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The classic Pear Charlotte (Charlotte aux poires) consists of Ladyfinger Sponge (Biscuit Cuillère) and Vanilla Bavarian Cream (Bavaroise vanille) with pieces of poached pear folded in.

The borders of sponge go all the way up the cake and for decoration more poached pears are assembled on top of the cake.

In this version, I replaced the pieces of poached pear in the Bavarian Cream with a layer of Pear Confit and made the border of sponge around the cake shorter to create a neat edge and expose some of the Bavarian Cream on the sides of the cake.

Poaching the pears I added some white wine which you maybe do not immediately notice eating the cake, but it gives the pears a very nice subtle aroma.

These changes made me have to work around 2 barriers. First of all, to create a border of sponge around the cake, you would need a strip of sponge that is 63cm long, which is longer than the width of a standard baking sheet. So I made two strips and assembled them together.

Secondary, if you fill the base of sponge with Bavarian Cream it partly soaks up the Bavarian Cream which does not make a neat edge on the sides.

To avoid that, I froze the sponge in the entremet ring and only then filled it with the Bavarian Cream. Like this, the Bavarian Cream sets before it can soak into the sponge.

Pear Charlotte

Preparation time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling time 6 hours
Total time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 people

Equipment

Ingredients

Pear Confit

  • 20 g sugar
  • 2 g Pectin NH
  • 180 g pear puree from approx. 2 small pears
  • 4 g lemon juice a splash

Ladyfinger Sponge (Biscuit Cuillère)

  • 67 g egg whites
  • 67 g sugar
  • 45 g egg yolk
  • 67 g flour
  • caster sugar for dusting

Vanilla Bavarian Cream (Bavaroise vanille)

  • 6.6 g gelatin
  • 55 g egg yolk
  • 70 g sugar
  • 220 g milk
  • 0.5 pcs. vanilla bean
  • 220 g whipping cream

Pears poached in white wine syrup

  • 6 pc. pears
  • 100 g sugar
  • 500 g water
  • 60 g white wine

Nappage Neutre

  • 6 g gelatin
  • 130 g water
  • 200 g sugar

Instructions

Pear Confit

  • 1. To prepare the mold, spread a piece of film on a silicon mat. Moisten the edge of a 18cm entremet ring, put it on top of the film and seal the edge with the film, sticking it onto the moistened ring.
  • 2. To prepare the confit, mix the pectin NH with the sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
    3. Combine pear puree with the lemon juice in a pan. Heat to approximately 40°C/ lukewarm.
    4. Add the sugar pectin mixture, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
    5. Boil the mixture for approximately 1 minute until thickened still whisking constantly.
    6. Pour the pear confit into the mold, spread out evenly. Freeze.

Vanilla Bavarian Cream (Bavaroise vanille)

  • 1. Soak the gelatin in cold water. Drain, squeeze out access water. Set aside.
    2. Whisk together the egg yolk and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
    3. Boil up the milk with the vanilla bean. Remove the vanilla bean.
    4. Add the milk to the egg yolk mixture in 3 parts whisking constantly.
    5. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat to 83°C whisking constantly.
    6. Strain the preparation into a container. Cover with plastic film covering the surface. Reserve in the fridge.

Ladyfinger Sponge (Biscuit Cuillère)

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • 2. Draw a template for piping onto a sheet of baking paper consisting of two parallel lines with a distance of 6cm. Indicate the angle you want to pipe the individual logs of batter mirror-inverted.
    3. With the help of the 18cm Entremet ring, draw a 18cm circle on a second piece of baking sheet.
  • Drawing a template onto the baking paper makes even piping much easier. It is important to not pipe on the side of the baking paper that was marked, to avoid the ink transferring to the sponge. Generally, it should also be considered that the piping will be mirror-inverted to the drawing.
  • 4. To make the Ladyfinger Sponge, whip up the egg whites gradually adding the sugar in 3 portions until stiff.
    5. Fold in the egg yolks.
    6. Sift in the flour bit by bit, dusting the surface of the batter and folding it in gradually.
    7. Fill the batter into the pastry bag assembled with the round tip.
  • 8. Pipe the base of the cake into the circle starting from the center.
  • 9. Pipe the border of the cake onto the second baking paper.
    10. Dust the piped batter generously with caster sugar.
  • Ladyfinger Sponge (Biscuit Cuillère)
    11. Bake the circle for approx. 16 minutes and the strip for approx. 9 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • The batter should not be baked too long to avoid it from becoming too dry and at the same time too hard to line into the entremet ring. It is ready, when a cake tester inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
  • 12. Trim off the edges of the strip of sponge and cut it into two long strips of sponge with a height of 3cm each.

Assembly

  • 1. Line the 20cm entremet ring with cake collar. Assemble the border of the cake using the two strips of sponge.
    Make sure to use most of the strips to create a tight border.
  • 2. Use the 18cm entremet ring to trim the disk of sponge and place it in the center. Freeze.
  • Freezing the sponge will avoid it to soak up the Vanilla Bavarian Cream and create a neat edge.
  • 3. To finish the Vanilla Bavarian Cream whip up the whipping cream to soft peaks. Reserve in the fridge.
    4. Transfer the base of the Bavarian Cream into a bowl. Gently heat it for a couple of seconds at a time and whisk until homogenous. It can be heated either on a water bath or in the microwave.
  • The base needs to be heated a bit to make the gelatin in the preparation melt to the point that the preparation can be whisked to a smooth consistency without lumps.
  • 5. Fold in the whipped cream in 3 additions until smooth.
    6. Pour the first part of the Vanilla Bavarian Cream onto the sponge.
  • 7. Spread the Vanilla Bavarian Cream up the sides of the ring filling the rim between the ring and the Ladyfinger Sponge.
  • 8. Add a second part of the Vanilla Bavarian Cream, spread evenly before adding the disk of frozen Pear confit.
  • 9. Finish off with the rest of the Vanilla Bavarian Cream, creating an even and smooth surface with the help of a large palette knife. Freeze.

Nappage Neutre

  • 1. Soak the gelatin in cold water. Drain, squeeze out access water. Set aside.
    2. Combine water and sugar in a pan and boil until the sugar is dissolved.
    3. Remove from the heat, add gelatin, combine until fully dissolved. Set aside.
    This recipe makes a lot more Nappage Neutre than needed for one cake, but it cannot be prepared in smaller quantities. You can store the rest in the freezer. Because it contains a lot of sugar, it does not freeze solid and you can spoon out a bit the next time you need to glaze a cake.

Pears poached in white wine syrup

  • 1. Peel and quarter the pears. Remove the core and place the quarters of pear into a bowl of water with a bit of lemon juice to avoid oxidation.
    2. Combine water, sugar, lemon juice and white wine in a pan and bring to a boil.
    3. Add the pears and boil until soft. Rinse and let cool.
  • 4. Cut each quarter of pear into strips lenghwise and caramelize the surface with the blow torch. Divide each quarter into two streaks and assemble onto the frozen cake.
  • 5. Heat the Nappage Neutre if necessary to a thin enough consistency to be able to apply a thin layer on the pears with a pastry brush.
  • Voilà! Please share a picture if you make this cake.
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