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Raspberry Charlotte

I've made a Charlotte before. Because of the sponge - they are so light and delicious and make me think of summer. With this winter being so brutal, I decided I needed to make this ASAP. I used frozen raspberries and it was delicious. I will warn you - it is very easy to make but be prepared to wash a LOT of dishes. Without chilling time, it took two hours but all of those two hours are not hands on. And yes I know I need to work on my swirls and drizzle techniques.

Raspberry Charlotte (Adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

1 1/4 t unflavored gelatin
2 T water
3 egg yolks (save white for cake)
2 t cornstarch
1 lb raspberries (fresh or thawed)
2/3 c sugar
2 T butter
1/4 t salt
1 3/4 c heavy cream

Sprinkle gelatin over water in large bowl and set aside. Whisk egg yolks with cornstarch in a bowl (I found a 2c measuring cup worked well). Combine raspberries, sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Mash lightly with whisk and stir until combined. Cook over medium heat until mixture is simmering, whisking frequently. Cook until the raspberries are broken down - about 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly and whisking constantly add about 1/2 c of raspberries to the egg yolks. Return raspberry/yolk mixture to the saucepan. Put it back on the heat whisking constantly and cook until it starts to thicken and bubbles, about 1 minute. Pour through a fine mesh strainer over the gelatin mixture. Pressing solids with a rubber spatula until only seeds remain; discard seeds. Whisk mixture, until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside and occasionally stir until mixture is room temperature and slightly thickened (about 1/2 hour or up to 1 hr15 min).  Set aside and make cake and jam mixture.

In a stand mixture pour heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl. Whisk until soft peak. Transfer 1/3 of cream to raspberry mixture. Using whisk attached (removed from mixer) to combine. Fold in remaining cream. Now you're ready to fill the cake.

Jam Mixture:
1/2 t unflavored gelatin
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c seedless rasberry jam

Sprinkle gelatin over lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit 5 minutes. Heat jam in microwave until liquid about 30-60 seconds. Stir in gelatin until dissolve and set aside.

2/3 c cake flour
6 T sugar
3/4 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1/4 c canola oil
2 T water
1 t vanilla
1 t raspberry extract (optional)
1 egg and 3 reserved egg whites
1/4 t cream of tartar

Grease an 8" square pan and an 8" round pan. Line bottoms with parchment. Set aside. (They said you should lightly greased parchment but I didn't find I needed to do this). In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add canola oil, water, whole egg, vanilla, and raspberry extract. Whisk until smooth. In a stand mixer add egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks form.  Transfer 1/3 of egg whites into batter, using whisk to incorporate. Fold in remaining egg whites. Place 1 c of batter into 8" round, spreading evenly. Place remaining batter in the square pan. Place on rimmed baking pan and bake at 350 for about 8-11 minutes. The round cake will be done first. The cakes should not brown. When they are done, they will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven to cooling racks. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Turn out and remove parchment from bottom. Let cool completely - about 15 minutes.

To assemble:
Place round cake in center of serving plate. Spread with 2T of raspberry jam. Place a 9" springform ring around the cake, leaving ring on pan open and slightly larger than the cake. Trim about 1/8" off the edges of the square cake. Spread with 2T of jam. Cut cake in half and then each half in half again. You will have 4 equally sized strips of cake. Place strips vertically (see below) around the round cake, making sure the ends of the strips meet up neatly.
Sounds complicated but see it's easy
Fasten the clasp on the springform ring. Fill with the raspberry mousse filling. The filing should go over the vertical cake strips.  Drizzle the remaining raspberry jam (yes this is where I ran into trouble - I'm such a bad drizzler). Use a knife to swirl jam and create a marble effect (ditto on the marble effect).

Refrigerate for at least 5 hours (or up to 24).

To serve, run a thin knife around the edge about 2" down - you do not want to go into the sponge. Release ring and remove.

You know I like this recipe because you don't end up with extra whites ;-) They use fresh raspberries around the edge to garnish. I think next time, I will pipe circles of the jam and run a toothpick through to create a spider effect because 1. I don't have to worry about drizzling and 2. I can create even more washing up to do. This looks like a totally daunting recipe I know, but it really isn't and it is so worth the washing up (especially when you have a Sous Chef to help).


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