The Great British Bake Off 2015, Week 7 – Victorian Baking.
Last week on The Great British Bake Off it was Victorian baking that featured, the showstopper being a Charlotte.
In January I was going through the audition process of a certain baking programme. I knew I had to take something really special with me, something that showed off lots of different skills and the Charlotte was all that.
My dad had bought me a beautiful book for Christmas, patisserie maison by Richard Bertinet which is where I came across this recipe. It's one of the most beautiful desserts I've ever made.
There were lots of different processes in making it, first the caramelised apples for the bavarois, followed by a calvados syrup to soak the layers of ladyfingers. Then I had to make biscuits à la cuillère to surround the Charlotte and the layers inside. The Bavarois was made of apple custard, whipped cream and Italian meringue all folded together with the caramelised apples. Then I was ready to assemble it all in a pudding basin and chill it for a few hours. I think it took me a good couple of hours in the kitchen to do everything. It was so worth the effort, the finishing touches of some dried apple to decorate and a sprinkling of icing sugar and it was finished. It was a labour of love but I like a challenge, and the reward was eating it – it was heavenly.
In the end I decided not to take it for the audition as I was a bit worried about it surviving the long journey in the car. A dessert so delicate it probably wouldn't have made it in one piece. It was all good experience though – shame I didn't get through to try the real Charlotte showstopper!
It's one of the most beautiful desserts I've ever made.