Charlotte Russe

Charlotte Russe (shahr-lot roose) was invented by the great French chef Car erne, who originally called it Charlotte

Paris-ienne. It is particularly suitable for entertaining as it is best if made the day before.

4-6 4 fl. oz. fruit-flavoured

jelly , preferably lemon, cool but still liquid 28-30 sponge finger biscuits 10 fl. oz. milk

1 vanilla pod, split 3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon gelatine 3-3- fl. oz. hot water 8 fl. oz. double cream

Spoon the jelly into a straight-sided charlotte mould. Tip and rotate the mould so that the jelly covers the bottom in a 1- to f-inch layer. When the jelly is about to set, arrange the sponge fingers around the sides of the mould, fitting them

closely together with the bases pressed into the jelly . Set the lined mould aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, warm the milk with the vanilla pod over very low heat. Leave to infuse for 5-7 minutes.

In a large bowl, cream the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Pour in the milk

through a strainer, discarding the vanilla pod, and blend well. Return to the pan. Stir the mixture over moderate heat

until it thickens, but do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the custard into the large bowl. Leave

it to cool.

In a small saucepan, soak the gelatine in the water until it is quite soft. Then place the pan over low heat to dissolve the gelatine. When it is dissolved, add it to the custard and. mix well.

With a wire whisk, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks but is not too stiff.

When the custard is on the point of setting, fold in the cream. Spoon the cream and custard mixture into the mould and place it in the refrigerator. Leave the Charlotte to set for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To turn the Charlotte out of the mould, dip the mould quickly into hot water. Then place a serving dish, inverted, over the top of the mould and, holding them firmly together, reverse the two. The Charlotte should slide easily out of,the mould.

Serve immediately.

An alternative method, which is simpler, is to fill the mould with the cream and custard mixture and, when it is set, turn the Charlotte out and press the sponge fingers around the sides. A ribbon can be tied around the sides to keep the fingers

in place.

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