotte mold with light vegetable oil.
  2. Brush the ladyfingers with Grand Marnier. Line the bottom and the sides of the mold with the ladyfingers, arranging them flat side inward and tapering the sides, if necessary, to fit the bottom of the mold.
  3. Fold the 2 cups raspberries into the Bavarian cream. Fill the charlotte mold with the cream. Chill, uncovered, until the cream is firmly set, at least 3 hours.
  4. To serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold. Place a serving dish over the mold and invert, shaking lightly to loosen.
  5. Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Spoon the cream into a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip. Pipe over the top and sides of the charlotte decoratively.
  6. Decorate with additional raspberries and serve with raspberry sauce.
  7. For the Bavarian Cream:.
  8. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cognac and let soak while preparing the next steps.
  9. In a medium sized saucepan, bring the milk to a slow boil. Remove from the heat.
  10. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and the granulated sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and forms a ribbon when the beaters are lifted. Gradually whisk in the hot milk.
  11. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes; do not allow to boil. Add the gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve for one minute. Set the saucepan in a large bowl filled with ice and chill, stirring frequently, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes.
  12. Beat the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  13. In a separate bowl, with clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in the superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat until the whites are stiff and glossy, but not dry.
  14. Fold the cream and the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture gently but thoroughly, until well blended.
  15. For the Raspberry Sauce:.
  16. Strain the raspberries through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pushing them through with the back of a wooden spoon.
  17. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and Cognac, and mix well. Taste and adjust the sugar, if necessary.