Keeping things relatively easy this week with my take on a Charlotte Russe.
A Charlotte Russe is the perfect dessert to make when you have a little time to spare and want to impress with something super simple. The dessert only has 3 elements; a genoese sponge cake base, topped with raspberry bavarois filling enclosed in a sponge finger case – sound easy right?
Seeing as Valentines Day is just around the corner, why not give this a try? It looks impressive and is light and airy, which is perfect for after a heavier meal!
There isn’t much more to say about this bake, it’s simple and straightforward, once you know what you’re doing. I have been wanting to do a patisserie series for a while now and always put it off due to a lack of confidence and having bad memories of making some bits at college but not anymore! I’ll be sharing a few more patisserie themed recipes and may continue them if they’re requested.
Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?
Genoese sponge cake:
125g granulated sugar.
160g plain flour.
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract, either works well).
6 eggs, separated.
190g granulated sugar.
180g plain flour.
Icing sugar (optional).
5 sheets of gelatine.
72g egg yolk.
48g granulated sugar.
216ml whole milk.
240ml raspberry puree.
240ml double cream, lightly whipped.
Before you get started on the recipe, you’ll want to do some prep. Preheat your oven to 200˚c/390˚f, weighing up all of your ingredients and line a 8 inch round cake tin with parchment.
To get started on the recipe, you’ll want to make genoese sponge. To start on the cake, you’ll want to grab yourself a mixing bowl and place in all of the eggs, then whisk them over a medium speed.
Slowly pour the sugar over the eggs and continue to whisk over a medium speed.
Once the mixture has quadrupled in size, stop whisking and sift in the flour. Try to do this as gently as possible, you don’t want to knock too much air out of the mixture. If you do, don’t worry, just restart the recipe.
Carefully add the cake mixture into your prepared cake tin and place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
To make the sponge fingers, you’ll want to start by separating the eggs into two mixing bowls.
Whisk the egg yolks with a majority of the sugar until it reaches ribbon stage (if you don’t know what this is, it’s where you dip the whisk into the mixture and you’re able to write a ‘R’ with the mixture. If the ‘R’ is still there once you’ve finished it, you’re good to go).
Whisk the egg whites with the remixing sugar until it reaches a thick meringue.
Go ahead and add in a small amount of meringue through the yolk mixture until its fully incorporated, then add in the sieved flour and fully incorporate.
Fold in the remaing meringue, being gentle, taking care to not knock the air out of the mixture.
Using a piping bag and plain tip nozzle pipe your sponge fingers out to be about 4-4.5 inches in length (you will trim them later on anyway, thats why you have the extra length).
Optionally, for a crunchy finish, dust the sponge fingers with icing sugar and then bake in the oven at 220˚c/430˚f for 4-8 minutes, they should be a light brown colour once baked.
Allow to cool fully, then use them to line the sides of your 8 inch round cake tin and use the sponge cake to plug in the bottom. Set aside until its needed, a little later on.
For the bavarois, start by soaking the gelatine sheets in cold water, setting them aside until needed later on.
Grab a saucepan and place in the milk, then place on the hob and bring it to the boil.
While the milk is coming up to a boil, go ahead and whisk together the egg yolks and sugar over a fairly high speed. It doesn’t take too long but what you’re looking for is an almost white colour to the mixture.
Once both the milk and egg yolks are ready, you can go ahead and add roughly 1/3 of the milk onto the egg yolk mix, this is to ‘temper’ the mix, ensuring scrambling won’t happen. Go ahead and steadily whisk in the remaining milk into the egg yolk mixture until its fully incorporated.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and then place bacon the hob, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Keep an eye on the mixtures temperature and make sure it doesn’t go above 84˚c/183˚f.
Remove from the heat and remove the gelatine sheets from the water and squeeze as much water off as possible. Then go ahead and add the gelatine to the saucepan and mix until it’s fully incorporated.
You’ll want to strain the mixture to remove any lumps that may be in the mixture. So, over a clean bowl place a sieve and pass the bavarois through, discarding any lumps left behind.
Allow the mixture to cool a little, then go ahead and add in the raspberry puree, stirring until its almost at setting point.
Then you can go ahead and fold in the whipped cream, mix it in until its fully incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the sponge finger case (and on top of the cake base). Then place into the fridge and allow to set, I did this overnight, ensuring it was ready for the following morning.
As an optional finish, you can pipe some cream on top but its really up to you. It adds a little flavour, texture and further lightness to the dessert.
That’s all for today guys, I hope you enjoyed. If you did, don’t forget to share this recipe with your family and friends and enjoy it. I’ll be back soon with another blog post and YouTube video, so join me then. In the meanwhile, don’t forget to check out my other social’s – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. The YouTube tutorial will be linked down below.