Charlottes are a French dessert made with special biscuits (called biscuits á la cuillere) and a mousse inside. I have already published an Orange charlotte a while ago but this time I made a chocoholic version, which is very rich and decadent. Forget about dieting and your beach figure for the time being and indulge yourself with some of this delicious Charlotte. Yummy.
Source: La popotte de Manue
For a 20cm Charlotte, serves 6
Makes about 28 biscuits
12g unsweetened cocoa powder
50g egg yolks
100g dark chocolate
3 gelatine leaves (2g each)
- Make the biscuits: preheat the oven at 200C.
- Separate the whites from the yolks and whisk the whites until foamy, then add the sugar in 3 thirds while whisking until firm and glossy.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk for 5 seconds to combine.
- Add the sieved flour and cocoa powder and fold in gently.
- Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. You will need the biscuits to be the same length so draw lines on the paper 8 cm apart using a pencil (I was able to mark 3 rows of 8 cm bands, each band separated by 2 cm). Turn the paper upside-down.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle with the biscuit mixture. Pipe the biscuits using the bands as delimiters and leaving space between each biscuit.
- Dust with icing sugar.
- Bake for 10 minutes (watch during the cooking).
- The syrup: while the biscuits are cooking, place the sugar and water in a saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes and take out of the heat. Add the rum and set aside to cool.
- When the biscuits are cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool before lifting them gently with a flat spatula (be careful as they are quite brittle).
- Make the Bavarois cream: place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften.
- Place the milk, sugar and egg yolks in the TM bowl and cook 8 min/80C/speed 4 to make a custard.
- Add the drained gelatine through the whole in the lid on running blades at speed 3 until melted.
- Add the chocolate and mix 20sec/speed 8. Tip out into a bowl to cool.
- Clean and thoroughly dry the TM bowl. Insert the butterfly whisk and add the cream to the bowl.
- Whisk on speed 4 measuring cup OFF peeping through the whole as you will need to stop as soon as it looks softly whipped (underneath will be firmer).
- Add the whipped cream to the cooled custard (no more than 37C to avoid thermal choc). Mix using a whisk.
- Cut about 15 biscuits to 6cm high.
- Line the bottom of a 20 cm springform cake tin with some baking parchment. Place the biscuits around the tin, icing sugar side facing out and cut side down.
- Brush the rum syrup over 3 or 4 biscuits and line them at the bottom of the tin.
- Pour half the custard over the biscuit base.
- Brush 4 more biscuits with the syrup and place them on top of the custard. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Pour the remaining custard over the slightly frozen Charlotte and freeze again for another 2 hours (or overnight).
- Take out of the freezer and heat the outside of the tin with a blowtorch or a hairdryer so you are able to release the sprinform tin gently. Lift out the frozen Charlotte and place on a plate.
- Sprinkle with grated chocolate or vermicelli.
- Defrost 3 hours in the fridge before serving.
I have had this idea for a while now to match goats cheese with spice bread. I imagined the combination to be an interesting one with flavours that complemented each other. A bit like brioche and foie gras. I liked it a lot, although the tomato purée might have been a little too overpowering. Next time, I’ll try with some fig chutney to balance the flavours better. Still, it was a very elegant starter and very easy to make.
4 slices of spice bread (pain d’épices)
100g fresh goats cheese
200g single cream
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g cherry tomatoes
2 small garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
Material: 4 small pastry rings.
- Make the tomato purée: drop the peeled garlic on running blades at speed 8. Scrape down and add the olive oil.
- Sauté 3 min/100C/speed 1.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and chop 4 sec/speed 5.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the dried oregano and reduce 7 min/Varoma/speed 1, measuring cup OFF.
- Tip out and reserve.
- Clean and dry the bowl and place the butterfly whisk inside.
- Add the goats cheese and cream with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix on speed 3 measuring cup OFF until the mixture thickens like whipped cream.
- Using a cookie cutter or pastry ring, cut out a round piece of spice bread. Leave the ring on and spoon in some of the goats cheese mousse and level with a teaspoon. Finish with a little bit of the tomato purée, spreading evenly on top.
- Do likewise with the other 3 slices of spice bread and the remaining goats cheese mousse and tomato purée.
- Refrigerate 1 hour before removing the ring delicately. Serve with a salad for a nice starter.
To celebrate Saint Patrick’s day, I looked for sweet recipes using the famous Irish stout: Guinness. I have already used it in a delicious chocolate-Guinness cake (I promise I’ll post the recipe on this blog one day) and a little search on the web brought me to this mouth-watering ice cream recipe by David Lebovitz. I topped it with some cream mixed with my homemade version of Bailey’s and boy is this divine!
Happy Paddy’s day everyone!
Source: David Lebovitz
240g whole milk
4 egg yolks
150g milk chocolate
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Make a custard in the Thermomix by adding the milk, egg yolks, salt and sugar to the TM bowl and heat 7 min/80C/speed4.
