There are recipes that you read, pictures that you stare at and think “Oh, My God, I want to make this” and there are some who say “Oh My God, I have to eat this”. Well I am more of the former….don’t mistake me, I love my desserts and need a “dessert fix” a couple-a-times a week, but the pleasure and anticipation and the sheer thrill, of executing a complex recipe goes way beyond the pleasure of devouring it. If I haven’t said it before (who cares if I am saying it again, its my blog!! 🙂 ….LOL), it’s the journey that I look forward to more than the destination.
Charlotte Royale is one such dessert that I was itching to make, since I missed it on the Daring Bakers’ Challenge.
As you can see from my hastily taken pictures, slices of swiss roll encase a beautiful filling. The filling can be anything that you fancy from a chocolate mousse, to vanilla ice cream. The light swiss roll is so beautiful that it’s a treat in itself and I had a tough time stopping my young man from gobbling down a few slices. The swiss roll is cut into ¼” slices and a 6-8 cup bowl is lined with the slices and left to set in the fridge. The filling is a light orange flavoured Bavarian Cream to which I added some chocolate to give a marbled effect but the chocolate hardened as soon as it hit the cold cream. Once the cream is poured in its “swiss roll shell”, it is topped with another sponge layer which can be cut to fit the top.
Don’t rush into the whole process in one day. Its best spread over 2-3 days. This is a masterpiece and takes time and oraganisation. Let the journey unravel slowly and at a leisurely pace. It freezes well so it’s a fabulous make-ahead dessert. I made it for my pre-new year dinner party, for my favourite friends. Since I had to click pictures for the blog, I kept the guests waiting and risked mob fury. But finally the delay was forgiven; such was the beauty’s magic.
If you have seen the Miss. World contest, where they repeat year after year after year “beauty inside and outside”….well Miss. Charlotte is one such dessert. Beautiful outside and beautiful inside. Unlike the Miss. World contestants you don’t need to plaster it with make-up on the outside, She is beautiful as is. Stunning, with clean lines, a little complex tasting and like all good things you want more. I crown Ms. Charlotte the new Miss. World of the Dessert Land- a beauty with a very decadent cause. 🙂
Step 1: SWISS ROLL
50 grams sifted cake flour/ all-purpose flour
4 ½ tablespoon unsifted cornstarch
6 large eggs room temperature
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 oz/113g) sugar, divided
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup seedless, raspberry/ strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to hot 230°C. Grease the swissroll pan /sheet pan and line it with parchment and then grease it again and flour it. Do the same with a 7-8 inch cake tin.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and cornstarch.
- Separate3 of the eggs, placing the yolks in one large mixing bowl and the whites in another.
- To the yolks, add the 2 remaining eggs, and ¾ cup of the sugar.
- Beat the yolk mixture on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick, fluffy and tripled in volume. Beat in the vanilla.
- Sift ½ the flour mixture over the egg mixture and fold it in gently but rapidly with a large balloon whisk until the flour has disappeared. The balloon whisk will help the flour to be incorporated with the egg mix without deflating the bubbles. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture.
- Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until foamy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the batter and pour into the prepared cake tin (a thin layer) and the pan. Using an angled/offset metal spatula level it.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown, a cake tester comes out clean, and the cake is springy to the touch.
- As soon as the cake has finished baking, slide it out of the pan onto a flat surface using the parchment to help move it. Cool the round cake on a wire rack and proceed with the swiss roll.
- Flip the cake (for the roll) onto a clean dishtowel and carefully remove the parchment paper.
- While the cake is still hot, roll cake up tightly in the dishtowel. Roll from the longest side with the darkest side of the cake on the inside. Cool the rolled cake/towel on a rack.
- When ready to fill, gently unroll the cake . Spread up to ½ cup of raspberry/ strawberry jam in a thin layer on top of the cooled cake. The jam should look like it’s barely covering the cake. Don’t lay it on thick.
