Everyone knows that the best cheesecake of all is the one your mother makes ...read more
Au Gratin – under a Golden Brown Crust
Potatoes and noodles, vegetables, minced meat and fish ...read more
Curry – Fireworks of Aromas
India’s cuisine is full of surprises: The many exotic herbs and spices ...read more
A hot, fluffy soufflé is considered the pinnacle of the culinary arts ...read more
Mousse oh là là!
The firm but fluffy whip is said to be the French national dish ...read more
They could be called the “silent stars” among the side dishes ...read more
Photography: silver chopsticks - Fotolia.com
The charlotte was originally a baked dessert, served warm. It is now also served in a chilled form, as with our fruity recipe, which couldn’t be simpler to make.
Take a cylindrical metal or china mould, some slices of white bread soaked in melted butter, and stewed apple seasoned with cinnamon and lemon. Line the tin with the slices of bread, fill it with the stewed apple and bake in the oven. Turn the resulting charlotte out of the tin and serve with a cold vanilla sauce (crème anglaise). This warm dessert became popular in England at the end of the 18th century and allegedly owes its name to Sophie Charlotte von Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818) who married George III and became queen of Great Britain and Ireland.
The famous French chef and patissier Antonin Carême (1784–1833) created the version of the charlotte which has since become most widespread and most well-known. He called it Charlotte à la parisienne, but it later became known as Charlotte à la russe. In his recipe, the base and sloping sides of a mould are lined with sponge fingers which have been soaked in liqueur or coffee. The mould is then filled with bavarois, whipped cream and candied fruits or with chocolate mousse, left to chill and the charlotte turned out after it has set.
Working on this basic principle, the cold charlotte can also be filled with stewed or pureed fruit, flavoured whipped cream, custard or bombe glacée filling. After it has been turned out, it can be decorated with grated chocolate, either milk or plain.
In recent years, chefs have increasingly begun creating savoury charlottes with vegetables or fish. Long thin strips of carrot, cucumber, courgette, asparagus or aubergine can take the place of the sponge fingers. Even without this decorative outer layer, the dishes are still called charlottes because of their shape.