Tuesday, March 14, 2017

MENU's Recipe of the Week: Granadilla and Raspberry Charlotte Russe

This classic dessert was invented by Antoinin Carème, a master of French Cuisine who cooked for kings during his stay in St Petersburg, cooking for the Tsar in the early 19th century. A lovely summer dessert, this is fiddly but not at all difficult to make. You will have seen it on Great British Baker if you have been watching; they did make it look very complicated. You do need to make it in the morning to allow time to set, or the day before. You can use seedless pulp, but a few seeds tell what the fruit is. If it is not sharp enough, add a little lemon juice to taste. You can also use all sorts of different fruit. Bananas (use 5, mashed) make a lovely Charlotte, so do puréed berries

(Photo: Yvonne Kampmeinert)

1 packet of lime or lemon jelly - 450 ml double or whipping cream - 50 ml granadilla pulp or freshly squeezed juice - 125 g fresh raspberries (or other berries) - a packet of finger (boudoir) biscuits - optional, juice of half a lemon

You need a deep dish with straight sides so that the finger biscuits can stand up. Lynne uses a 17 cm soufflé dish

Boil a kettle. Melt the jelly in 150 ml of boiling water; stir till the jelly is clear. Then add 300 ml cold water. Put a little jelly into the base of your dish, about 1 cm deep. Put the dish into the fridge until set. Keep the rest of the jelly mixture out of the fridge. While it is setting, trim the edges of the sponge fingers so that they will fit closely together. Shake off and discard the crumbs. Arrange some of the raspberries around the edges on the set jelly, use about 10 or 12 evenly spaced, and one in the middle. Add a little more jelly and return the dish to the fridge to set. Whip the cream until stiff, stir in the granadilla pulp and the raspberries. When the base jelly is nearly set, start dipping the finger biscuits briefly into the remaining jelly and line the sides of the dish with the fingers, sugary side outward. Make sure that they fit closely together; you don’t want leaks. Then add the remaining nearly set jelly to the cream mixture and spoon it into the dish. Chill till firm. Just before serving, trim off the tops of the biscuits so that they are level with the filling. Dip the base of the dish into hot water for a moment and put a round serving dish over the dish, invert it and lift it away

The Charlotte should stand up on its own and show its beautiful jelly 'face'. See the photograph

TIP: If it looks like collapsing, tie a ribbon around it before serving

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