- Roll up the cake as tightly as you can about 1/3 of the way and then use the towel to pull the roll towards you , continue to use the towel to help roll the cake all the way up. The completed roll should be about 2” (5 cm) in diameter. It is important to get this roll as tight as possible as you do not want gaps in the spirals.
- Wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm enough to slice, at least a couple of hours. If desired, the roll and the base can be frozen for a few weeks before you make the rest of the Charlotte.
- When the roll is firm, cut it into ¼ inch (5 mm) slices with a small, serrated knife. You want to get as many spirals as possible, so be careful to evenly cut the slices as close to ¼ inch (5 mm) as you can.
Step 2: ORANGE BAVARIAN CREAM:
1/2 cup (65gm) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon gelatin powder
3 large egg yolk
1-2/3 cups (400 ml) milk
1 vanilla bean, split (you may also use extract/paste, but add it when the cream is cool)
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
1½ tablespoon Cointreau or Grand Marnier
Note: As a general rule, two gelatine leaves is equivalent to one teaspoon of powdered gelatine.
- Refrigerate the mixing bowl for whipping the cream.
- Have ready a fine strainer nearby, suspended over a small bowl.
- In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, salt, gelatin and yolks until well blended, using a wooden spoon.
- In another small saucepan heat the milk and vanilla bean to just below a simmer. There will be steam rising off the milk and there may be some small bubbles but it will not be at an active simmer yet. Stir a few tablespoons of hot milk into the yolk mixture to temper it. Gradually add the remaining hot milk and vanilla bean, stirring constantly.
- Heat the egg and milk mixture, stirring constantly, to just below a simmer again Steam will begin to appear and the mixture will be slightly thicker than heavy cream. It will leave a well-defined track when a finger is run across the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and pour the mixture along with the vanilla seeds into a bowl to cool. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce. Stir until the seeds separate.
- Chill the pastry cream in the refrigerator for about 1½ 2 hours (checking frequently and stirring occasionally) until whisk marks barely begin to appear when stirred.
- In the chilled bowl, whip the cream until it mounds softly when dropped from a spoon.
- Whisk the liqueur and orange juice concentrate* into the pastry cream and then fold in the whipped cream just until incorporated. The mixture will be soupy, like melted ice cream. .
*To make the concentrate, start with ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice and reduce it to 2 tablespoons. Add the concentrate when the mixture is cool.
Note: This is a very lightly flavored Bavarian and the flavor is better after a day or two. If you want a stronger flavor, you may want to use some orange oil or orange extract in addition to the concentrate and zest.
Step 3: ASSEMBLING THE CHARLOTTE:
Lightly oil a 6-cup (1½ litre) round bowl or mold (the smaller the diameter at the top the better) and line it as smoothly as possible with plastic wrap, leaving a small overhang . if you find handling the clingfilm painful, skip it and make sure the bowl is well oiled.
To line the bowl, place 1 slice in the bottom center and place other slices around it as tightly as possible to try to avoid gaps.
The width of your mould and the width of your slices will determine how far up the mould you can get.
Adjust the spirals to eliminate gaps, but it may not be possible to make it fit perfectly. If there are any gaps between the spirals, plug them with a small amount of the remaining raspberry jam or some trimmings from unused spirals. You want to plug these spots to prevent the Bavarian Cream from leaking through. Its also a good idea to see that all the spirals are in the same direction, it looks prettier.
Cover the lined bowl tightly and place it in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.
Make the Bavarian cream and spoon it into the lined bowl until it comes up to the top of the bowl or just to the place the top spirals last touch each other. Trim the top spirals even above the cream if necessary.
Place the cake round on top of the cream and touching the edge of the spirals. Press down gently on the edges of the cake circle so it makes contact with the edge of the spirals.
Cover tightly and refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours.
To unmold, invert onto a plate and lift away the bowl, tugging gently on the plastic wrap to release it. To prevent drying out, leave the plastic wrap in place until serving.