Charlotte aux Fraises
Here’s a cake I’ve recently added to my pastry case in our shop. It’s called Strawberry Charlotte or Charlotte aux Fraises. I first set eyes on this dainty beauty years ago in a small patisserie in the French( countryside), while visiting my Belle-mère & beau-père’s country house. It was love at first sight. I liked the idea of using a simple ribbon to wrap around the feminine dessert. Très French! The Charlotte’s pink, feathery mousse filling reminded me of the local strawberries I had spied earlier at the marché en Plein air.
There are a few historical variations of the dessert’s origins. Still, I’d like to believe that French chef Marie-Antoine Carême (whose parents sadly abandoned him during the Revolutionary War) is the mastermind behind this creamy dessert. He was said to name it after his employer, Czar Alexander I.
I eventually set out to master this dessert because I wanted to include it in my “Country Maison” dessert collection. I made the ladyfingers (from scratch) & they encircle the berry mousse. If you happen to be a “consistency person” like moi, the combination of ladyfinger, soaked with creamy mousse is unbelievable! It brings back memories of eating banana pudding as a kid down south.
I hope that this dessert makes it in our shop, meaning it sells. It will always beckon me back to that sun-baked afternoon in the French countryside.