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Charlotte aux Framboises (Raspberries)

What is a Charlotte? That is what I was wondering as I had never heard, seen or tasted this dessert that my better half kept raving and craving for months. This is what I found out!

A Charlotte is a traditional French dessert, formed in a deep round mould, served warm or cold. The warm kind is usually mould lined with buttered bread, filled with fruit puree and topped with slices of bread and then baked in oven, and served warm with sauce. A cold charlotte is not baked: it is mould lined with ladyfingers or sponge cakes, filled with ice cream or whipped cream or custard and fruits.

Today, I'm introducing a cold charlotte that my significant other has been yearning for years, since his childhood to be exact. All he could remember was this delicious raspberry charlotte that his mom made once or twice when he was 7 - 9 years old but he couldn't remember what was the filling. He did know that it wasn't whipped cream and tasted like vanilly. He asked his mom to make it again for years, but she doesn't remember the recipe either.:-p

So I tried my luck and made this charlotte hoping it is his long lost holy grail of cakes. Hélas, according to him, it isn't the same as the one he had. Oh well, I did try and as long as he can't remember what was the filling, I can't really help him realize his dream charlotte.:-p Anyway, it was an interesting recipe for me to make and it turned out pretty delicious despite my initial misgiving. This delightful fruity charlotte, is a great "High Tea Treats" (this month's monthly mingle theme hosted by Aparna) for all ages.:-)

Charlotte aux Framboises (Raspberries)

Preparation time: 30 mins
Chilling time: 7 to 8 h
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 24 spong fingers
  • ¾ glass of water
  • 2 tbsp eau-de-vie raspberry (I had none so replaced it with vanilla extract)
  • 400 g raspberries
  • a bottle raspberries coulis

Frangipane Cream

  • 250 ml milk
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 50 g sugar
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 yolk
Raspberry Charlotte
Directions

Making Frangipane Cream

  1. Boil milk with vanilla pod. Let it infuse for 10 minutes.
  2. In a big bowl, mix sugar, flour and ground almonds together.
  3. Stir in the egg and egg yolk into the dry mixture.
  4. Pour the boiling milk into the mixture a little by little while whisking continuously to avoid curdling. And then stir in the rest of the milk until the mixture is well combined.
  5. Transfer the frangipane cream into a pot and bring it to a boil while stirring constantly. Take it off heat and let it cool.

Making Charlotte aux Framboises

  1. First, prepare frangipane cream and let it cool.
  2. Lightly dip ladyfingers in the mixture of water and raspberry eau-de-vie (I replaced it with vanilla extract). Line the dipped ladyfingers the sides and bottom of a spring form cake tin.
  3. Spread a layer of cream frangipane, then top it with raspberries. Lay some broken ladyfingers on top of the raspberries.
  4. Spread another layer of cream frangipane, raspberries, then broken sponge fingers until the cake tin is filled. Ending the top with ladyfingers.
  5. Press it down lightly to make it a bit compact and chill it in the refrigerator for 6 to 7 hours.
  6. Remove it from the baking mould, decorate it with more raspberries and serve it with a drizzle of raspberry coulis.
Raspberry CharlotteRaspberry Charlotte
The Verdict

I really don't know what sort of taste to expect from this dessert as I never had it nor made it before (obviously) so I was pleasantly surprised when I took the first spoonful - it's texture and taste is really nice. I love the mixture of raspberries and frangipane cream with some bits of ladyfingers. The raspberry coulis heightens the raspberries and the mix of vanilly and raspberry is always a winning combo for me.

Notes

I have to admit that I didn't know how does a frangipane cream look like so I made some mistakes here while making this dessert. To throw it away is such a waste so I decided to just use it instead. My first frangipane cream - it turned out too concentrated like a paste (Think I read the French instructions wrongly). My 2nd try looked thick enough - but turned out a bit too liquid.:-( From my failures, I realized that the frangipane cream should turn out like the French cream pastry (duh!).

You can replace the frangipane cream with either custard filling or French cream pastry or ice-cream or whipped cream.

Raspberry CharlotteRaspberry CharlotteRaspberry Charlotte
13 comments.
#1, by LCOM (10/05/2009)

Well, you tried your best to recreate it for him. Like you said, since he can't remember the filling, that the best you can do. So, this is Charlotte, very interesting dessert.

#2, by Aparna (10/05/2009)

This is one dessert (like many others) that I have no idea about. In fact the DB challenges have helped me discover many!
Your charlotte looks very pretty and colourful and I'm making one some day too.:-)
Thanks for joining us at High Tea.

#3, by Bee Ean (10/05/2009)

My husband's grandma makes very good charlotte aux framboises. I love it very much.

#4, by Jurate (10/06/2009)

This dessert looks so fresh and delicious! By the way, it often happens that the taste people remember from their childhood doesn't seem as good as in they memories after so many years;-)

#5, by deeba (10/07/2009)

A lady after my heart. I love fruit and pastry desserts. Charlotte has been on my list of things to do for ages. Will wait for fruit to come. This is beautiful!!

#6, by Kristin Enkvetchakul (10/07/2009)

Yummy!!! I'll have to try that. I've been enjoying your comments on my sister-in-law, Ria's site.
Love your photos!!! I just started a cooking blog of sorts...
Kristin

#7, by Sunita (10/08/2009)

I've never made or had a charlotte; just admired it from far. Yours looks so vibrant.

#8, by Sophie (10/10/2009)

I thonk that your dessert looks stunning!!! You did lore then your best!!!

I love charloote's , also chocolate ones!!

#9, by Ing (10/13/2009)

Hi, thanks for dropping by my blog. Thanks for all your comments. I enjoyed reading them. You're such a good cook! I wish I can cook and bake like you do! Your hubby & daughter are so fortunate to have a great cook in the house.

#10, by Meeta (10/26/2009)

Oh wow Pam this looks sensational. love raspberries!

#11, by MaryMoh (11/03/2009)

wow...it looks so pretty and delicious. I only learned about this lovely dessert called Charlotte after I started blogging! I hope to make one soon esp when I have friends around

#12, by Cakelaw (11/06/2009)

This looks delightful! You have a lucky husband.

#13, by Claudia (11/08/2009)

Wow! Your Charlotte looks incredible and I'll bet it tastes even better.