- Add the chocolate cut in chunks in the hot custard and mix 15 sec/speed 3 until smooth.
- Add the cream, Guinness and vanilla extract. Mix 10 sec/speed 3.
- Pour into a plastic container with a lid and leave to cool at room temperature.
- Freeze with the lid on overnight.
- The next day, scoop some ice-cream and serve with cream whipped with a tablespoon of vanilla sugar and a tablespoon of Bailey’s.
- Top with a sprinkle of chocolate flakes and serve immediately.
This French recipe comes from the Vorwerk book “The best of the communities recipes”. It’s been tried and tested by a friend of mine who qualified the recipe as “yum”. That was enough compliment for me and since I happened to have lots of the French toffees called Carambars lying around in my cupboard (and that I was trying to save from my toffee-crazy daughter), the opportunity was too good to miss.
Source: Best of the communities recipes
22 Carambars or 180g Daims or Werther’s Originals, refrigerated
130g creme fraiche or cream
4 egg whites
60g vanilla sugar* (I put 80g and it was not too sweet)
*Vanilla sugar can be obtained in the Thermomix by mixing 1 vanilla pod cut in half and in half lengthwise with 150g sugar 1min/speed 9. Keep in an airtight container.
- Place the refrigerated toffees in the TM bowl and mix 10sec/speed 7.
- Add the cream or creme fraiche and cook 5 min/90C/speed 2. Divide into 8 glasses.
- Clean and dry thoroughly the TM bowl (Or use 2nd bowl). Place the butterfly whisk and add the egg whites. Whisk 3 min/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF. Tip out and reserve in a big bowl.
- Place the Mascarpone and vanilla sugar in the TM bowl and mix 15sec/speed 6.
- Fold gently in the egg whites with the spatula.
- Spoon or pipe into the 8 glasses. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
Finally, Jean from Perth (aka Cookie1 from the Thermomix forum) has tried my Sunflower bread recipe. Here is a picture she took before it got devoured by her family at a dinner party:
Looking for a recipe to use up some lemon curd leftover, this recipe from J’en reprendrai bien un bout caught my eye because of the addition of a pistachio cream on the base. The colours looked beautiful and the taste was obviously going to be fantastic (pistachio and lemon seem to be a mariage made in heaven).
Source: J’en reprendrai bien un bout
For a tart tin of 26cm diameter
140g unsalted butter, softened
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (or peel using a paring knife)
250g plain flour
25g ground almond
1 pinch salt
125g shelled unsalted pistachios
30g ground almond
3 drops almond extract
1 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower, canola…)
Pistachio/almond cream (I give you double the quantities of the original recipe as I find the layer could have been thicker)
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g ground almond
80g pistachio paste
300g lemon curd
120g egg whites
- Sweet pastry: place the sugar and lemon peel in the TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 10.
- Add the butter and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to cream the butter.
- Add the other ingredients and lock the lid, then press turbo until the dough clings together (check often as you don’t want to over mix).
- Tip out the dough and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Pistachio paste: roast the pistachios in the oven 10 min at 150C.
- Make a syrup: place the water in a saucepan, add the sugar and boil until it reaches 121C (use a food thermometer).
- Take out of the heat and add the pistachios and stir until it coats the pistachios and the sugar crystallises.
- Place the pistachios, ground almonds, almond extract in the TM bowl. Mix 20 sec/speed 10. Scrape down the sides with the spatula.
- Add the oil and mix a few times 15 sec/speed 10. Keep on scraping down the sides between each mix. Continue until the pistachios releases their oil.
- Tip out into a jar.
- Almond/pistachio cream: place the butter and sugar in the Thermomix and mix 20 sec/speed 4.
- Add the egg and pistachio paste and mix 20 sec/speed 6 until combined, scraping down half way through.
- Add the ground almond and mix at speed 6 until well combined (scrape down every so often).
- Roll the pastry (you won’t need the whole lot) and line the buttered and floured tart tin.
- Place a greaseproof paper on the pastry and scatter dried beans or ceramic beads on top. Bake blind in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes.
- Remove the dried beans and greaseproof paper and pour the pistachio cream on the pastry.
- Bake again 15 minutes at 180C.
- Leave to cool completely on a grid.
- Spread the lemon curd.
- Italian meringue: place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Boil over high heat until it reaches 115C.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks.
- When the syrup has reached temperature, slowly pour in a small stream over the egg white while whisking. Make sure the syrup doesn’t touch the whisk.
- Continue whisking until the egg whites have cooled down to about 40C.
- Spoon into a piping bag with a nozzle of you choice (I used a Saint-Honoré nozzle),
- Pipe over the tart. You can sprinkle chopped pistachios over and serve cold.
Today is Mardi-gras (fat Tuesday), so if you needed ideas of pancake/waffle recipes (sweet or savoury), here is a selection:
To fill your sweet pancakes/waffles, a few ideas:
Caramel au beurre salé
Passion fruit curd
Crepes filled with creamy cheesy leeks