Charlotte Russe


Okay, I know it looks intimidating and unachievable - but please try this Charlotte Russe - the taste is definitely worth the risk, and I know you'll find this recipe easier than others to follow.

250g sponge finger biscuits (30-35 fingers)

9 egg yolks

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

5 teaspoons gelatine

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cream

berries and cream, optional, for serving.


Choose a Charlotte mould or round cake tin of 2 litre capacity. Cover the base with baking papaer to prevent sticking. If necessary, cut the biscuits so they are wider at one end than the other, then arrange the biscuits to fit snugly, side by side, round the inside of the mould so that there are no gaps.

Beat the egg yolks until thick, add the sugar and continue beating vigorously until the mixture is thick but still runny. Heat the milk with the vanilla until the first small bubbles appear on the side of the pan.

Immediately but slowly, pour themilk into the egg mixture, continually beating. Return the mixture to a clean pan. Heat again, stirring constantly, until it thickens, but do not boil. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the gelatine in an even layer over 3 tablespoons water in a small heatproof bowl of hot water (off theheat) and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved.

Add to the custard and stir well. Cover the surface of the custard with cling wrap and leave to cool. Whip the creams until thick and stir into the custard.

Cover the surface of the custard again and refrigerate for about 1 hour, stirring a few times until the custard is thick but not set (if it is too urnny the biscuits may float to the surface). Pour into the biscuit mould and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, invert the serving plate on top of themould and carefully flip both over. The mould should come off easily unless there were cracks in the biscuit mould and custard has stuck to the side. In that case, use a wet knife to ease off any difficult areas. Decorate with a few berries and serve with cream or maybe a fruit puree.

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