Strawberry Charlotte

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    12–14

    servings

Appears in

The term “charlotte” can mean many things in the dessert world, but is generally described as a fruited custard surrounded by bread, sponge cake, or soft cookies. These can run the gamut from sloppy, homely mounds of carbs to fanciful and elegant concoctions. My version falls somewhere in the middle, being easy to make, delicious to eat, and beautiful to look at. Other berries can be substituted, but the strawberries turn the mousse such a gorgeous color and make such perfect garnishes, I’ve never felt compelled to change them out.

Ingredients

Cake Base

  • 2 Tablespoons Margarine, Melted
  • ¼ Cup Soymilk
  • ½ Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Salt
  • ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cake Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

Strawberry Mousse

  • 1 Pound Fresh Strawberries, Washed, Dried, and Hulled
  • 1 12-Ounce Package Extra Firm Silken Tofu
  • ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Agar-agar Powder, or 1 Tablespoon Flakes
  • Pinch Salt
  • ½ Batch Lady Fingers
  • Fresh Strawberries

Method

Preheat your oven to 325°F and lightly grease a 9-inch round springform pan.

This is a very simple cake batter, and it comes together quickly. Just whisk together the margarine, soymilk, vinegar, salt, and sugar until homogeneous, and then add in the flour and baking soda. Stir just to combine, and then pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 15–25 minutes until evenly browned across the top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set aside and let cool completely before introducing the base to the mousse.

Once the cake is cool, prepare your mousse by tossing all of the strawberries into your food processor or blender, along with the tofu. Thoroughly purée, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is completely smooth. Add in the sugar and sprinkle the agar over the top, quickly turning on the machine afterward so that it doesn’t form lumps. Let it run for a minute to ensure even distribution of the agar, and finish it off with a pinch of salt. Pour the mousse into the springform pan and chill for at least 2 hours to let the mousse set.

When you’re ready to serve the cake, start by cutting the lady fingers in half, since it’s a fairly short cake. Remove the sides of the springform pan and press the lady fingers to the sides of the cake. Decorate the top with whole or sliced strawberries as desired.