Charlotte Russe - History of Charlotte Russe

© copyright 2004 by Linda Stradley - United States Copyright TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved. This web site may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission and appropriate credit given. If you use any of the history information contained below for research in writing a magazine or newspaper article, school work or college research, and/or television show production, you must give a reference to the author, Linda Stradley, and to the web site What's Cooking America. 

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Photo from Diana's Desserts

A cake is which the mold is lined with sponge fingers (Ladyfingers) and filled with a custard. Sometimes cake or bread slices are used in place of the Ladyfingers. It is served cold with whipped cream.

Charlotte Russe

Charlotte is a corruption of the Old English word charlyt meaning a "dish of custard." There is a lot of doubt surrounding the origins of the name "charlotte." Meat dishes that were known as charlets were popular in the 15th century.

Following information is from the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, by John F. Mariani, 1999

"Charlotte russe. A French dessert (supposedly created by Marie-Antonin Careme) made in mold with ladyfingers and Bavarian cream. . . While this confection is known and made in the United States, a simple version consisting of a square of sponge cake topped with whipped cream (sometimes with chocolate sprinkles) and a maraschino cherry was also called a "charlotte russe". . . This was a standard item in eastern cities, particularly among urban Jewish Americans (some of whom pronounce the item "charely roose" or "charlotte roosh"), who made it at home or bought it at a pastry shop, where it was set on a frilled cardboard holder whose center would be pushed up as to reveal more cake as the whipped cream was consumed."

18th Century - It is said to have been invented by the French Chef Marie Antoine Careme (1784-1833), who named it in honor of his Russian employer, Czar Alexander I. The word "russe" means Russian in French.

Some historians say that the word Charlotte refers to the Czar Alexander’s sister-in-law, Queen Charlotte, Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744-1818), who was the wife of George III, king of Great Britain and Scotland.

 




Types of Charlotte Russe:

Apple Charlotte - It is a golden-crusted dessert made by baking a thick apple compote in a mold lined with buttered bread. This dessert was originally created as a way to use leftover or stale bread. Some historians think that this sweet dish took its name from Queen Charlotte, known as being a supporter of apple growers.

Charlotte Malakoff - It has a lining of ladyfingers and a center filling of a soufflé mixture of cream, butter, sugar, a liqueur, chopped almonds, and whipped cream. It is decorated with strawberries.

Cold Charlottes - They are made in a ladyfinger-lined mold and filled with a Bavarian cream. For frozen charlottes, a frozen soufflé or mousse replaces the Bavarian cream.

 


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