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Recipe

Chocolate Raspberry Charlotte Royale

Featured in our 2017 Christmas Guide

Servings: 8 to 12

Deep chocolate cake and ganache with a creamy raspberry interior and a stunning presentation make this showstopper the perfect end to any celebratory meal. See the variation below for instructions on how to give your charlotte a geometric design from stacked cakes instead of a roulade.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for the pan
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder; more for dusting
  • 1-1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the ganache

  • 10 oz. milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, preferably 85% cacao, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. (8 tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. cherry brandy, such as kirschwasser (optional)

For the filling

  • 8 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1.2-oz. package freeze-dried raspberries, pulverized in a spice grinder and sifted

Preparation

Make the cake

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment. Butter the parchment and dust with cocoa powder, shaking out the excess. Combine the cocoa powder, flour, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Separate 3 eggs. Reserve the whites, and put the yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the remaining whole eggs and 1/2 cup of the sugar, and beat on high speed until thick and light in color, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Sift half of the cocoa powder mixture over the eggs. Using a large silicone spatula, fold to combine. Repeat with the remaining cocoa powder mixture.
  • In a clean stand-mixer bowl with a clean whisk attachment, beat the 3 egg whites on medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. of sugar, increase the speed to medium high, and whip until medium peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a silicone spatula, fold half of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whites and the vanilla until the batter is evenly colored, with no streaks of white. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, gently leveling it with an offset spatula.
  • Bake until the cake springs back when touched in the center, about 12 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool slightly.
  • Run a knife between the edge of the pan and the cake. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder. Flip the cake onto a clean kitchen towel, peel off the parchment, and starting with a long side, roll up the cake with the towel so that you have a 16-inch-long roll. (This will help the cake roll without cracking when filled.) Let cool completely in the roll, about 30 minutes.

Make the ganache

  • Meanwhile, pulse the two chocolates, the butter, and salt in a food processor until combined but still chunky, about 17 pulses. Combine the heavy cream and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. With the food processor running, add the hot cream in a thin stream and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brandy, if using, and pulse to incorporate. Transfer the ganache to a medium bowl and refrigerate uncovered until it is the consistency of thick pudding, about 25 minutes.

Form the roulade

  • Unroll the cake (it will still be slightly curled from cooling in a roll).
  • Put about half of the ganache in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (cover and refrigerate the rest), and beat on high speed until light in color and about doubled in volume, scraping down the bowl as necessary, about 4 minutes.
  • Working quickly, spread about half of the paddled ganache over the surface of the cake in a thin, even layer (reserve the rest for another use). Roll the cake up as tightly as possible to form a 16-inch-long roll. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic and refrigerate until the ganache is firm and sliceable, at least 1-1/2 hours.

Line the mold

  • Remove the cake and the remaining ganache from the refrigerator. Allow the ganache to soften to a spreadable consistency, at least 20 minutes. Line an 8-cup dome mold or bowl with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang around the rim.
  • Set the cake on a cutting board seam side down, and using a serrated knife, trim the edges of the roll and then cut it in half. cut each half into 1/4-inch slices, wiping the blade clean after each cut to ensure the slices of cake are clean. Put one slice in the bottom center of the mold. Next, fit a few slices around the center piece, fitting them snugly in place. continue adding slices up the side of the mold. Line the mold completely. If the last slices reach above the rim, trim them using a sharp knife or push them so that they are flush with the rim of the mold. Reserve any remaining slices; they will be used once the mold is filled.
  • Using a small silicone spatula or spoon, spread the remaining ganache in an even layer over the surface of the cake slices to fully coat the interior of the mold. Cover and refrigerate until the ganache is firm, about 30 minutes.

Assemble and serve the charlotte

  • Melt the white chocolate with ¼ cup water in a small bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring constantly until smooth and blended, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to set until just cool to the touch. Remove the mold from the refrigerator. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream on high until soft peaks form. With a large silicone spatula, fold about a third of the cream into the cooled white chocolate mixture. Sift the raspberry powder over the chocolate mixture and fold until no streaks remain. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Scrape the mousse into the mold. Fit the reserved cake slices over the raspberry cream, trimming a few slices, if necessary, to make them fit, and then gently press them into the cream filling. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up two 2 days, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to 1 month.
  • To unmold and serve the cake, place a cardboard round or cake plate over the top of the mold and invert. Tap on the counter to release the cake. Lift away the mold, remove the plastic wrap, and serve.

Variation: Geometric Stacked Charlotte

  • Prepare the batter as directed in the master recipe. Trace the circumference of the rim of your 8-cup dome mold on a piece of parchment. Butter 2 large rimmed baking sheets and line them with parchment, making sure to flip the parchment with the traced circle so it is ink-side-down on the baking sheet. Butter the parchment on both sheet pans and dust with cooca powder—make sure the circle you traced is still visible through the cooca powder.
  • Spread 3/4 cups of the batter in the circle traced on the parchment. Scrape the remaining batter into the other prepared pan, gently leveling it with an offset spatula. Bake the cakes, swapping the racks and rotating the pans after about 6 minutes. Continue to bake until they spring back when touched in the center, about 4 more minutes for the circle and 6 more minutes for the full pan. Set the pans on wire racks and allow to cool slightly. To release the larger cake, run a knife between the edge of the pan and the cake. Dust the tops of both cakes with cocoa powder. Flip the cakes onto fresh parchment, and carefully peel the parchment from the bottoms. Place the parchment with the larger cake on the back of a large rimmed baking sheet. Measuring along the long edge, cut the cake vertically, into four equal rectangles. Cover both loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Prepare the ganache as directed in the master recipe. After beating half the ganache in the stand mixer, divide the paddled ganache between three of the rectangular cake layers, and spread evenly. Stack the four rectangular cake layers, putting one layer, cake-side down on top of the paddled ganache of another, finally put the cake layer without ganache on the top and gently press to even and smooth the layers. Cover the layered cake and refrigerate until the ganache is firm and sliceable, at least 1-1/2 hours.
  •  Remove the cake and remaining ganache from the refrigerator. Allow the ganache to soften to a spreadable consistancy, at least 20 minutes. Line the mold with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang around the rim. Set the cake on a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, trim the edges. Then cutting lengthwise, remove a 1/4- to 3/8-inch wide strip, and cut the strip into 1-1/2-inch wide slices. Place one slice in the center of the mold, next fit 4 slices around the center, fitting them in so that the orientation of the layered striping of each slice is either horizontal or vertical to the striping of the center slice. Continue adding slices alternating the orientation of the layered striping, while you build the pattern up the side of the mold, gently pushing and fitting so that there is very little, if any space left between the slices. Cut more strips from the cake as you need them, wiping the blade after each cut to ensure the slices of cake are clean. To completely line the mold, the last slices will reach above the rim. Using a sharp knife, trim these slices even with the rim. Using a silicone spatula, or spoon, spread the remaining ganache in an even layer over the surface of the cake slices, to fully coat the interior of the mold. Cover and refrigerate until the ganache is firm, about 30 minutes.
  • Make the raspberry filling as directed in the master recipe, and scrape the filling into the lined mold. Place the circle of cake over the filling and gently press. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for a at least 6 hours and up to 2 days, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to 1 month. Unmold and serve as directed in the master recipe.

Tip

Make Ahead: Make and freeze the rolled cake for up to one month. Refrigerate the ganache, covered, for up to two weeks. Line and fill the mold with the mousse for up to two days. Unmold the day you serve it.

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