Charlottes are something that I’ve always wanted to try, but, because of my lack of understanding just how easy ladyfingers are to make(see THIS post), as well as a general shortage of pre-made ladyfingers in my neck of the woods, they never happened.
Charlottes are simply a mousse encased in a layer of sponge cake or ladyfingers. I chose to make mine with a fresh raspberry mousse on the bottom, lemon mascarpone cream on top and wrapped them with a layer of homemade ladyfingers. Homemade ladyfingers are so perfect for this Charlotte because they are soft and spongy, not dry and stiff like their pre-made counterparts.
The raspberry mousse on the bottom is bright and tangy and has a nice, firm yet light texture. The top layer of mousse consists of mascarpone cheese brightened with a little lemon juice and folded to a little whipped cream to lighten it. Both mousses are relatively simple and can be prepared quite quickly.
If you are going to make these more than 1/2 day ahead of time, you may want to wrap them in plastic wrap so that the ladyfingers don’t dry out on the outside. These will keep quite well for a few days, as long as they are covered. They would be so pretty dusted with a little layer of powdered sugar before serving.
I used raspberries to flavor the mousse in these Charlottes, as well as to garnish, but strawberries would work fantastically also. So would blackberries, for that matter. Whatever floats your boat!
- 1 recipe Raspberry Mousse(simply sub the strawberries for raspberries)
- 1 recipe ladyfingers, piped into about 2½" fingers, close together. Pipe out 4, 3" round circles as well, then bake as directed.
- 1 C. Mascarpone (pre-made or homemade)
- ½ C. Powdered Sugar
- Juice of ½ a small Lemon
- ½ C. Heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
- To make the Lemon Mascarpone Cream:
- Place the mascarpone and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat together until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix in until smooth. Add the whipped cream to the bowl and gently fold in. Set aside.
- To Assemble:
- The easiest way to assemble these charlottes is to use a 4" springform pan. Place one ladyfinger circle in the center of the springform pan. Place the ladyfingers around the circle, vertically, so that the tops of the ladyfingers are touching the springform sides. Leave as many ladyfingers intact as you can, assuming you baked them so that they cling together on the sides,
- Spoon or pipe raspberry mousse into the center of the ladyfinger circle with raspberry mousse, filling it ⅔ of the way full.
- Spoon or pipe the lemon mascarpone cream on top of the raspberry mousse, filling to the top of the ladyfingers.
- Top the lemon mascarpone cream with fresh raspberries. Release the sides of the springform pan and tie with a little ribbon or string to help keep it together.
- Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers and mousse.
- Refrigerate the charlottes for at least 3-4 hours before serving.