Chocolate Charlotte, super easy!

IMG_3420This is my very first attempt at preparing a Charlotte. This is such a landmark dessert in France, a little vintage though!

For my very first and very successful attempt, I made a chocolate mousse and poached pear charlotte, and VOILA! This is looking so beautiful!

I’ll show you the steps, and I will make suggestions to make it simple. Perfect for an afternoon entertaining kids! It is SO EASY!

Ingredients: 

Poached pears (You can also open a can of pears in juice and skip the step – make sure you keep the juice):IMG_0337

  • 2 ripe but firm pears
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 star anise or vanilla sticks
  • Water

Cake:

  • a deep round dish (some charlotte mold exist but I don’t have one. I used a disposable aluminium pot pan)
  • 30  to 40 lady fingers biscuits
  • Optional: 3 oz of Rhum (or brandy / cognac. I used St Germain, a French liquor that resonates well with the pear and star anise)

Chocolate Mousse (You might want to buy ready made chocolate mousse and skip the step. You’ll need about 4 cups):

IMG_0340

  • 1 cup of cooking chocolate (I mixed 72% cocoa and 100% cocoa but you might choose a 60% if you are not into super strong chocolate flavors)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbs of confectionary sugar (3 for the mousse and 1 for the decoration)
  • 3 tbs of very cold whipping cream
  • a pinch of salt
  • Optional: Powder cocoa (for decoration)

Poaching the pears:

  1. Bring a medium size pot of water to boil,
  2. add the sugar + the anise stars or vanilla,
  3. wait 5 minutes for the sugar to melt and add your peeled pears.
  4. Let simmer 15 minutes
  5. Stop the gas and let it cool down (you can prep the mousse in the meantime)
  6. When cold : set the juice aside, slice the pears finely

Preparing the mousse:

  1. Melt chocolate in a small pan on medium heat, with 1/4 cup of water. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
  2. When melted add the butter, keep stirring on very low heat until fully incorporated
  3. Separate egg yolk from white – set white aside and add yolk one by one to your melted chocolate.
  4. Keep stirring, cut the heat.IMG_0341
  5. In another large bowl, beat the egg white with the pinch of salt until very firm (Secret: the salt helps to mount them firm)
  6. Add gradually the confectionary sugar while still beating
  7. Set aside
  8. In a 3rd bowl, beat the cold whipping cream till medium firmIMG_0343
  9. Gradually incorporate chocolate prep and beaten egg white to the whipped cream. I suggest you use a wood spoon and add one spoon of chocolate, folding gently, one spoon of beaten egg-white, folding gently etc so you avoid “breaking the mix. IMG_0345
  10. Set aside at room temperature

Mounting the charlotte:

  1. Cut a round wax paper shape to fit the bottom of the dishIMG_0338
  2. Mix a cup of pear juice with the alcohol (if desired) in a  hollow dish
  3. very quickly and lightly, dip front and back of lady finger (one at a time) and dispose in the dish, starting with the bottom.
  4. Work the bottom and then build the sides. IMG_0342
  5. Work the gaps by cutting V shapes of biscuits to make even coverage.
  6. Pour your chocolate mousse in 1 inch layer
  7. Add one layer of cut pieces of pears,IMG_0346
  8. Continue the layering until the dish is full
  9. Top with lady fingers (lightly dipped in the juice)
  10. Close your cake with a plate and press gently to compress the cake.IMG_0347
  11. Let cool down and settle in the fridge for 3 hours minimum, keep it upside down
  12. When ready, take off the small plate and put your serving plate instead
  13. Return the charlotte maintaining the serving plate firmly.
  14. Delicately take off the mold (if using an aluminum pan, you can cheat by stretching the dish.
  15. Take off the wax paper layer et Voilà! you can decorate if you’d like…

Decorating: 

  1. Dispose the leftover pear slice in a regular shape around the charlotte

IMG_3413

2.Follow the instruction on this tutorial:

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