Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Perfect Dessert

 Recipe: Peach-Bavarian Cream Charlotte


This post had been lingering in my draft for quite a few months now and I had been refraining from publishing it because of the poor pictures I had taken.
I had made this for a party and so had to rush with the photography before my guests arrived.
The pictures may not look so great but trust me, the charlotte did !!
Actually, everybody said that this was one of the best of my creations :)


I don’t how many of you feel this way, but the elation you experience when someone praises your culinary skill is incomparable to any other compliment that you may receive....... and thats exactly how I felt by the end of the party.


The very first person to praise me for my food was my husband.... well, that was because the first lucky person to eat what I made, was him ;). Until then I had never made anything on my own, I was always just a helping hand to my mom.  
The first dish I made was a simple chicken curry and I remember my heart racing as I watched him place his first mouthful...... and then when he said ‘hey, not bad, not bad at all, are you sure you have never cooked before’ , I had to control myself from screaming out of joy.
That was a historic moment in my life... the moment I learnt that, I TOO CAN COOK :)


 
Even today, I feel exactly the same way, every time someone praises my food...

Making a charlotte could be a little time consuming and its always better to make it the previous day as it required 5-6hrs of setting time. I made mine on the morning of my party and I kind of, exceeded the anticipated time and that explains the lousy pictures .
This dessert is a lovely experience and well worth all the efforts involved.

PEACH-BAVARIAN CREAM CHARLOTTE


 
The preparation takes place in 4 steps:
Sponge Cake
Bavarian Cream
Simple Soaking Syrup
Readying the Peaches

Ingredients

Sponge Cake:
(Adapted from Joy of Baking)

Flour - ½ cup + 2 tbsp sifted
Salt - ¼ tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Eggs - 3
Unsalted Butter - 2 Tbsp melted
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp

Bavarian Cream
(Adapted from Spoonfulofdelight)

Whipping Cream - 1 cup
Gelatin - 1 ½ tsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
Egg yolks - 3
Warm milk - 1 cup + 50 ml

Peach
Canned Peach - 400gms drained and chopped
Reserve a few uncut pieces for garnish, also reserve the drained syrup.

Simple Soaking Syrup

Reserve syrup from the canned peach
Water - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup

To complete our charlotte we require Lady’s finger biscuits - 20 nos:

Preparation

Sponge Cake:

Preheat oven to 170 degree C and grease and line an 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside.

Using your mixer beat together the eggs and sugar on high for around 5 mins or until the mixture is thick and fluffy . When you slightly raise your beater the batter should fall back slowly in ribbons.
Add vanilla essence and beat for a few seconds.
Tip in half of the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold in slowly with a rubber spatula, now add the remaining flour and repeat. You should do the folding in, really gently without deflating the batter.
Take about ½ cup of the batter and mix it with the melted butter and then gently fold it back into the main batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool and carefully remove from pan and then let cool completely on a wire rack.

Simple Soaking Syrup:

Place the syrup from the peach, water and sugar in a heavy bottomed vessel and boil this over medium flame, till the sugar dissolves completely.
Remove from flame and leave to cool completely.

Bavarian Cream:

Dissolve gelatin in the measured 50 ml warm milk and set aside.
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well incorporated, now slowly add the warm milk and continue whisking. Remember to do this on slow speed or else you will have custard specks all over your kitchen!!

Place this bowl over a double boiler and cook as you continue with the whisking. Your custard is ready when it coats the back a wooden spoon (dip your spoon into the mixture and then draw a line over the custard , the line should stay)

Remove from flame, pour in the gelatine mixture and mix well. Leave to cool.
Then transfer the custard into your refrigerator to cool completely, and give a stir occasionally till it thickens.

In a separate bowl whisk your whipping cream along with vanilla essence till it forms soft peaks (remember to freez your bowl and the whisks before you start with the whipping).
Finally, gently fold this into the prepared custard.


 
Assembly:

You should do the assembly before the bavarian cream starts to set, so work fast.
-Place the sponge on a springform pan.
-Pour the syrup over the sponge, little by little. Its always so exciting to watch the sponge grow as it soaks up the syrup :)
-Arrange the lady’s fingers all around the border of the cake. Try to do this as neatly as possible.
-Spread the chopped pieces of peach evenly over the cake.
-Now pour the Bavarian cream over the peaches and spread out evenly.
-Arrange the reserved slices of peach, as desired, over the cream.
-Refrigerate the cake for 5-6 hrs or overnight. This helps the cake set well.
Slice and serve.

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