Charlotte Russe Dessert - Definition and Recipes

Charlotte Russe Dessert

Charlotte Russe Dessert © 1869 The Royal Cookery Book


When sweetened and flavored whipped cream or a Bavarian cream is molded with an outer case or covering, the dish is called a Charlotte. If the outer case be of lady fingers, meringues, macaroons, narrow slices of cake, iced or not (sometimes iced in contrasting colors), the name “Charlotte Russe” is given to the dish.

When the case is made of sections of fruit or of a macedoine of fruit in a wine or fruit jelly, a Celestine or Macedoine Charlotte results. When a Charlotte has an outer case of one variety of cream with a center of contrasting color or mixture, a Charlotte à la Surprise is produced.

Lining Molds for Charlotte Russe

When lady fingers are used to line a mold, trim them to the exact height of the mold, plan to have them stand close together or some uniform distance (as half an inch) apart. The crust side should be set next to the mold, glass or paper cup.

If the Charlotte Russe is to be served in the cup, let the untrimmed end of the lady finger stand upward. If the Charlotte is to be turned from a mold, the untrimmed end of the cake should be downward.

Set one lady finger in place, dispose a spoonful of the mixture at the base to hold it in place; set another cake in place and a spoonful of the mixture at the base to hold it; continue until the mold is lined, then complete the filling of the mold with the spoon.

When lining a mold with pineapple for a center of pineapple Bavarian cream, cut the slices in halves crosswise and then split them: they are now just the right size and shape to line an oval Charlotte mold holding five cups.

Charlotte Russe Desert Recipes

Angel Charlotte Russe

  • 1/2 envelope Knox Sparkling Gelatin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 dozen rolled stale macaroons
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 dozen marshmallows, cut in small pieces
  • Vanilla or sherry
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied cherries
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 lb. blanched and chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Soak the gelatin in cold water, dissolve in boiling water, and add sugar. When mixture is cold, add cream, beaten until stiff, almonds, macaroons, marshmallows and candied cherries. Flavor with vanilla or sherry. Turn into a mold, first dipped in cold water, and chill. Remove from mold and serve with angel cake.

This dessert may be made more elaborate by cutting the top from an angel cake and removing some of the inside, leaving a case with three-fourths inch walls, then filling case with mixture, replacing top of cake, covering with frosting, and garnishing with candied cherries and blanched almonds.

Apricot Charlotte Russe

Line a plain mold with some finger biscuits, and put it in the ice;

Make 1 pint of Apricot Puree; put it in a basin, and add ¾ lb. of pounded sugar and 1 oz. of gelatin, previously dissolved in 1 gill of water; put the basin on the ice, and work the contents with a spoon until the puree begins to freeze;

Add 1 quart of well-whipped cream; mix, and fill the mold with the apricot cream, and cover it with a baking-sheet with some ice on the top; let it remain in the ice for an hour; then turn the Charlotte out of the mold on to a napkin on a dish; and serve.

Burnt Almond Charlotte Russe

Line a plain mold with finger biscuits, as aforesaid;

Chop ½ lb. of Jordan almonds;

Put ¼ lb. of pounded sugar in a copper pan; melt it until it becomes red hot; then pour in the chopped almonds, and stir them over the fire for a few minutes;

Spread them out on a baking-sheet, and, when they are cold, pound them in a mortar, adding 1 quart of boiling cream, and press the whole through a broth napkin;

Steep 1 oz. of gelatin in cold water;

Put the almond cream in a stewpan with 8 yolks of egg and ¾ lb. of sugar, and stir over the fire until the yolks begin to thicken;

Drain the gelatin, add it to the cream, and finish as directed for Apricot Charlotte Russe

Caramel Charlotte Russe

  • 1/4 package gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups cream, beaten light Almond lady-finger meringues
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries

Soften the gelatin in the cold water. Beat the yolks, add three tablespoonfuls of the sugar, and beat again. Cook the rest of the sugar to caramel, add the boiling water, cover, and let dissolve; boil till reduced a little; pour over the egg and sugar and stir constantly over boiling water until the mixture thickens slightly; add the softened gelatin; stir over ice water until beginning to thicken; then fold in the cream.

Use to fill a mold lined with plain or almond lady-finger meringues. See “Lining Molds for Charlotte Russe”, and “Meringues.” Garnish with whipped cream and cherries.

