Spring is almost here and I am dreaming about it since the moment I saw the first strawberries on the market. I immediately bought some as I couldn’t wait to prepare this wonderful Easy Strawberry Charlotte that I’ve been planning for a long time.
This winder wasn’t too cold but it made us a bad joke towards its end. A snowstorm came to Europe and froze several countries, including Bulgaria. But as I already had my hands full of strawberries and my heart full of spring, the cold and the snow (almost) didn’t scare me. Despite the impassable streets, the ice everywhere and the negative temperatures, I kept that feeling in my mind that soon it would be sunny again, that the birds will be singing and the trees will be in bloom… because March is here!
Every year March is a quite important month for me for two reasons: it puts the end of my winter sufferings and it also brings the Women’s international day which I really like to commemorate. However this year March brought me one more reason for celebration:
Dani’s Cookings was nominated in three categories for the Yearly Food Blog Awards of the Bulgarian food portal Blogovoditel!
I have no words to express my pride! I am so grateful to Blogovoditel for including me in these nominations! They mean a lot to me, especially as they are in categories which are very close to my heart:
Same as every year, winners will be selected through voting. You can vote as well in the site of the 2017 awards. I would be very happy if you support Dani’s Cookings 🙂
But let’s talk about the Easy Strawberry Charlotte. The recipe was adapted by a wonderful desserts cookbook which I bought from Italy: Torte, Biscotti e Dolcezze di Nonna Lucia or Cakes, Cookies and Desserts by Granny Lucia. The moment I saw this recipe, I decided to try it out. And as usual, I changed few things in it. The main was that I slightly cooked the strawberries before using them in the cake, while the original recipe was calling for fresh fruit. One of the reasons for doing this was that my strawberries were not very juicy (same as majority of the early fruits). On the other hand I usually try to make sure my desserts would last at least 3 days in order to avoid waste. A Charlotte made with fresh strawberries is best consumed within 24 hours and that was not ideal in my case. Considering both situations, I decided to cook the strawberries shortly in simple syrup before using them in the cake. But if you plan to make this dessert for a summer party where it will be surely eaten quickly, you can choose to make it with fresh fruit.
In both cases you will enjoy a very light cake with wonderful taste and enchanting flavours! And one more good thing about this Easy Strawberry Charlotte is that it doesn’t take much time to prepare!
- 400 g fresh strawberries
- 120 ml water
- 50 g sugar
- 50 g powdered sugar
- 24 approximately ladyfingers
- 200 g whipping cream
- 250 g ricotta
- 175 g cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice from 1 orange
Wash the strawberries and keep aside 2-3 to use for decoration later. Finely slice all the rest.
In a small saucepan over medium heat combine water and sugar. When the water starts simmering, put some strawberry slices in the pan (about a handful). Let them cook for 2 minutes before taking them out with a skimmer. Repeat the procedure until all the strawberries are cooked.
Remove from heat the pan with the remaining liquid and let cool for 15 minutes. Add the orange juice to the sweet strawberry sauce and stir. This liquid will be used to soak the ladyfingers in it.
In a large bowl whip the cream until hard peaks form.
In another large bowl combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, ricotta and vanilla. Beat at a high speed until smooth and fluffy. With a rubber spatula fold the whipped cream into the mixture.
Line the bottom of a 18-20 cm (7-8 inch) springform pan with a circle of baking paper.
Trim some of the ladyfingers to become about as long as the pan height. Quickly dip the trimmed ladyfingers in the strawberry-orange liquid and line them up side by side around the inside edge of the pan. Arrange a layer of soaked ladyfingers on the bottom of the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut them appropriately in order to fit tightly.
Spread evenly half of the strawberry slices over the layer of ladyfingers. Spread about half of the frosting on top. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top them with the rest of the strawberries. Spoon or pipe the remaining frosting over the friuts. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Before serving decorate with fresh strawberries.