Dorie was inspired to create this recipe from her childhood days of having a Charlotte Russe. Charlotte Russe is a combination of sponge cake, fruit or jam, lots of whipped cream, and topped with a cherry. I have never had a Charlotte Russe so I was very anxious to try this recipe out.
The base of this recipe is a genoise whole-egg sponge cake. I was concerned the height of my cake would not be perfect as Dorie suggests using a 3″ spring-form pan, which I do not have, so I doubled the recipe and made two 9″ cake-pan layers.
The filling is a layer of simple syrup, a cream cheese based mixture and fresh raspberries. The simple syrup we decided to flavor with orange liqueur and cardamon, it was the perfect combination of sweet and spice. The cream cheese layer was simply cream cheese, whipping cream and very little sugar, I used the sugar from our sugar bowl that is full of vanilla beans and unrefined sugar! Finally a layer of raspberries.
The recipe calls for you to hollow out the middle of your cake, brush the center with the simple syrup, fill with a small layer of cream cheese and top with the berries, as I had two layers I did this with each layer. Then I topped them upon each other.
The outer frosting was pure whipping cream with a bit of sugar and vanilla. I had some extra cream cheese filling left over and since I did not want to waste it nor did I want it sitting on my waistline, so I added it to the frosting. It definitely gave it a bit more structure and made it easier to frost. After chilling for a couple hours it was ready to serve!
This dessert was soft and slightly sweet, just like a new summer day. A few of my fellow TWD bakers said that they did not think it was sweet enough and I was concerned when serving it, but we all liked that the flavors of the eggy genoise cake came through as well as the jammy flavors of the berries which was only enhanced by the traces of sugar and vanilla. This would be a delightful substitution to your typical strawberry shortcake.
Be sure to check out all of the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.