We just had a family gathering on Sunday and I’ve made two cakes, one of which was this chocolate Charlotte. French Charlotte russe is a cold dessert. The mold is first lined with finger-shaped sponge cake or ladyfingers lightly soaked in syrup. It is then filled with mousse, Bavarian cream, and/or fresh fruits. After half day of chilling the cake will be ready to serve. Preparing two cakes in one morning was too frantic for me so I simplified the cake by filling it up with chocolate mousse only. This chocolate mousse is my all-time favorite. It is so rich and velvety and all my friends who have tried this simply loved it. It contains no added sugar and requires no gelatin. It consists mainly of chocolate and whipping cream so the chocolate flavor really shines through. For the same reason, the quality of the chocolate is super duper crucial here. Couverture chocolate is highly recommend.
星期天是家庭聚會，EC早上一口氣做了兩款蛋糕，其中一款便是朱古力夏洛特蛋糕(chocolate Charlotte)。法式夏洛特蛋糕的傳統做法是先以沾了酒糖液的手指海綿蛋糕或手指餅圍在蛋糕內圈及底部，中間再填入慕絲、Bavarian cream、鮮果等作餡，冷藏半天便可取出享用。一個早上弄兩款蛋糕實在太令人抓狂了，因此EC把製作簡化只做了朱古力慕絲。這個朱古力慕絲是EC的至愛，朱古力味道十分香滑濃郁，嘗過這款蛋糕的朋友無一不讚好。慕絲完全不用加糖或魚膠粉，主要材料為黑朱古力及淡忌廉，可把朱古力的味道完全彰顯出來。正因如此，朱古力的品質十分、十分、十分重要！可以的話請使用調溫朱古力。
The surface of the ladyfingers is too sugary. I didn’t want to add extra sweetness to my cake so I only used them as a border. In between the mousse filling were two fluffy layers of coffee chiffon cake. To prevent the ladyfingers from being too soggy, I usually prepare the mousse filling and chill it until firm. Then I would unmold the cake and arrange the ladyfingers around the sides. I prefer this method as the ladyfingers will stay crunchy.
I was in such a rush so no pictures were taken this time. Great thanks to my friend Felix who took some nice pictures for us at the gathering. I may update my post with more pictures if I make this cake again. For my other Charlotte cakes with a step-by-step picture tutorial please visit my blog posts Tiramisu Charlotte or Ovaltine Charlotte. For a step-by-step picture tutorial on the mousse cake, please visit my blog post Dark Chocolate Mousse Dome with Lacquer Glaze.
Dark Chocolate Mousse Charlotte
Makes a 7-inch cake
For the Coffee Chiffon Cake
40 g cake and pastry flour
1/2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
2 large egg yolks
25 g grapeseed oil
25 g milk
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
30 g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse
10 g unsweetened cocoa powder
50 g hot water
1/8 tsp salt
150 g bittersweet chocolate (58% or higher, I used couverture chocolate)
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
270 g whipping cream
For the Chocolate Lacquer Glaze
5 g granulated sugar
20 g water
20 g light corn syrup
15 g unsweetened cocoa powder
20 g whipping cream
15 g water (add to gelatin)
1.5 g (1/2 tsp) powdered gelatin
For the Border
11 – 12 ladyfingers (Biscotti Savoiardi)
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells.
苦甜朱古力 (58%或以上濃度，EC用調溫朱古力) 150克
For the Coffee Chiffon Cake 咖啡戚風蛋糕
Please refer to Kahlua and Espresso Chiffon Cake for a picture tutorial.
Sift together the flour and espresso powder into a mixing bowl. Mix well and make a well in the center. Add oil, milk, egg yolks and vanilla bean paste to the well and whisk gently until combined.
In a clean, separate mixing bowl, whip egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar (to stabilize the meringue) and continue beating until soft peaks form. Then slowly add sugar in batches and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks form. Scoop about one third of the meringue to the yolk mixture and mix well to lighten. Then pour this back to the remaining meringue. Fold gently and thoroughly until homogeneous.
Pour batter into 7“ pan and smooth top with a spatula. Tap cake pan against the kitchen counter several times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Bake in a 325°F/160°C preheated oven until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes for my oven. Invert the cake pan and cool completely on a cooling rack before unmolding. Slice cake into two 1/2 inch layers. Keep covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse 黑朱古力慕絲
Chill a mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes before you start. Mix cocoa powder, salt and hot water in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla bean paste. In another bowl, melt chocolate over a pot of simmering water (or in the microwave over medium power). Stir into the first mixture until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
With a hand mixer, whisk whipping cream in the chilled mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the chocolate-cocoa powder mixture in two batches until homogeneous.
For the Chocolate Lacquer Glaze 朱古力鏡面
Bloom gelatin by mixing it with water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Warm mixture in the microwave or over hot water until gelatin liquefies
Combine sugar, water, light corn syrup, sifted cocoa powder and whipping cream in a saucepan. Cook over low heat to almost a boil (190ºF/88ºC). Remove from heat.
When mixture has cooled slightly (about 122 to 140ºF/50 to 60ºC), stir in gelatin mixture. Strain mixture to remove any lumps. Let cool.
To Assemble 組合
Wrap bottom of the cake ring with plastic wrap. Trim cake layers into 6 inch rounds (I used a 6-inch cake ring as a cutter). Place a cake layer inside the ring.
Pour half of the mousse over the cake layer (I used a piping bag to pipe mousse around the sides of the cake). Smooth top with an offset spatula. Place another cake layer over the mousse while pressing down slightly. Spread remaining mousse over the cake layer. Smooth top then tap ring against the kitchen counter to get rid of air bubbles. Refrigerate until mousse has set.
Remove chilled cake from the fridge and pour the chocolate glaze over. Return to the refrigerator and chill until glaze has set. Transfer cake to a cake board and release cake by gently warming the sides of the ring. Cut ladyfingers in half then arrange them around the sides of the cake, sugary side facing out. Wrap a ribbon around the bottom of cake. Decorate with fresh fruits. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
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