Turn heads at your next dinner party with this showstopping charlotte. Lined with spongy ladyfingers, filled with rich chocolate mousse, and topped with fresh berries, it’s almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. Trust us, it’s worth the extra work.
nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
6 large eggs, seperated
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup granulated sugar (150 g), divided
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour (155 g)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups heavy cream (720 mL), cold
¾ cup heavy cream (180 g), hot
½ cup sugar (100 g)
6 oz dark chocolate (150 g), chopped
8 sprigs fresh mint sprig
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line 3 baking sheets (work in batches if necessary) with parchment paper and grease with nonstick spray.
Make the ladyfingers: In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric hand mixer until foamy. Gradually add ¼ cup sugar while continuing to beat until stiff peaks form.
In a medium bowl, beat together the egg yolks and remaining ½ cup sugar until thick and pale in color, about 3 minutes. Gently fold the yolks into egg white mixture with a rubber spatula. Sift in the flour and salt and fold to incorporate. Transfer the batter to a piping bag or zip-top bag fitted with a large round tip.
Release the bottom from a 9-inch springform pan and set the ring in the center of a prepared baking sheet. Starting at the center of the ring and working your way outward, pipe the batter in a spiral pattern, about 1 centimeter thick, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge. Remove the ring. With the remaining batter, pipe 40 3-inch (10-centimeter) long by 1-inch (2½-centimeter) wide cookies onto the remaining 2 prepared baking sheet.
Bake the spiral and cookies for 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Do not allow to get too dark. Let cool completely.
Make the chocolate mousse: In a large bowl, beat the cold heavy cream with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and beat to incorporate.
In a medium bowl, pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate. Stir with a rubber spatula until melted and smooth.
Fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream until incorporated.
Set the spiral cake base on the bottom of the springform pan and attach the ring. There should be a small gap between the cake and the ring mold. Line the gap on the inside edge of the ring with the ladyfingers, flat sides facing in. You want a snug fit so use as many ladyfingers as needed.
Pour the chocolate mousse into the center and smooth in an even layer. Chill until set, at least 4 hours in the refrigerator or about 2 hours in the freezer.
Garnish the charlotte with blackberries, raspberries, chocolate shavings, and mint sprigs. Release the springform and tie a ribbon around the outside of the charlotte.
Remove the ribbon before slicing and serving. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 2 days.