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Divine Chocolate Charlotte
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Vintage Recipe
Divine Chocolate Charlotte
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When you want to impress, this Divine Chocolate Charlotte is your go-to dessert. Smooth, creamy chocolate custard is surrounded by almond soaked ladyfingers. 

Prep time
1:15 to 1:30
Plan for

8-10 hours to chill

Yield
12 slices
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Divine Chocolate Charlotte
Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
Prep time :
1:15 to 1:30
Plan For

8-10 hours to chill

Yield :
12 slices

INGREDIENTS

Filling

  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (5 squares baking chocolate)
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto or almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. To prepare pan, spray sides and bottom of an 8X13-inch springform pan with a non-stick cooking spray. Cut a 13x30-inch strip of parchment paper and fold in half. Make a circle and place it inside the interior rim of the springform pan. If necessary, use a paperclip to hold ends together. The parchment paper circle will be taller than the rim of the pan to help ladyfingers remain upright. Set aside.
  2. Prepare syrup: Place water and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer and continue simmering until thin syrup has formed. Remove from heat, cool slightly and stir in Amaretto or almond extract.
  3. Soak both sides of each ladyfinger in flavored syrup for a few seconds until saturated. Cover bottom of pan with soaked ladyfingers flat side down. Cut or break off small pieces as needed to fill all gaps. Press close together for a snug fit, but leave 1/4-inch along outside edge for upright ladyfingers.
  4. Once bottom is covered, continue to dip ladyfingers in syrup. Stand soaked ladyfingers upright side-by-side with curved side out lining the inner ring of the pan. Loosen parchment paper circle as needed to keep the ladyfingers standing upright. Press close together for a snug fit. If there are any gaps left in the bottom of the pan, fill with small pieces so that no filling will leak through.
  5. To prepare filling: Place chocolate in a large, heavy-gauge saucepan and melt over low heat stirring constantly. Once smooth, remove from heat.
  6. Sprinkle gelatin over half & half and allow to stand 1-2 minutes to soften. Stir 1 cup of sugar into melted chocolate. Slowly pour half & half/gelatin mixture into chocolate. Blend well and return to heat. 
  7. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and just comes to a boil. Continuing to stir, reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  8. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks lightly. Gradually stir a few spoonfuls of chocolate mixture into yolks. Then beat remaining chocolate mixture into yolk mixture. Blend thoroughly.
  9. Return mixture to saucepan and cook, stirring constantly over low heat, for 1-2 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Then add vanilla extract and Amaretto or almond extract.
  10. Place saucepan in a large bowl of iced water. Be careful not to splash any water into chocolate mixture. Stir mixture frequently, until it has cooled enough to a form a slight mound when dropped from a spoon, approximately 5-10 minutes.
  11. While chocolate mixture is chilling, whip egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until soft and lightly fluffy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar to beaten whites and continue beating until stiff, but not dry.
  12. Whip whipping cream until it just holds a shape. (Cream whips up best when beaters, bowl and cream are well chilled in advance.)
  13. When chocolate mixture has sufficiently thickened, gently fold in beaten whites and then whipped cream.
  14. Pour mixture into prepared springform pan. Cover pan securely with plastic wrap, being careful not to let it touch surface of chocolate mixture. Freeze until firm, 1-2 hours or overnight.
  15. To serve: Unlock and remove outer ring of springform pan and discard parchment circle. Garnish with sliced almonds, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  16. Charlotte may need to stand at room temperature 5-10 minutes for smooth slicing. Slice into wedges and serve. Return to freezer to store.

IMPERIAL SUGAR INSIGHT

This recipe originally appeared in 1990 in volume X, #1 of our Homemade Good News Cookbook

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