I prepared this Charlotte cake for the birthday of a very special friend, who loves red fruits and pistachio.
This association is a classic one, and I chose to add a light mousse flavored with green lemon zests. We had this cake right after a plentiful dinner, but I was really surprised to see all the plates empty after a few minutes, and some asked for a second slice. It was light and and fresh, and apparently “guilt-free”!
This cake is made of:
- ladyfingers sponge (surrounding the cake)
- moist pistachio cake
- ladyfingers sponge with green lemon punch
- raspberry confit
- green lemon mousse
This cake is very soft and has a delicate taste of pistachio. I added chopped pistachio to bring a crispy texture. This cake can be used as well to fill tarts shells before adding a chocolate crémeux for instance. You can as well prepare it in advance and store it in the freezer (properly wrapped and placed in an airtight box).
- Food processor equipped with the S-blade
- Stand mixer with the whip
- Basting brush
- Round pan (22cm diameter)
- Baking paper
- 80 g Butter
- 20 g Egg yolk The yolk of one medium egg
- 80 g Egg whites Appox. the whites of 2.5 medium eggs
- 100 g Icing sugar
- 15 g Corn starch
- 60 g Almond powder
- 50 g Pistachio powder
- 30 g Pistachio paste Plain if possible
- 80 g Egg whites (for the meringue) Appox. the whites of 2.5 medium eggs
- 1 pinch Salt
- 35 g White sugar
- 30 g Chopped pistachios
- Melt the butter cut into small cubes in the saucepan, around 50°C.
- Preheat the oven at 170°C.
- Use the food processor equipped with the S-blade to combine the egg yolk and the (first) 80g of egg whites, the icing sugar, the corn starch, the almond and pistachio powders, and the pistachio paste.
- Add 2 spoons of this mixture to the melted butter and combine. Keep aside.
- Using the stand mixer equipped with the whip, whisk the rest of egg whites with the salt and add the sugar in three times until it forms a soft peak on the whip (a meringue).
- Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the previous mixtrure and stir gently using a spatula.
- Fold the rest of the egg whites into the batter.
- Add the butter mixture and incorporate it gently to the butter using a spatula.
- Grease the pan with little melted butter (use the brush). Cut and place parchment paper that fits in the bottom of the pan. Flour the pan and remove the excess flour.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and add chopped pistachios.
- Bake for 15 minutes and check the doneness with a toothpick it has to come out clean.
This confit is really easy to prepare, but its taste depends on the quality of the fruit puree. You can get it from shops selling bakery ingredients, either frozen or just pasteurized. I prefer the latter as I pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it, it’s more convenient to use than the big block of frozen puree. You can also get the puree by blending fresh raspberries and straining it.
- Mixing bowl
- Round pan (approx. 18cm diameter)
- Cling wrap
- 150 g Raspberries puree
- 40 g White sugar
- 4.5 g Pectin NH Use a precision scale
- 8 g Green lemon juice
- 10 pieces Fresh raspberries
- Heat the raspberry puree in the saucepan.
- Mix the sugar with the pectin. Add them to the hot fruit puree and stir using a whisk.
- Bring to boil and continue cooking for 1 minutes and stir from time to time.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Leave 2 spoons of confit the decorate the cake.
- Line the round pan with cling wrap. Pour the confit in it and add the fresh raspberries cut in halves. It should be around 0.5cm thick.
- Cover with cling wrap and let it set in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
We all know the ladyfingers, these long biscuits traditionally used to prepare tiramisu and charlottes. I like to use them in tarts and entremets, soaked with a light syrup, to add a moist texture and also to make the desserts lighter.
- Stand mixer with whip
- Piping bag with 7mm round nozzle
- 75 g Egg white The whites of 3 small eggs, at room temperature
- 1 pinch Salt
- 60 g Granulated sugar
- 48 g Egg yolk The yolk of a 2 small eggs
- 30 g Flour
- 30 g Corn starch
- Preheat the oven at 210°C.
- Sift the flour with the corn starch.
- Place the egg white (at room temperature preferably) in the bowl of the stand mixer equipped with the whip.
- Whisk the egg white with the salt and add the sugar in three times until it forms a soft peak on the whip (a meringue).
- Add a few drops of pink food color.
- Add the egg yolk and use the spatula to combine gently, in order not to "break" the egg whites meringue.
- Add the flour and corn startch using the spatula and make sure it's perfectly combined to the eggs mixture, without overworking the batter.
- Pour the mixture into the piping bag, and pipe a 20cm diameter circle, starting in the centre and spiralling out towards the edge.
- Spread the rest of the batter on a silicone mat to get a rectangle approx. 12cm wide and 70cm long (check the mat I use below).
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- Let it cool.
Light green lemon syrup
I chose to flavor the syrup with green lemon zests and juice, but you can adapt it to your cake and flavor it with any other fruit purée, Rhum, Kirch, vanilla, cocoa powder…
- 25 g White sugar
- 50 g Mineral water
- 10 g Kirch
- 30 g Cherry puree
- Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil. Warm it before using it
Green lemon mousse
This mousse made with crème anglaise and mascarpone is very creamy, smooth and a bit airy. I like to use it for entremets and for tarts and rolled cakes as well. So if you have any leftovers do not hesitate to pour it into silicone molds and freeze it for a few days.
- Mixing bowl
- Stand mixer with whip
- Cling wrap
- 250 g Whipping cream 35% millk fat
- 2 pieces Green lemon
- 1 piece Vanilla pod
- 50 g Egg yolk The yolks of 3 small eggs
- 50 g White sugar
- 4 g Gelatin (2 sheets) Gold strengh (200 bloom)*
- 220 g Mascarpone
- Heat the whipping cream and add the zests of the lemon and the vanilla bean (split). Cover and let it infuse for 15 minutes.
- Soak the gelatin in cold water for 15 minutes.
- Mix the egg yolks and sugar. Add the warm infused cream.
- Preapre a "crème anglaise": pour the mixture back into the saucepan and simmer over low heat. It should thicken slightly and coat the back of a spoon*. The temperature should not exceed 83°C.
- Strain the crème anglaise, remove the vanilla bean after scraping it
- Wring gently the gelatin and dissolve it in the crème anglaise.
- Pour into the bowl of the stand mixer, cover with a cling wrap directly on the surface and chill for 90 minutes.
- Once the crème anglaise properly cooled but not completely set, add the mascarpone and whip like a chantilly. If by mistake you let the cream set, you can leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes before adding the mascarpone.
For the ladyfingers sponge, I used a silicone mat with raised edges (I use is as well for rolled cakes):
For the assembly of the cake I used a stainless steel ring with 20cm diameter and 5cm height.
Place the ring on a tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the inner side of the ring with clear pastry collar (or strips of parchment paper). Cut 2 strips of ladyfingers sponge each 5cm x 32cm. Place them against the side of ring, cut the excess cake if needed.
Cut a circle of 18cm diameter of pistachio cake and place it aside the circle.
Using a piping bag with a 10mm round nozzle, fill the gap between the pistachio cake and the ladyfingers sponge with green lemon mousse.
Cover the pistachio cake with a thin layer of mousse.
Soak the round ladyfingers sponge with hot green lemon syrup (generously on both sides). Trim it in order to get 18cm diameter.
Place it on the mousse, and place the (frozen) raspberry confit on top. Press gently.
Fill the ring with mousse and smooth the surface using a long spatula.
Decorate the surface with mousse (little only to keep the cake balanced), raspberry confit, pistachio, fresh raspberries…
Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the mousse to set properly.