cherry charlotte

As a child, I used to be fascinated with charlottes. The idea that you could get ladyfingers to stand up by having them encircle some sort of creamy mixture was as fantastic as it was irresistible. As a lifelong fan of mousse, I hoped to be able to dive right into it with a spoon, and at the end eat the ladyfinger container. The decoration was usually quite appealing as well, whether it was chocolate rolls or fruit – I wasn’t picky when it came to toppings.

Charlottes decorated the windows of bakeries, and the covers of recipe magazines my mother used to buy. They were everywhere.

cherry charlotte

cherry charlotte with strawberries

And yet, we didn’t really make charlottes at home – ladyfingers were generally used for other desserts (or on their own).

I wanted to make something with cherries this weekend – I was set on black forest…something. I didn’t quite know what though, so I ended up giving up the idea (or saving it for when I actually have a plan). I had seen a recipe for ladyfingers at The Cilantropist recently, so I decided to go with that, and maybe make up a charlotte as I go. I made the ladyfingers, which came out really well (the recipe is beautiful and really easy to execute); then I came up with a mixture to fill it, that included the cherries (by then cooked in a very sweet syrup). And thus my cherry charlotte was born.

cherry charlotte

cherry charlotte

Ladyfingers recipe
(taken from The Daring Kitchen)
I made some shaped as circles so I could use them for the charlotte base.
Cherry charlotte
500g caster sugar
1/2 tin of cherries in light syrup
75 ml cream
2 tablespoons of mascarpone
Make a syrup by simmering 50 ml of light syrup from the cherries with the sugar for about 10 minutes. Reserve. Blend 75 g of cherries and add the syrup to this mixture.
Whisk the cream until soft peak stage, then fold the mascarpone into it. Finally fold the fruit mixture into this.
Using a metal ring, place the base biscuit in the bottom and enough ladyfingers on the sides to cover the whole circumference. Fill with the cherry mousse and allow to refrigerate overnight.
To serve, whisk about 50 ml of cream into soft peak stage, and add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Pour on top of the mousse, decorate with your choice of toppings – fruit, powdered cocoa, chocolate – and serve.
Please note this is very much a recipe in progress, and the quantities are probably not very accurate.
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2 Responses to cherry charlotte

  1. As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

  2. nancy says:

    That looks lovely!! Your sponge fingers came out beautifully!

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