Chocolate Macaroon Charlotte Russe

  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 package gelatin
  • 1/3 cup cold milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoonful salt
  • 6 chocolate macaroons, dried, made fine, and sifted
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 1 cup cream from milk bottle

Add the sugar to the scalded milk, soften the gelatin in the cold milk. Beat the yolks, add the two tablespoonfuls of sugar and the salt, beat again, and stir into the hot milk; add the gelatin and the macaroons and strain into a dish set into ice and water.

Stir occasionally and when the mixture begins to thicken, fold in the cream beaten very light. Continue to fold the two mixtures together until the whole will hold in shape.

Have ready a mold holding five cups; set a lady-finger macaroon, trimmed to the height of the mold, at one end, rounding side next the mold, and dispose a spoonful of the cream mixture at its base to hold it in place; in the same manner set a macaroon at the opposite end, another half way between these on each side, and four others at regular distances from those in place, then, using a spoon, finish filling the mold with the cream mixture.

When unmolded, decorate with whipped cream and cherries. The half cup of sugar added to the milk may be caramelized, dissolved in one third a cup of water, boiled to a syrup, and then added to the milk; in this case, use three tablespoonfuls of sugar with the egg yolks.

Christmas Charlotte Russe

(To serve 5 or 6 persons)

  • 1 cup double cream
  • 6 lady fingers cut in small squares
  • 1/2 cup cream from quart jar of milk
  • 1 slice chocolate cake cut in small squares
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 dozen candied or maraschino cherries cut in slices
  • 1/2 teaspoonful vanilla

Mix the cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until quite firm. Take out part of the cream for piping. Through the rest of the cream mix the cake squares and cherries. Use the mixture to fill tall glasses. Pipe the plain cream above and garnish with whole cherries.

Coffee Charlotte Russe

Line a mold with finger biscuits, as above;

Roast ½ lb. of green coffee in a copper pan;

Boil 1 quart of cream; put the coffee in it, and let it stand in a warm place for an hour;

Put 8 yolks of egg in a stewpan with ¾ lb. of pounded sugar; strain in the coffee cream, and stir over the fire until the egg begins to thicken;

Steep 1 oz. of gelatin in cold water; drain, and add it to the cream; stir till the gelatin is melted; strain through a hair sieve into a basin, and stir the cream on the ice until it begins to thicken; add 1 quart of well-whipped cream, and finish the Charlotte as directed in the preceding recipe.

Surprise Charlotte

  • 1/4 package gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 cup hot boiled rice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cream, beaten light
  • 1 cup French candied fruit, cut fine
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoonful vanilla

Soften the gelatin in the cold water, dissolve in the hot milk, add the rice and sugar, and use, when chilled, to line an oval Charlotte Russe mold. See “ Double Molding.” When the inner mold is removed, fill the space with the cream mixed with the fruit and vanilla. The fruit should be covered with hot sugar syrup and left to stand overnight. Drain off the syrup before use.

Simple Charlotte Russe with Jelly

Simple Charlotte Russe

To serve five, take one cup of double cream, one—fourth a cup of rich milk, a scant fourth a cup of sugar, and half a teaspoonful of vanilla extract, or two tablespoonfuls of sherry wine. Beat until firm throughout. Line sherbet or other glass cups or paper cases with thin strips of sponge cake, or of lady fingers; let the strips of cake be of the same length and extend half an inch or more above the glass. Fill to the height of the cake with the prepared cream; decorate with bits of currant, quince or other jelly.

Fig Charlotte Russe

Fig Charlotte Russe

Have ready six or eight figs, cooked tender in boiling water, sweetened with two or three tablespoonfuls of sugar, at the last of the cooking, and flavored with two tablespoonfuls of claret, sherry or lemon juice. Soften one-fourth a package of gelatine in one-fourth a cup of milk, and dissolve in three-fourths a cup of hot milk; add one-fourth a cup of sugar, three or four of the figs, cut in small pieces, and the syrup in which they were cooked; set into a pan of ice and water and stir while the mixture chills; when beginning to set fold in one cup of cream, beaten firm. Turn into glass cups, lined with strips of sponge cake or of lady fingers, filling to the top of the strips of cake. Decorate with strips of cooked fig.

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