Want to impress your family, friends and stomach? Come into the world of les charlottes royales. They’re easier than you’d expect, striking and delicious. And my new invention the cakometre will calculate the number of slices you’re allowed so you can fully enjoy the beautiful fluffy, tangy and fresh lemon mousse surrounded by soft genoise swiss roll slices filled with raspberry jam. All set off by the delightful sharpness of fresh raspberries. Et voilà, a wonderful balance of flavours in a Lemon mousse and raspberry charlotte royale. Sigh of contentment… sometimes you become very attached to a cake! 🙂
How the cakometre was invented
Unfortunately a Charlotte Royale is not the kind of cake you can take hiking with you. Not only would it be muttering ‘What am I doing here in the countryside with these peasants?’ It would also get battered and fall apart in the sun.
A bit like me. Sunday I spent the day struggling up the hills of Collserola on the outskirts of Barcelona whimpering ‘I’m not a really a hiker! Climbing’s easier’ and ‘I’m dying!’ I’m fine sitting at the bottom of a rock then climbing up a vertical face. But I don’t really enjoy plodding up a looooong slope with no end in sight, observing the backs of proper hikers striding effortlessly upwards, clearly not suffering like me.
To cheer myself up I chatted (and whinged) to fellow hikers and invented the cakometre, which fits comfortably on your wrist like a watch and not only measures how many calories you’ve burnt but uses that information to tell you how many cakes you can eat as a result. According to my calculations I’d earned three big slices of cake by the time I’d finished the hike! I’d had one for breakfast so would have two for tea upon my return! Woohoo! 🙂
In the end it was so hot in the hills that even hardened hikers were wilting. Hurray! I mean oh dear… The group voted not to continue up to the peak, we sat down to a picnic and I survived the day, went home and had my two slices of cake.
You might not want to do the hiking and suffering part but go straight to eating cake. Fair enough. If you want to take it really easy you can make the optional no-bake version using a couple of shop-bought raspberry swiss roll! But the genoise sponge takes just 25 to 35 minutes to make and bake and the delightfully refreshing lemon mousse about 20 minutes to whip up. So shall we start? 🙂
Ingredients (for a medium-sized bowl – about 18cm diametre and 10cm high)
- 118g (2 medium-sized to large) beaten eggs
- 63g (half a cup) plain all-purpose flour (sifted)
- 63g (a third of a cup minus 1 tablespoon) caster (superfine) sugar or a third of a cup granulated sugar
- a pinch of salt
- optional: a knife-tip of vanilla powder (or seeds scraped from a quarter of a vanilla bean)
- raspberry jam for the swiss roll – about a quarter of a jar
- 2 sheets of gelatine (gold leaf)
- 62g (1 and a half lemons) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 100ml whipping cream (35%) or double cream
- 25g (1 tbsp + 2 tsp) mineral water
- 63g (one third of a cup) granulated or caster sugar
- 40g (1 medium-sized) egg white
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice (half an orange)
- 2 generous tablespoons (25g) sugar – I used golden caster sugar, which makes the glaze darker
- 3 tbsp (42g) water
- 1 generous teaspoon arrowroot powder
Two small pummets of raspberries (around 200-250g)
A. SWISS ROLL SLICES
Preheat the oven to 180°C (static, non-convection oven) or 160°C (fan-assisted oven).
Prepare your swiss roll baking tray (mine’s approximately 19cm x 28cm x 3cm): butter lightly then line with greaseproof baking paper.Make the genoise – the recipe’s on my ‘basics’ page: genoise sponge.
- Pour the genoise batter gently into your tray and spread evenly with the back of a metal spoon or spatula.
- Bake 10 – 15 minutes until golden, a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top springs back slightly when pressed lightly with a finger. Don’t open the oven door for the first 10 minutes!
- Once out of the oven leave to cool a few minutes.
- Place a sheet of greaseproof paper over a wire rack and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
- Turn the genoise on to the paper and peel the paper on the top off the sponge.
- If you’re not making the swiss rolls immediately, cover with a lightly damp and clean teacloth.
Make the Swiss roll slices
Line your bowl with the slices
B. CLASSIC FRENCH LEMON MOUSSE
Please go to my Italian Meringue page under the basics section if you’d like extra tips and photos.
3. Brush the six swiss roll slices on ‘top’ with freshly-squeezed orange juice. Leave to soak 5 minutes then unmould onto a serving plate. Brush the other swiss rolls on the charlotte with the remaining orange juice. Freeze for an hour or more so it can set.
Prepare the arrowroot glaze.
- Dissolve the caster sugar in the water at a low-medium heat then bring to a boil, stirring to make a light syrup.
- Mix the arrowroot with 2 tablespoons of water, stirring to make a smooth white liquid.
- Stir this mixture into the syrup, return to the heat and stir constantly till it boils again, then immediately take off the heat. It will have thickened to a soft jelly-like gloopy consistency.
- Let the glaze cool slightly before spooning over the charlotte (or brushing) to have a thinly even and shiny layer.
- Let it set 5 minutes then wipe the drops of glaze on the serving plate around the bottom of the charlotte. Don’t worry, these charlottes never look dead perfect but with the raspberries …
And so that more people can meet Charlotte, I’m taking this cake to the May 2015 Perfecting Patisserie challenge hosted by Lucy at BakingQueen74 and Kevin at The Crafty Larder. You can click on the image if you’d like to see some yummy treats or bring a little something! You could also get some of this cake at the usual wonderful Fiesta Friday party kindly hosted by Angie@the novice gardener and co-hosts Caroline @Caroline’s Cooking and Jess @Cooking Is My Sport. You’re always very welcome to come along and join in! And perhaps everyone would like a little slice of cake now, as a reward for getting through Monday and the rest of the week? My magic cakometre is showing me you all deserve some! 🙂
Do try making this lovely Lemon mousse and raspberry charlotte royale – it’s actually pretty straightforward! You get to practise making a genoise sponge and classic French mousse made with Italian meringue (is that a contradiction?!). Anyway, it’s all worthwhile because it’s so fairy-tale-like delicious!
P.S. I’m thinking of inventing a Tres Leches flan dessert later. There’s our Tres leches cake challenge and I need to experiment with that healthier version. Have you made a tres leches cake yet? 🙂
3 hours later – Have just found out about the royal baby Charlotte who was born yesterday?! Total cake serendipidity!!!