French Week

Chocolate Charlotte

The next is Charlotte Royale.  Not satisfied with just the normal Charlotte Royale that they made in the show, I found a photo of one that looked *amazing*!  A CHOCOLATE Charlotte Royale!  OMG, I’m drooling already.

This isn’t mine. Photo taken from internet.

So you start by making a Swiss Roll, although in this case, it’s chocolate.

Prepare the pan:

Butter and line the pan with parchment paper, then butter the other side of the parchment (or just flip it over, like I did), and dust it with cocoa powder.

Making the cake:

Sift the salt, cocoa powder and flour–particularly important if you have lumpy cocoa powder, like I do.  Set aside the dry ingredients.  Whip up the 3 egg yolks and 3 whole eggs, setting aside the 3 egg whites for the moment (all 6 of the eggs will be used).  Add in sugar and let the mixer run for about 5 minutes.  By hand, fold the flour, salt and cocoa powder into the egg mixture.  In a clean bowl with a clean whisk, take the 3 egg whites and mix on medium til frothy, then add 2 Tbsp sugar and mix on med-high for 3 minutes.

Fold half the egg whites in, then fold the rest of the egg whites in.  Pour into prepared cookie sheet pan or two Swiss Roll pans.  Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or so.

Make the ganache, cover and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to thicken.


When you pull the cake out of the oven, allow to cool for a couple minutes, then flip it out onto a towel dusted with cocoa powder and peel off the parchment.  Make a shallow cut 1/4″ from the long edge and roll up in a towel.

[I kinda did it backwards–pulled the cake out of the pan by the parchment paper (face up), dusted the top with cocoa powder, made the cut along the long edge, and rolled up into a towel with the parchment still on. After it cooled in the towel for a few minutes, I unrolled it, peeled off the parchment and rolled it back up to cool completely (about 30 min).]

After 30 minutes, take the ganache out of the fridge and pour half of it into a mixing bowl for your upright mixer with the paddle attachment, and whip it for 3-4 minutes.  It will be lighter in color, doubled in size, and fluffy and spreadable.  Put the rest of the ganache back into the fridge for another hour or so.

Unroll your cake and spread the fluffy ganache onto the cake, making sure you get it under that folded lip.

Roll the cake back up tightly and wrap in cling film.  Put it back in the fridge until the ganache is ready.

Get a bowl that holds about 8 cups and line with cling film.  After an hour or so, pull the cake out of the fridge and slice into 1/4″ thick slices (I think mine might have been a bit more than 1/4″…I didn’t measure) and line the bowl with cake rounds, squashing them as close together as possible.  Use half-rounds to fill in around the top of the bowl.  Wrap up the rest of the swiss roll and put in the fridge–you will need 8-10 to cover the bottom, which you can slice up later.

Get the ganache out of the fridge and spread the thickened chocolate over the cake rounds.  It could be difficult if it’s been in the fridge too long, like mine was.  I put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, gave it a stir.  It was spreadable enough, but could have been in the microwave for a few more seconds to make it easier to spread.  Cover the cake and put it back in the fridge.

Making the filling:

The filling for this recipe sounded really odd…something about white chocolate, freeze-dried raspberries and heavy cream, which was very different from the gelatin filling that they did on the show.  I looked up the recipe for the bavarois that the did on the show; on the PBS web site here says:

For the bavarois:

  • 9 leaves gelatine
  • 550g/1 lb 4 oz raspberries
  • 2 tbsp raspberry liqueur
  • 600ml/20 fl oz full-fat milk
  • 8 free-range egg yolks
  • 100g/3½ oz caster sugar
  • 450ml/16 fl oz double cream
  • 100g/3½ oz small strawberries

My first reaction is “EIGHT EGG YOLKS?!”  What the heck am I going to do with 8 egg WHITES?  Make a lot of meringue?  My second thought, of course, is that we don’t buy gelatine in leaves, so I’m not sure how to translate that.  Then I think that there’s actually a LOT of liquid in this.  36 oz of milk and cream, over a pound and a half of fruit…how big IS this dessert?

I found an Americanized one here but it has a blancmange filling:

For the Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup almond meal or very finely ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups freeze-dried strawberries coarsely chopped

So I decided to go with the blancmange since it seemed simpler…or at least, less expensive since I won’t be using so many eggs.  I’ll have to try the bavarois some other time, though.  It turned out really nice and fluffy!

Pour the fluffiness into the cake bowl, which was already nice and thick, not super runny like some of the bavarois images we saw on the show.

Carve up the last of the rounds to create a base to the cake…problem:  I was 1 or 2 rounds shy of full coverage.  I guess 1/4″ thick rounds was too wide.  One of these rounds is the rough edge one, too–I ate the other end to check for flavor.  It was delicious!

After chilling overnight–let me tell ya, I hated having to wait 24 hours to cut into this thing–here’s the cake!

And the verdict is….


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