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Festivals & Celebrations: Chocolate charlotte

By Bake Club

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Preparation time 35 minutes (plus setting)

Servings SERVES 8

This traditional dessert is given a new twist with its delicious filling of rich, dark chocolate mousse. The delightful sugarpaste flowers decorating the top of the charlotte are made using special flower presses and they can be any colour, or combination of colours, you wish.

  • For the chocolate mousse
  • 250g (9oz) dark cooking chocolate with 51% cocoa solids, chopped
  • 100ml (3½oz) double cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40g (1½oz) caster sugar
  • For the syrup and biscuits
  • 2tbsp cold water
  • 125g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 1tbsp rum
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 25 large sponge finger biscuits (savoiardi lady fingers)
  • To decorate
  • 50g (2oz) dark chocolate
  • 2tsp grapeseed oil
  • Ribbon
  • Small sugarpaste flowers
  
  • Making the chocolate mousse

     

    3 steps

  • 1

    Making the chocolate mousse Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Bring the cream to the boil in a pan, take it off the heat and add it to the melted chocolate, one-third at a time, stirring until each third is incorporated before adding the next.

  • 2

    Making the chocolate mousse Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Whisk the egg whites until standing in soft peaks. Stir a tablespoon of the whites into the chocolate mixture, before gently folding in the rest with a spatula.

  • Expert Tip

    When whisking the egg whites for the chocolate mousse, don’t whisk them until they stand in very stiff peaks or they will be too difficult to incorporate evenly into the mixture.

  • Making the syrup

     

    2 steps

  • 1

    Making the syrup Put the water and sugar in a small pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil.

  • 2

    Making the syrup Leave the syrup to boil for 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, add the rum and lemon juice, pour the syrup into a shallow bowl and leave to cool.

  • Assembling the charlotte

     

    4 steps

  • 1

    Assembling the charlotte Dip the plain side (the one without the sugar coating) of the sponge fingers in the syrup and position them around the sides of a charlotte mould so they are touching, with the sugared side facing out. Lay 3 or 4 fingers over the base of the mould, filling any gaps with biscuits cut into pieces.
    How to line a charlotte mould

  • 2

    Assembling the charlotte Pour half the chocolate mousse into the mould and add a layer of syrup-dipped sponge fingers on top.

  • 3

    Assembling the charlotte Pour in the remaining chocolate mousse and top with a final layer of sponge fingers, again filling any holes with pieces of biscuit to give a flat surface.

  • 4

    Assembling the charlotte Cover with cling film and chill the charlotte in the fridge for at least 6 hours so the mousse has time to set.

  • Decorating the charlotte

     

    3 steps

  • 1

    Decorating the charlotte When the mousse is firmly set, place a plate on top of the mould and turn out the charlotte onto it, before upturning onto a serving plate.

  • 2

    Decorating the charlotte Melt the chocolate with the oil, stirring until smooth. Pour on top of the charlotte, spreading it in an even layer until it reaches the border of sponge fingers.

  • 3

    Decorating the charlotte Tie a ribbon around the charlotte and decorate the top with sugarpaste flowers made using your flower presses.

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