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.
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.