Charlotte russe is a dessert invented by the French chef Marie Antoine Carême (1784–1833), who named it in honor of his Russian employer Czar Alexander I (russe being the French word for “Russian”).
It is a cold dessert of Bavarian cream set in a mold lined with sponger biscuits. You can have many varieties of Charlotte cakes with fruits, chocolate and banana, marron glacé, chocolate and nutmeg …
For this recipe, you will need a charlotte mold
- Preparation time : 35 mn
- Pause : 6 hours
- Cost : cheap
Ingredients : 6 servings
- 200 gr marron purée
- 120 gr marron cream
- 60 gr marrons glacés
- 3 cl whisky
- 2 gelatine leaves
- 30 gr crème fraîche
- 50 gr Chantilly cream (whipped cream)
- 18 biscuits à la cuillère (sponge cake)
Chantilly cream : 175 gr cream
- 15 cl liquid cream (very cold : 4°C)
- 10 gr white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
Whisky syrup :
- 8 cl water
- 100 gr white sugar
- 6 cl whisky
One of the best marron cream is from Ardèche, in the South of France.
“Biscuits à la cuillère” are light, soft and sweet sponge cakes roughly shaped like a large finger.
In a bowl, mix marron purée (the best is to buy some already made), with marron cream and 3 cl whisky with a wooden spoon.
In a bowl, mix the gelatine leaves with water and let them rest for 10 mn. Then drain the gelatine leaves.
Meanwhile, in a medium pan, heat the crème frâiche on medium heat and add the drained gelatine leaves, and stir.
Add it to the marron mixture and stir again. Remove from heat.
Step 5 (Chantilly cream)
In a bowl, whisk the liquid cream with an electric mixer, on medium speed. After 2 mn, add white sugar and vanilla sugar little by little, keeping whisking until the cream gets firm. You will only need 50 gr Chantilly cream for this recipe. With a spatula, mix delicately the Chantilly cream with marron cream.
You can use the rest of the Chantilly with strawberries … it’s delicious ! Reserve in the refrigerator until you use it.
Step 6 (Whisky syrup)
In a pan, bring water to a boil with sugar. Remove from heat and let it cool down for 5 mn, then add whisky.
Butter a Charlotte mold. Soak lightly the sponge cakes with whisky syrup. Line the sides of a cylindrical Charlotte mold with biscuits.
Pour half of the marron cream over. Cover with crushed marrons glacés (Keep some marrons glacés to decorate the cake). Top with the remaining marron cream (keep some cream to decorate the cake). End with sponge biscuits that you place over the cream.
Cover the cake with clingfilm and refrigerate for 6 hours.
In order to unmold the charlotte cake easily, pour some warm water over the mold for a few seconds and turn the cake upside-down on a plate.
Decorate the cake with marron cream and some marrons glacés. Serve immediately.