Strawberry Charlotte

Recipe.TV Test Kitchen

Serves: 4-6

Author: Chef Keda Black

Chef’s Note:
This is a pretty, light, and fresh summer dessert that’s also perfect for special celebrations! It’s a little old-fashioned but in a charming way. If you don’t own a charlotte baking tin, you can use a soufflé dish or a cake tin. This quantity fills a 4-cup tin, so adjust as required. To moisten the cookies, you could use any kind of syrup you like, or something like apple or orange juice, a little Cointreau, strawberry liqueur, or orange juice.

• 25 (about 12 oz) ladyfinger cookies
• 1 ¼ cups (14 oz) Greek yogurt (or fromage frais)
• 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
• 5 gelatin sheets
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 ½ lb. strawberries
• 1 vanilla pod
• ½ cup elderflower syrup

1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.

2. Bring about ¾ cup of the heavy whipping cream to a boil. Take 3 gelatin sheets out of the water, squeeze out the water, and whisk them into the hot cream, making sure it is properly and entirely dissolved (otherwise you’ll end up with little unpleasant pieces).

3. Split the vanilla pod open, scrape out the seeds, and whisk them into the cream and gelatin mix. Let cool.

4. Rinse, hull, and purée the strawberries in a blender with about half the sugar, leaving a few strawberries aside to decorate. Bring about ¾ cup of this purée to a boil and whisk in the remaining gelatin. Add about half of the remaining purée to this.

5. Whip the remaining cream until firm, add remaining sugar, Greek yogurt, and the cooled, cream-gelatin mix.

6. Rinse your tin and line it with plastic wrap (the tin should be wet otherwise the plastic wrap won’t cling) with enough spare plastic to cover the top later on.

7. Mix the syrup with a little water. Dip the biscuits in the syrup and line the bottom and sides of the tin. Then add a tablespoon or two of the gelatin purée mix and half the cream mixture, then do a layer of dipped cookies, then purée, then cream, then a little more purée. Finish with a layer of cookies.

8. Cover the top with the excess plastic wrap, put a plate on top, add a weight on top (a carton of milk, two tins of tomatoes, etc.), and store in the fridge for at least four hours (or overnight).

9. Unwrap the top, put a pretty serving plate upside down on top and turn everything carefully upside down. Remove tin, then plastic. Decorate with the remaining strawberries, sliced. Serve slices with the extra purée.