I made this Charlotte Russe Cake for the New Year’s Eve. A classic European cake, the Charlotte Russe recipe is a very old one. Eighteenth-century European aristocrats knew Charlotte Russe as a cake made of lady fingers pressed into an elegant mold, filled with thick custard or Bavarian cream, and flavored with cooked fruit, spices or brandy.
My cake is basically almost the same as the old recipe. It is still a very popular cake in Romania especially around the New Year’s Eve and not only. Birthdays, anniversaries and other family and friends events are always a good occasion to make this delicious dessert.
Personally, I like this cake because it is a no bake one. Besides the fact that you don’t need to heat up the oven, with a little bit of desire, the cake can be put together in less than two hours. How cool is that?
It can also be decorated with all kind of fruits in season. For example, I made one last year and decorated it with strawberries and slices of orange. I also covered the lady fingers with whipped cream. You can also use raspberries, blueberries, cranberries etc. Use your inspiration and make it your own.
This was my birthday cake I made for myself(yes, I do that sometimes, because I like making cakes).
This one has only strawberries, but the top is decorated with shaved coconut, for a more festive look. I think it looks very handsome, don’t you think?
Light and delicious, full of different textures and flavors this cake is a keeper and deserves a place in your recipe book collection. Try it, you will not be disappointed.
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- 30-35 lady fingers(use 20-25 lady fingers for the sides of the cake, the rest will be used for the bottom)
- For the syrup:
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- For the cake filling:
- 1 cup/200g sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup/200ml whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 envelopes/15g gelatin
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2¼ cups/500ml heavy cream
- ½ cup/100g candied fruit
- You need a 9 inches springform cake pan.
- Prepare the syrup: bring to a boil the water mixed with sugar and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the stove and flavor the syrup with rum extract.(do not add the rum extract while simmering the syrup as the flavor will dissipate)
- Steep the lady fingers in the syrup and line the sides of the springform with them. Place them tightly together.(You will probably need 20-25 lady fingers)
- Line the bottom of the springform with lady fingers that you steeped in the syrup.
- How to make the cake filling:
- Whipped Cream: Place mixer bowl and whisk in freezer for at least 20 minutes to chill.
- Pour heavy whipping cream and vanilla into the cold bowl and whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
- Do not over beat. Set aside.
- Start by hydrating the gelatin. Mix gelatin with water in a little bowl and set aside.
- In a medium pot mix the eggs with the sugar.
- Add milk.
- Place the pot on Bain-Marie and stir constantly until the first signs of boiling. At this point the yolks are cooked enough and the custard should cling to the spoon. Remove and add the hydrated gelatin. Mix continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture is completely cool.
- Add the whipped cream and blend them together.
- Add the candied fruit and mix well.
- How to assemble the cake:
- Pour half the filling on the bottom of the cake, over the lady fingers.
- Cover the filling with another layer of lady fingers soaked in the syrup.
- Pour the rest of the filling over the lady fingers and smooth the surface with a cake spatula.
- Place it in the refrigerator for few hours or better overnight.
- Next day, carefully remove the edges of the springform and place the cake on a platter. Decorate it to your taste with fruits, more whipped cream, sprinkles etc.