Saturday, July 7, 2012

Strawberry-Boysenberry Charlotte Russe Recipe (GF)

Charlotte Russes look awesome, taste awesome yet they are simple to make, especially if you use store bought sponge fingers. Filled with fruit flavoured bavarian cream, this dessert is delightful to the tastebuds. If using home-made sponge fingers (see my post on Gluten-free sponge fingers recipe) I suggest the fingers be piped with ~5mm space between them so they merge into another when baking making the charlotte russe casing easier to make and handle.

36 (10 x 2.5cm) gluten free sponge fingers
(you can use standard sponge fingers if gluten-free is not required)

For the strawberry Bavarian cream filling:
3 cups full cream milk milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans, split and scrap seeds reserving both
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
15g unflavored gelatine
10 large egg yolks
500g frozen strawberries, thawed and puréed (2 cups of purée)
2 cups cold heavy cream

For the Boysenberry glaze: 
2 cups fresh or frozen boysenberries (about 200g)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp plus 2 tsp water
1/2 tsp unflavored gelatine

For the sponge finger collar:
Make a collar out of lunchwrap by folding in half lengthwise, it needs ot be long enough to line the inside of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the springform pan with it, placing the folded end down. Secure the ends with a paper clip.
Line the pan with the sponge fingers starting along the bottom. Place the sponge fingers sugar-side up on the bottom of the pan, breaking them as needed to form a single, tightly packed layer whilst leaving a 5-6 mm space along the edge of the pan (the sponge fingers around the outer edge will need to fit snugly into this space).
Line the inner ring of the pan with sponge fingers, standing them upright with the sugar side facing out. Loosen the lunchwrap collar as needed to keep the sponge fingers standing upright.
Fill any gaps at the bottom of the pan with broken pieces of sponge fingers so that the bottom is completely covered.
They need to fit snugly next to each other, leaving no crevices on the bottom or sides, or the Bavarian cream will leak out

For the strawberry Bavarian cream filling:

Combine milk, sugar, vanilla seeds, vanilla pods, and salt in a large saucepan
Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the Grand Marnier into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine evenly over the surface; set aside.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl until smooth, about 1 minute.
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl; set aside.
Remove the milk mixture from the heat and slowly pour about 1 cup into the egg yolks, whisking constantly until smooth.
Pour the milk-egg mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes. (When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the custard, which should not run back in on itself.)
Remove the custard from the heat and pour it through the strainer (don’t press on the solids); discard the contents of the strainer.
Whisk the gelatine mixture into the custard until dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes; set aside.
Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water.
Place the custard over the ice water bath and stir often until it’s cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
When the custard is cooled, add the strawberry purée and whisk until combined.
Pour the cream into a clean large bowl and whisk to medium peaks.
Add all of the whipped cream to the bowl of strawberry custard.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until evenly combined and no streaks of strawberry or whipped cream remain, scraping the bottom of the bowl as necessary to incorporate the custard. Pour the strawberry Bavarian cream into the prepared pan.
Refrigerate uncovered until set, at least 4 hours, then prepare the glaze.
(Do not make the glaze ahead, or it will set up and be unpourable.)
For the boysenberry glaze:

Set a medium-mesh strainer over a small bowl and set aside.
Combine the boysenberries, sugar, and 3 tablespoons of the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are soft and starting to fall apart and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the remaining 2 teaspoons of water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine evenly over the surface; set aside.
Pour the cranberry mixture into the strainer. Using a rubber spatula, push on the boysenberry solids and scrape the underside of the strainer until all of the liquid is extracted; set the liquid aside and discard the contents of the strainer.
Whisk the gelatine mixture into the boysenberry mixture until dissolved and smooth.
Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Pour the cooled glaze over the surface of the charlotte russe, tilting the pan as needed so that the entire top surface is covered.
Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
To serve, unlock and remove the outer ring of the springform pan and discard the lunchwrap collar. Cut the charlotte russe into slices and serve immediately.
If displaying the dessert before serving, tie a decorative ribbon around the sponge fingers.
The charlotte russe can sit at room temperature for about 30 to 40 minutes before it needs to be rechilled.


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