Irish Strawberry Charlotte
June 1, 2018
A Charlotte is a French cake in which sponge fingers form the sides, concealing a set fruit mousse filling. This Irish strawberry No-Bake cake is a showstopper for a gathering with family and friends. You can add chopped strawberries to the filling if you want more texture and colour throughout.
1For the filling, soak the gelatine leaves in just enough cold water to cover, for 5-10 minutes until soft.
2Next, make a strawberry puree for the filling. Wash the berries and remove any green tops. Blend in a food processor or liquidiser until completely smooth. Pass through a sieve into a wide frying pan. Simmer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until reduced by half and thickened.
3Meanwhile, place the sugar for the sponge fingers in a medium saucepan with 200ml of water and bring to the boil on a high heat, stirring until dissolved. Give it another minute before pouring into a wide baking dish. Leave the sugar syrup to cool slightly.
4When the purée has reduced, stir in the filling sugar until dissolved, then remove from the heat. Squeeze excess water from the soft gelatine and stir into the purée until dissolved. Leave to cool.
5Whip the cream in a large bowl until just stiff. Fold into the yoghurt or fromage frais in another large bowl until blended.
6Grease a 20cm round, spring-form cake tin and line the sides with baking parchment. Soak a few biscuits at a time in the sugar syrup for 30-60 seconds, turning halfway, until softened but not soggy or breaking. Carefully place upright against the tin edge, sugared side outwards. You will need about 30. Soak half the remaining biscuits in the syrup and lay them flat in the tin, trimming to cover the base completely.
7Gently fold the cooled purée into the cream mixture until well blended. Pour half into the tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Soak the remaining biscuits in the syrup and arrange on top, trimming to fit. Pour the remaining filling over, smoothing again. Cover with cling film and chill for 3 hours or overnight until firm.
8Carefully remove from the tin, place on a stand and peel away the paper. Decorate with strawberries and mint sprigs on top. Cut into wedges and serve with softly whipped cream.