Pâtisserie / Recipe

Charlotte au fromage blanc et aux framboises

[Fromage blanc and raspberry charlotte]

I haven’t spent much time in a home kitchen – let alone made pastries in a home kitchen – for the past eleven months. That’s what a pastry apprenticeship does to you! And really I must admit I feel a bit lost when all I have on hands are a couple of Pyrex bowls, a hand-held mixer, and an oven.

But all it took was a holiday in Fouras, at my grand-parents’. I could navigate through this kitchen with my eyes closed. And I did; by the end of the week, we had a nice collection of homemade pastries: a fondant au chocolat, strawberry meringues, a tiramisu, fruit focaccias, and a raspberry charlotte.

Charlotte is one of those desserts I will never get tired of. Dare I call it my favourite?

In the summer, I love to make it with whichever berries we have lying around. And when the neighbour, Annie, offered us to come and pick raspberries in her garden, my sister and I probably said the word charlotte in unison.
It was still early in the evening. Bumblebees doing a last round before the sunset. A warm wind that only summer nights offer; golden light bouncing on every flower. We picked and picked. And ate some too. And as soon as a plump berry touched my lips, it wiped every memory I ever had of tasting a raspberry before.

When we came home, we whipped cream and folded it into fromage blanc. And a raspberry charlotte was in the fridge before dinner got on the table.

It’s not perfect by any means, but some things don’t need to be.

Charlotte au fromage blanc et aux framboises

This is a slightly more elaborate version of the charlotte that my mother made often as we were growing up. It is not a delicate entremet, but one to be sliced for lunch or dinner, when the nights get longer and warmer. As I’ve mentioned it above, I love to make this while berries are in season, but it also make a wonderful winter dessert. Think poached pears and perhaps a touch of chocolate mousse. Or poached rhubarb and orange in the late winter.

If fromage blanc isn’t available where you live, just use plain natural yoghurt mixed with a little cream cheese instead, a thick Turkish yoghurt would work wonders too.

EDIT 06/03/2019

As you may know, I’ve been trying to write an article about gelatin for – literally – years. And every now and then, I become obsessed with it again.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, as it’s an ingredient that is so tremendously different from one country to another that it makes my job as a chef and a food writer quite difficult.
I won’t get into details about it now, but let me just tell you that in between France, the UK, and Sweden, I’ve had to adjust my recipes a lot to fit the gelatin available in each place.

Yes, gelatin is a difficult subject when it comes to recipe writing as many factors com ein play: brand, bloom strength, weight of each sheet… Sure, you can find information about how gold leaves weigh around 2g, platinum, 1.7g, and so on. And because of this, it should be the same to substitute one leaf of gold for one leaf of platinum. But then again, it depends on the country too. In Sweden, the gelatin used in professional kitchens comes at 4g per sheet, extra gold! And the same brand gelatin, when bought in supermarkets is only half the size, roughly 2g per sheet. So I’ve learnt the hard way that grams are some how more reliable that sheet counts.

The original recipe called for 6 leaves of gelatin, and the gelatin used was the French Vahiné, which comes at around 1.89g per sheet.
I’ve now edited the recipe to include weight too, although note that I mostly use silver and gold strength gelatin leaves, so your gelatin has a strength comprised between 160-190 bloom, you might need to increase the quantity slightly!

Charlotte au fromage blanc et aux framboises

serves 8

For the biscuits cuillère
two dozens of biscuits cuillère, either homemade or bought
300g water
210g caster sugar

For the fromage blanc filling
6 gelatin leaves, approximately 12g
500g fromage blanc
120g caster sugar
330g whipping cream 35%, whipped to soft peaks

a couple handfuls of raspberries

Make a simple soaking syrup by combining the water and caster sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then pour into a wide container, and allow to cool down while you get on with the rest.

Soak the gelatin leaves into cold water for at least ten minutes. Divide the fromage blanc into two heatproof bowls.

In one of the bowls, mix in the sugar until dissolved. Heat the other bowl containing half of the fromage blanc in the microwave until it reaches around 40°C. Then quickly drain the gelatin leaves, and incorporate to the warm fromage blanc. Mix until fully melted. Then, fold this into the sweetened fromage blanc. And finally, gently fold in the whipped cream in a couple of batches.

When the syrup is cool enough, soak the biscuits into it for a few seconds and arrange in a shallow charlotte mould.

Pipe half of the mousse into the biscuit-lined tin, then cover with a handful of raspberries and more soaked biscuits. Top with the remaining mousse.

Chill for a couple of hours, preferably overnight. Unmould and serve.

33 Comments

  • Giorgia
    August 25, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    superbe! meme si je n’aime pas beaucoup les framboises… mais je pourrais essayer avec des mures…

    Reply
  • anja
    August 25, 2009 at 5:00 PM

    That last picture made my stomache rumbling… 😉

    Reply
  • Wizzythestick
    August 25, 2009 at 5:24 PM

    Looks perfect to me but then I am only a home cook. In my opinion perfect taste beats perfect looks every time. I can’t tell you the number of times thatI have been disappointed to eat something that was so perfect it looked like a work of art and indeed tasted as I imagine a painting or sculpture might taste, dry, grainy, flavours did not go together etc…

    Reply
  • Amanda
    August 25, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    tu le tue avec tout ces berries!!!!! et tes photos magnifiques! J’ai trouvée des myrtilles et des cerises au bresil, ça c’est tres bien!!! hahhaa
    tu me manques au tant que je ne sais meme pas comme montrer ça!
    je t’aime a la folie!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • keiko
    August 25, 2009 at 9:09 PM

    Everything looks so beautiful, Fanny – what a lovely summer you’re having. Wish I could taste your beautiful charlotte aux framboises right now. xxx

    Reply
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    August 25, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    Yum. Lovely. Looks amazing. Feel like taking a deep bite, with some warm bittersweet chocolate sauce!

