Cooking-ez.com

956 easy and fully explained recipes, with 20,595 photos and 77 videos

The blog of cooking-ez.com

The art of the charlotte

15,1173.3/5

Grade this page :

Last modified on: February 27th 2013

The art of the charlotte

charlotte

In cooking, a charlotte is a delicious moulded dessert, with biscuits around the outside that have been soaked in a flavoured syrup, filled with a light cream or mousse. The charlotte is left to set in the fridge before being turned out and served in slices.

It is very light and a lovely sweet with which to round off a meal. It is refreshing, too, especially if made with fruit.

Here are some hints on making charlottes.

Principle


A charlotte mould is lined in the bottom and around the sides with syrup-soaked biscuits. This outside layer is then filled with a cream and left to set in the fridge (usually overnight).

Mould


charlotte


Of course, it is best to use a proper charlotte mould if possible. This is round and tall with tapering sides which make turning out easier. If the mould is non-stick, so much the better, as there is no need to butter it.
If you are worried that the charlotte will not turn out properly (it might stick on the bottom and fall apart) you can put a circle of paper or plastic film in the bottom of the mould.

Biscuits


biscuits for charlotte


Boudoir or sponge finger biscuits are the ones most commonly used – they are just right for this. If you don't have any, you can use slices of genoa sponge or brioche.

Soaking syrup


charlotte mould furnished


The biscuits are soaked in the syrup until they have absorbed some of it up before being arranged around the sides of the mould. The syrup needs to be well-flavoured and quite runny so that the biscuits can soak it up easily (a fruit coulis, for example, is thicker, so would need a longer soaking time).
Please note that there is a delicate balance to be struck between biscuits that are too dry or too soggy. Personally, when using a very liquid syrup (such as coffee), I soak the biscuit in the syrup, then take it out and remove the excess by pressing.

biscuits for charlotte


It is traditional to line the mould with biscuits arranged vertically around the side, then arrange more biscuits in the bottom. Of course, the biscuits won't be the right shape and will need to be cut to fit to give an even layer.

Cream filling


charlotte


Once the outer "casing" is in place, this is filled with a cream that should set when cold. This is typically made with gelatin or agar-agar. One of the best results comes from using (about 50/50) whipped cream with something else that contains dissolved gelatine. This other ingredient can be a fruit coulis (fruit purée), custard (crème anglaise), creamy cheese like mascarpone, etc.

You can also make the charlotte in different layers: cream, diced fruit, cream. However you fill it, do be sure to fill the mould full, even round the top a little, as the cream will tend to sink a little as it sets.

You can also finish with a layer of biscuits, so that the charlotte has a complete outer shell. This is simply for appearance and a matter of taste.

Once the cream has been poured into the mould, cover with plastic film and leave to set in the fridge overnight.

Shortly before serving, turn out carefully and slice vertically. Serve the slices laid flat for best effect, surrounded by a coulis, sauce or custard if you wish.

Charlotte?


charlotte


The dessert's origins are uncertain. The name might refer to the British queen Charlotte who was the wife of George III.

Back to top of page

Lasts posts

The 3 essential knives The 3 essential knives

You must have heard a chef or cook say: "There’s no good cooking without good ingredients". This is very true, of course, but for any amateur or beginner it is equipment that really counts to start with. What I mean is that you should not skimp on [Read more...]

Using stretch food film effectively Using stretch food film effectively

Maybe you use food film in your own kitchen. You know, the very thin, clear plastic stuff that you can stretch, often used to cover food and protect it from the air. It’s become so widely used that it’s now an essential item for pros. They even [Read more...]

The mock CAP baker's certificate exam The mock CAP baker's certificate exam

The next instalment in my life as an apprentice baker at the French INBP professional school. I’m now halfway through training and it’s still as exciting as ever, and exhausting – but maybe I’m just getting old, or both… Anyway, a few days [Read more...]

Rosemary in recipes Rosemary in recipes

Rosemary, as I’m sure you know, is a culinary herb: It is one of the famous French "herbes de Provence", and is very effective in bringing a real taste of the Mediterranean to any dish. The classic way to use it in a recipe is to add a [Read more...]

The Holy Grail of French bakers The Holy Grail of French bakers

While browsing through the recipes on this site, you may have noticed that while I adore cooking (everything, in fact, to do with eating and drinking), I am particularly drawn to bakery: bread, viennoiseries and all that goes with them – it’s a [Read more...]

Is it really necessary to cream egg yolks? Is it really necessary to cream egg yolks?

Let’s try and answer a question that crops up in cookery and patisserie, even if it verges on the existential: do the egg yolks in a custard recipe really need to be beaten until pale, or not? You might already have noticed in many recipes [Read more...]

Egg yolks and caster sugar Egg yolks and caster sugar

We often come across recipes where we need to mix egg yolks with caster sugar. This would appear to be a very ordinary and simple thing to do but, be warned, these two ingredients can behave oddly together. Let’s take confectioner's custard [Read more...]

The golden-brown finish on puff pastry The golden-brown finish on puff pastry

Let's take a look at the tricky matter of producing puff pastry with an attractive, golden-brown finish. French pastry chefs call this "dorure" (literally, "gilding"). Behind this quirky term there lurks a real problem (and the solution): when [Read more...]

Other articles

visitors have also looked at

A memo of utensil weights
A memo of utensil weights
Should I believe my oven?
Should I believe my oven?
The painter, the restaurant owners and the opera singer
The painter, the restaurant owners and the opera singer
Perpetual stock
Perpetual stock
What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?
What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?

Post your comment or question

You are welcome, if you wish, to comment on this page: why you like it or not, what you have changed, what results it gave, point out a mistake or omission, etc. You can also ask a question. I answer all questions (in a broken English, sorry) unless someone else does it before me.
Please feel free to say what you think, I'm always very interested in your opinion. Your comment will appear on line with the page, so please write in standard readable English, not SIM or only in CAPITALS, otherwise your comment may be rejected.

Please look at advice for submitting a comment or image (what you should or should not do). By the way, don't type your e-mail address in the comment, otherwise you might be spammed.

I am not a leaving thing

Follow this page

If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page