Raspberry Charlotte

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RECIPE: For my birthday I decided to treat myself by making fancy desserts that I especially liked, without worrying about what others preferred. This recipe appealed because it had some elements I hadn’t tried before and I’ve had mixed success with entremets so far. I followed the recipe but didn’t add the strawberries so didn’t make the nappage, electing instead to use only raspberries on top as they’re in season, dusted with icing sugar.

COMPONENTS: I made the sabayon first so it had time to set in the freezer. I lined a round container of the correct size with cling wrap so that the sabayon was easy to remove once set. It looked like it was starting to go lumpy when I had it cooking over the bain-marie but once you’ve added the gelatine it’s beaten until it cools so it smoothed out anyway. When I was piping the sponge fingers it was impossible to do them 3mm apart. A couple broke during assembly but fortunately I had piped a couple spare. If you do have a bigger gap than 3mm consider piping outside the box you’ve drawn so you get enough pieces. Watch it carefully when baking is nearly finished, as it very quickly starts to brown off on the ends and these only get trimmed on one end. If I make this again, I’ll draw a circle for the base slightly larger than I need – say 19cm diameter and the trim it where I need to when assembling. For the raspberry purée I defrosted frozen raspberries, added about a tablespoon of confectioners sugar, then added the recipe sugar, blended the lot, heated it in 20 second periods in the microwave until it was just warm enough to dissolve the gelatine, then let it cool to add to the cream.

ASSEMBLY: I used the ring only of a springform cake pan and placed it upside down on a plate to avoid the indent for the base. I trimmed a little off one side of my base sponge and used that to fill one side where the gap to the pan was too large. After I cut off the bottom 1-1.5cm of the sponge fingers I lined the outside with them. The didn’t fit exactly so I had to cut one in half down the length to fill the last gap. They stayed upright fairly well, especially when they were a snug fit between the base and the pan. I used some of the offcuts to fill a few small gaps so the mousse wouldn’t seep through. Half the mousse was added, then I unwrapped the sabayon from the plastic, popped that in and topped it with the remaining mousse. I chose to top it with a layer of fresh raspberries that I dusted with confectioners sugar just before serving. I probably should have cut more length off the fingers so that they didn’t extend above the raspberries.

IMPRESSION: While it could have done with an extra hour to fully set, this was a really lovely and pretty dessert with strong raspberry and lemon flavours and a distinct lemon layer visible in the cut dessert. I’m glad I didn’t use the strawberries and nappage. The sponge tasted a bit ‘eggy’ on its own but this wasn’t obvious in the finished cake at all.

Recipe by Sébastien Ordioni from The New Pâtissiers

Charlotte Framboise aux Biscuits Roses de Reims

Biscuits Roses de Reims
75g (2.5oz) egg whites
63g (2.25oz) granulated white sugar
Red food colouring
50g (1.75oz) egg yolks
63g (2.25oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
Confectioner’s sugar

On the reverse side of silicone baking paper, draw two rectangles 8cm (3 1/8 in.) high and 32cm (12 5/8 in.) wide, and one circle 18cm (7 in.) diameter. Whisk the egg whites with a small amount of the granulated sugar for three minutes, then add the remaining sugar to form a meringue. Add a drop of food colouring to create a delicate pink. Carefully mix in the lightly beaten egg yolks, then gently fold in the sifted flour. Using a pastry bag with a 1.5cm (5/8 in.) diameter nozzle, pipe 8cm fingers of the mixture within the pre-drawn rectangle, leaving a 3mm (1/8 in.) gap between each finger. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Pipe the round base on the pre-drawn circle, then leave with the fingers to rest for 20 minutes. Bake the fingers and the base for 8-10 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit), taking care to avoid browning. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Lemon Sabayon
40g (1.5oz) egg yolks
37g (1.25oz) granulated white sugar
Zest of one lemon
31g (1 fl oz) lemon juice
1.5g (3/4 sheet) gold gelatine sheet (softened in ice cold water, with excess water squeezed out)

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and lemon zest in a small glass bowl until pale. Add in the lemon juice. Cook in a bain-marie to 70 degrees Celsius (158 Fahrenheit), stirring constantly. Add in the gelatine and stir to dissolve. Using an electric beater, whisk on medium speed until cool. Pour into a 16cm (6.25 in.) silicone mould or silicone baking paper-lined cake tin, then freeze.

Raspberry Mousse
175g (6.25oz) raspberry puree
53g (1.75oz) granulated white sugar
5.5g (2.75 sheets) gold gelatine sheet (softened in ice cold water, with excess water squeezed out)
263g (9.25 fl oz) whipping cream (35% fat)

Mix the raspberry puree and sugar, and heat gently. Add the gelatine and stir to dissolve. Once it begins to thicken as it cools, but before it sets, fold the mixture into the whipped cream.

Assembly
Two punnets fresh raspberries

Place the circular sponge at the bottom of a 20cm (7.75 in.) diameter cake ring. Slice the bottom off each row of sponge fingers to form a straight base, then line the inside of the cake ring. Pour in half the raspberry mousse. Untold the disc of frozen lemon sabayon and place it in the centre. Pour in the remainder of the mousse and smooth with a palette knife. Cover the whole of the top with fresh raspberries and leave to set in the fridge. Dust the raspberries with confectioner’s sugar just before serving.

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