    Reply
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    August 25, 2009 at 9:30 PM

    And i’ve always wanted to make a charlotte so… thanks. Have you ever made Charlotte russe…And speaking of pears…I made my first ever Tarte Tatin with some Anjou pears a couple of days ago: simple and sweet – no more words needed

    Reply
  • mon petit navire » magic
    August 25, 2009 at 10:53 PM

    […] I printed some of my pictures, and hung them to my wall. I talked about this on foodbeam. I wrote on index cards again. I made pierre hermé’s tarte infiniment […]

    Reply
  • qmmf
    August 25, 2009 at 11:05 PM

    Toujours cette même joie de découvrir tes photos et tes superbes recettes! Je fonds!
    Merci, et à bientôt!

    Reply
  • cathy
    August 26, 2009 at 1:22 AM

    i think life needs a good mix of perfect and imperfect moments. and when the imperfect ones turn perfect, like this one, why it’s even better!
    ps i also think that when you have perfect fruit, nothing that touches it can be considered a failure! 🙂

    Reply
  • Amanda
    August 26, 2009 at 5:34 AM

    Your charlotte looks adorable! I can’t ever get mine to look so clean and concise. My execution is clearly lacking, in comparison to yours…

    Reply
  • ash
    August 26, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    Looks like your having an amazing summer!! great photo’s and lovely cake… even know you thinks its not to par, but it still looks mighty tasty!

    Reply
  • William
    August 27, 2009 at 2:50 AM

    I started salivating the moment I saw that picture 🙂 Yummy! I did some searches on other recipes for a raspberry charlotte with English measures, but none of them could hold a candle to yours, so I will not take the easy way out 🙂 I can hardly wait to give yours a try!
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  • peabody
    August 27, 2009 at 6:55 AM

    Mmm, that looks amazing.

    Reply
  • Julia @ Mélanger
    August 27, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    Fanny, this looks so beautiful. I love your lovely desserts and your stories. Always a joy!

    Reply
  • ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~
    August 27, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Looks Supurb! I may attempt this with store bought lady fingers.
    I very much enjoy visiting here and seeing what you are up to. Suppose that if I am to try your recipes I will need to purchase a scale. Any suggestions?
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

    Reply
  • Vanessa
    August 29, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    Charlotte is one of my fav desserts and I just adore raspberries. I’m also extremely jealous of your amazing photos, espeically the last one.

    Reply
  • Husband
    August 31, 2009 at 11:08 PM

    It’s really gorgeous photos and beautiful berries. It’s perfect with the end of summer so close at hand.

    Reply
  • lola
    September 1, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    your pictures are amazing! i don’t think i’ve ever had a charlotte.

    Reply
  • Lynn
    September 1, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Oh, those raspberries look like jewels! You’ve made the perfect dessert to showcase them. Lovely!

    Reply
  • Sigrid
    September 3, 2009 at 5:54 PM

    Beautifull post. Really! 🙂

    Reply
  • Sarah
    September 7, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    I am absolutely head over heels for your blog! Thank you so much for posting the beautiful and seemingly tasty recipes! I made puff pastry following your tutorial last night and right now I have some delicious-smelling chausson aux pommes in the oven! I’ll be spreading the word to all of my friends about your great site!

    Reply
  • Bea
    September 13, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    so delicious Fanny! I wish I could have a slice of the cake and the scenery!

    Reply
  • Austin
    September 16, 2009 at 12:15 AM

    Fanny I love your stories! How exactly did you make the homemade biscuits? Recipe for those please!

    Reply
  • CinnamonQuill
    September 18, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    Gorgeous. I will attempt a variation of this, thanks to your truly inspirational photos!

    Reply
  • Lucy
    September 20, 2009 at 11:54 PM

    Mmmmm.

    Reply
  • Justine
    September 28, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    Bonjour Madame!
    Vos photos sont magnifiques, celles des vaches, des fleures et des fruits des bois. S’il vous plait, pouvez vous me dire quel logiciel vous utilisez pour les rendre comme cela (‘ancienne’). Je suis passionnee de photographie et de cuisine, and i would love to know how to take wonderful photos like you!
    Merci beeeauucouupp!

    Reply
  • lauresophie
    October 4, 2009 at 8:52 PM

    les gros plans sur les fruits, le dessert et la cuillère c’est pour doucement nous achever! sublime!

    Reply
  • Lucy
    October 26, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    I just came back to say Mmmmmm again.

    Reply
  • amelia
    November 3, 2009 at 7:43 AM

    Hello! I JUST found your blog and I am already in love. with EVERYTHING here: the writing, the photos, the food, the lifestyle… OH! I am a fan already.

    Reply
  • amelia
    January 13, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    you’re amazing. I LOVE everything about your blog, style, food and wonderful lightness of being!!!

    Reply
  • PHILO
    June 9, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    Elle est magnifique ta charlotte

    Reply
  • Leah
    October 24, 2010 at 5:06 AM

    This is a wonderful post on charlotte aux framboises (my favorite favorite cake) but you have such an engaging tone and great topics as well in your blog. So glad I found you!
    ~Leah
    (http://simplesplendidthings.wordpress.com/)

    Reply

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