Charlotte Royale

This one almost broke me.  I spent the week moaning “I don’t wanna”,”Please don’t make me”, “I’ll just skip it”.  And other such logical and mature things you say to your husband when you have decided to spend all your free time baking things from show most people in Canada don’t really care about. I was clearly against this bake from the start.  As Sue aptly put it, “It looks like a brain”.  What the heck would I do with a giant brain filled with gelatin custard?  I know, I’ll feed it to my in-laws!  What else is family for but to lie to you about your mediocre baking/cooking.  Well I am about to test how much my in-laws love me, that’s for sure!

As much as I whined about this recipe there were some perks.  I got to try my hand at a real deal Swiss roll.  None of that Roulade stuff where cracks just add aesthetic interest. This was the roll that I’ve seen so many bakers roll up while discussing muscle memory. Cracks not welcome here.  If this went well I had visions of rolls with intricate designs on the outside like the one Richard produced in series 5 or at least cartoon seascapes like Paul.


With my goal firmly in mind I began making my Swiss roll.  I beat my eggs and sugar together until the batter left a trail.  Or at least that was the intention.  I beat for ages and all I got was froth, definitely no trail.


After about 10 minutes I gave up and started sifting in my flour.  When you add flour to frothy mixture like the one above you are serenaded with the sound of hundreds of tiny bubbles bursting.  When you want to keep a sponge light and fluffy the delicate noise can end up sounding like a the loudest Jeopardy count down you can imagine.  With Alex Trebek breathing down my neck I folded in the flour as quickly as I could and poured it into my pan.  Oh by the way wrong sized pan alert.  Are you surprised?  Probably not.  Whatever, the pan held the batter  that’s all that matters.


For once I actually adjusted the bakeing time to account for the change in pan size and after 7 minutes I took out my sponge.  One problem.  There was a very clear slope.


I took the sharp angle as an indicator of where to start my roll. I generously covered the down hill sponge with my Mom’s glorious strawberry jam. Sorry, I’m not about to make jam every time Mary feels like it when I have a fridge full of the good stuff.  The rolling felt good, I didn’t feel and cracks and the sponge was coming off the paper.  All good things.  Until I had a look at the end….


Not quite the Archimedean spiral (apparently this is what the spiral old school hypnotists use is called) I had in mind.  Surely it would look better once I cut off the ends.

With the Swiss roll chilling in the fridge I was forced to move onto the Bavarois . Another thing that made me what to skip this bake all together was the straight up controversy around converting gelatin sheet amounts to gelatin powder amounts.  I could not figure it out. There are so many factors bloom strength, type of gelatin powder, how much liquid needed to bloom said gelatin.  It was stressful.  I finally went with David Lebovitz’s ruling.  And used two and a half envelops of Knox, bloomed in 1/2 and a bit cups of cold water.


While I was praying my gelatin gamble paid off I blitzed and strained the raspberries.  This took much longer that I anticipated since the little raspberry seeds kept clogging the sieve.  There may or may not be some seeds in the raspberry puree.


Making the custard went well.  Mainly because I make custard constantly for this blog and have consequently become a custard pro.  It was a little bit slow because I kept the heat way down to prevent any gelatin murdering boiling from happening.  Eventually I got the coveted coated spoon.


After I mixed in the raspberry pure I put the whole mess in the fridge to chill while I constructed my Swiss roll exoskeleton.  Unfortunately even after the ends were cut off the spiral was a little squat. I proceeded to line my bowl with the Swiss roll and eventually created the brain like design Sue described.


Once the bowl was lined I was only left with four measly slices for Swiss roll to serve as the base of the Charlotte Royal.  And no I did not eat all the others, I only ate one, for quality assurance.

Completing the Bavarois was anti climactic.  I folded in the whipped cream and mixed in the whole raspberries.  And with that I topped my Charlotte Royale with the last four slices of Swiss roll and hoped for the best.


And that is where I have to leave it.  I have a very hefty bowl of something supposedly Royal in the fridge that will be presented to my unsuspecting in-laws.  I will report back with a verdict after I find out if my family can stomach it and if the Bavarois actually set.  I will leave you with a teaser though, I tried some of the Bavarois I kept in the bowl to the side and it is decidedly….meh. Hows that for a cliff hanger? Now I’m off to make a back up dessert just in case Swiss rolls don’t turn out to have magical trans-formative powers.

8 thoughts on “Charlotte Royale

  1. Man this series is killer! I feel like you need banana bread or something that you could do in your sleep (not that you like bananas) as a break from all this custard, ganache, and other hard stuff. It looks yummy though!


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