My name is Charlotte so of course, as soon as I learned how to bake, I have been dying to bake “myself”. Back at university, I used to make charlottes quite often. I loved it because it was so easy to make, very versatile and always impressive to guests. All you need is the right cake tin, and then you can just mix and match different types of fruits, custards, and soaking liquid. I even thought of creating my “Charlotte’s charlottes” business which would have been an online platform where you could chose the biscuits you wanted, the custard, the fruits, the soaking and I would have made the charlotte to order. I was good to go! I would have basically spent my life in the kitchen creating charlottes to order.
That never happened unfortunately, but I still became an experienced charlotte maker – I stopped making them altogether for a while (not sure why) until I found my cake tin again when we moved flat this year.
Today I would like to share the basic recipe I use for my charlottes, and then with a bit of imagination you can swap berries for any other fruit, use flavoured custards, soak the ladyfingers in another liquid etc..
You could make a chocolate-pear charlotte for example by replacing the berries with pear dices, and the cream with chocolate mousse. And you could dip your biscuits in some diluted pear liqueur. Just an idea!
Anyway for this one here is the recipe!
Ingredients: 1 pack ladyfingers – 200 g blueberries – 200 g raspberries – 500 g plain full fat yoghurt – 200 ml double cream (previously placed in the fridge) – orange juice – 100 g caster sugar – vanilla extract – 3 tbsp agar agar.
1. The very first thing to do when making a charlotte is to line the tin with cling film. This will ensure that you can easily turn it out. As you may notice from some of the following pictures (taken from my first attempt) I forgot to do it the first time and we had to eat the charlotte from the bowl.
2. Then you can start making the custard. I use a mixture of yoghurt and whipped cream as it is lighter to digest but you could make a regular custard instead. Whip the cream and sugar together. Then slowly add the yoghurt and vanilla extract. Pour 6-8 tbsp double cream and 3 tbsp orange juice in a very small pan. Sprinkle with the agar agar and bring to a boil for 20 seconds. Then pour into the yoghurt and whipped cream. Add the raspberries and half of the blueberries (keep 100 g for decoration). Leave this cream in the fridge for 10-15 mn, giving the mixture time to thicken a little.
3. In the mean time you can line up the cake tin with biscuits. Pour some orange juice in a deep plate and dip the ladyfingers in the juice one by one for 2-3 seconds (don’t leave for too long or they will fall apart) . After dipping each biscuit in the juice, place them against the tin as shown on the picture.
4. Pour the cream in the middle slowly, up 1/3 of the height of the tin. Then add a layer of biscuits, dipped in the juice. Repear with the rest of the cream and finish with one layer of ladyfingers to close the charlotte. Cut the ends of the vertical biscuits if they are reaching higher than the top of the cake tin.
5. Place a plate on top of the tin (still upside down). Leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours, ideally 6 hours. Then you can turn the cake upside down, on the plate. The tin will be easy to remove thanks to the cling foil. And then you can peal off the cling film and add the blueberries on top of the charlotte.