Cakes · Puddings/Mousses

Easy Chocolate Raspberry Charlotte

Easy Chocolate Raspberry Charlotte starts with a sponge cake, surrounded by lady fingers and filled with chocolate and raspberry pastry cream. Top it with homemade whipped cream and some fresh raspberries for an amazing treat.

My birthday was last week and I really wanted to try something new. I tried to make a charlotte when I was in high school and failed miserably. I haven’t tried since so this was the time.

So I know you’re looking at this and thinking, “Easy? Is she kidding me? She failed the first time.” With a few tips and some of my streamlining, you’ll find this is much easier than it looks. This time I watched a video for some tips.

If you’ve ever made a sponge cake, homemade pudding and whipped cream, you have all the skills you’ll need to make this. If not, don’t worry. None of those things is hard to make.

The trickiest part of making this is lining the pan with your sponge and the cookies. The first 5 minutes of  the culinary school video show how to do this.

A whole charlotte sits on a white plate. Vertical lady finger cookies circle the entire outside of the cake. A red ribbon encircles the outside of the cake and is tied in a bow in the center. The top of the charlotte is covered in fresh raspberries. A large mound of whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles is in the very center of the charlotte.

The key is to line the pan with plastic wrap first. I didn’t know this the first time I tried to make a charlotte. I lined an Angel Food pan with sponge cake and poured mousse in. And then it all leaked out in the refrigerator. What a mess!

My lady fingers weren’t too rounded so I didn’t cut the ends off like in the video. I just gently lifted my sponge cake and tucked the ends of the lady fingers in. The sponge held the lady fingers up while I made the filling.

I’m a minimalist when it comes to clean up. The fewer bowls the better. So I made one batch of custard for the two flavors. I poured half the hot custard over a chocolate bar to make the chocolate custard. I added seedless raspberry jelly to the half left in the pan.

That leaves just whipped cream. I whipped up one batch of unsweetened whipped cream and folded half into the chocolate custard and the other half into the raspberry custard.

In the bottom right corner of the photo there is a slice of chocolate raspberry charlotte on a plate with a spoon in front. The slice is oriented with the point on the left so the full side is visible. The bottom layer is a dark chocolate sponge cake. There is a thick layer of chocolate puddingand then an equally thick layer of raspberry custard. A thinner layer of whipped cream is on top. There are three raspberries on the very top of the slice. There are two vertical lady fingers on the wide end of the slice. The whole charlotte is in the upper left side of the photo. The whole cake has had several slices removed revealing the layers inside.

After you pour the two custards into the lined pan you could to get fancy by swirling them together with a knife. I was going for easy so just left the layers.

I put the ingredients for the sweetened whipped cream into the bowl I used for the unsweetened whipped cream. It’s really hot here so I made a stabilized whipped cream. Stabilized whipped cream has some gelatin in it to keep it from deflating in the heat. You can use Cool Whip if you want to save time.

I froze my easy chocolate raspberry charlotte because everything just melts in the heat here. This freezes well so you can easily make it ahead. You can also serve this frozen. Everyone will think it’s an ice-cream cake. Personally, I think it’s nicer thawed because you can taste the flavors better.

Easy Chocolate Raspberry Charlotte

In the bottom right corner of the photo there is a slice of chocolate raspberry charlotte on a plate with a spoon in front. The slice is oriented with the point on the left so the full side is visible. The bottom layer is a dark chocolate sponge cake. There is a thick layer of chocolate pudding and then an equally thick layer of raspberry custard. A thinner layer of whipped cream is on top. There are three raspberries on the very top of the slice. There are two vertical lady fingers on the wide end of the slice. The whole charlotte is in the upper left side of the photo. The whole cake has had several slices removed revealing the layers inside.
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours

Ingredients

Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 1 dark chocolate bar (100 g) broken into pieces (or 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 30 lady finger cookies

Pastry Cream

  • 3 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 dark chocolate bar (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jelly
  • red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Stabilized whipped cream

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Garnish

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Chocolate sprinkles or chocolate shavings (Optional garnish)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Grease lightly with oil and dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Add hot water and instant coffee to dark chocolate and stir until melted. (It will look a little grainy)
  3. Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Mix in chocolate.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture and pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 10 - 12 minutes. The top should feel springy to the touch.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes and then use a knife to loosen the edges before inverting onto parchment paper.
  7. Line a 9 inch springform pan with plastic wrap. Place the cooled sponge cake in the bottom.
  8. Gently lift a small section of the sponge cake up and slide the end of a ladyfinger in between the sponge and the pan. Repeat with lady fingers all the way around the pan. Set aside.

Pastry cream

  1. Mix gelatin, sugar and flour in a 1 quart saucepan. Whisk in egg yolks and milk. Turn heat on to medium and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and coats a spoon (about 10 minutes).
  2. Break the chocolate bar into pieces and place in a bowl. Pour half of the hot custard over the chocolate bar. Stir until the chocolate melts and everything is mixed.
  3. Add the raspberry jelly to the other half of the custard. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Cover the custard with plastic wrap laying the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard. This stops a film from forming on the top. Refrigerate until cool (about 30 minutes).
  5. Place a metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Add well-chilled whipping cream to the bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate pastry cream. Fold the other half into the raspberry pastry cream.
  7. Pour the chocolate pastry cream into the prepared pan. Gently pour the raspberry cream on top. Refrigerate or freeze while you make the stabilized whipped cream.

Stabilized whipped cream

Put the mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes. Put all ingredients in the bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.

Spread on top of the cake. Top with fresh raspberries and chocolate sprinkles.

Refrigerate or freeze until serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is provided as a guide only. Please consult a dietician for specific dietary needs.

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