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Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Charlotte Moose

This is a Joconde Sponge Cake mountain filled with Maple Bavarian Cream, topped with a Chocolate Moose.

Of course.

In Vermont, there is a town called Charlotte (with the accent on the second syllable).  Charlotte is also a classic dessert.   I have a daughter named Charlotte, who is an opera singer.   I don't know why, but I've been planning this dessert Charlotte for some time.  At least since sugaring season, when I started thinking about the Maple Bavarian Cream.

This Charlotte is kind of  fun, because it has some special elements:  the Joconde Sponge Cake, which involves finger painting on a Silpat; the Double Dutch chocolate from King Arthur, which gives the intense color to the mountain; the chocolate moose, cut from a sheet of tempered, slabbed chocolate.  And of course the Maple Bavarian Cream, a light, rich, delicately-flavored stabilized cream.

It all sounds a bit daunting, but it isn't very hard to make.  Here's how:

A Charlotte Moose

In Preparation:
  • Gather tools:  Half sheet pan, Silpat, pyramid molds (I used chevre molds, you can use other, similar forms),  thermometer
  • Heat oven to 400F
Sponge Cake:


Finger Paint:
100 g. butter
100 g confectioner's sugar
100 g egg whites
80 g cake flour
30 g. Double Dutch cocoa powder

170 g powdered almonds
150 g Confectioners' sugar
50 g cake flour
240 g whole eggs
160 g egg whites
20 g sugar
60 g melted butter

Finger Paint:
1. Beat the butter and egg whites until very smooth
2. Add flour, mix until smooth
3. Add the  cocoa, mix until uniform
4. Put the Silpat on the counter, apply the paste with a spatula, forming a thin coat.  With fingers, or tip of spatula (be creative), draw craggy rock formations.  The cake batter will fill the negative spaces you are creating on the Silpat.
5. Put this in the freezer while you make the cake batter.

Cake batter:
1. Mix almond flour, confectioner's sugar and flour in a bowl.
2. Add the whole eggs and mix well.
3. Whip egg whites with 1 T sugar until they hold firm peaks.
4. Fold egg mixture into the whipped egg whites.  Fold in the melted butter.
4. Put the cold Silpat in a half-sheet pan, and spread batter in a thin coat over the fingerpainting.
5. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, until  lightly browned.  Remove and cool on rack.

Make the Maple Bavarian Cream:

12 g  gelatin
75 g water
65 g egg  yolks
65 g sugar
200 ml milk
75 ml maple syrup (Grade B)
30 ml espesso (optional)
250 ml heavy cream

1. Put gelatin in the water in a small bowl to soften
2. Make creme anglaise from the yolks, sugar, and milk:  Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture just coats a spoon.  Set aside.
3. Stir the gelatin mixture into the hot anglaise until it is dissolved.
4. Cool the custard until it begins to set.  It will be thick but not curdled.
5.  Whip the cream to the soft peak stage.  Fold into the custard.
The Bavarian Cream is now ready to go into the forms.

Assembling the Charlottes:
  • Spray the inside of each form with a very light coating of cooking spray
  • Trim the cake so that it is no more than 3/8" thick.
  • Slice the cake into 3 or 4 lengthwise strips, depending on the sidewall height of the form you're using. 
  • Cut pieces of the cake to fit into the sidewalls of the form you're using.  After cutting, bevel the edges so that the pieces will come together in the corners.
  • Fill with Bavarian Cream; chill until set.
Chocolate Moose decoration:
1. Heat 4 oz. semi-sweet dark chocolate (good quality) to 122F to temper.
2. Stirring, cool mixture to 82F.  Add a small fistful of chocolate chips.
3. Heat back to 90F, then put on marble slab.  Spread to a thin layer, then cut out moose shapes with cutter.

To Serve:
Unmold the Charlotte onto a small plate.  Stand a Chocolate Moose atop each one.  Enjoy!


  1. simply too cute! but waaaay too complex for me.

  2. This is gorgeous and looks delicious..!!

  3. It's love at first sight :)
    I wish I could teleport from France to Vermont!

  4. Sounds delicious, and the chocolate moose really cracked me up.

  5. Stunning! The moose is awesome!


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