"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rhubarb Charlotte

This is one of those recipes I've been dying to try, because not only have I never tasted or seen a charlotte, I've never even heard of one. But The Gourmet Cookbook offers two or three charlotte recipes, so with rhubarb season here at last I decided to give Rhubarb Charlotte a go.

Folks, a charlotte is cake, deconstructed. Instead of layers of cake on the inside, you line your mold with ladyfingers, bottom and sides. Instead of putting fruit and whipped cream on the outside of your cake, you layer it on the inside, with a layer of ladyfingers to separate.

Then you fold the plastic wrap that you've lined the mold with over the top, put a 2 lb. weighted plate on the whole thing and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours.

It's a pretty little thing, when it comes out. My biggest complaint was that the mold I put it in was a souffle mold with a crown on the bottom so the souffle will rise high in the middle. But it gave my charlotte the distinct look of a cake that had had a bowling ball resting on top.

The taste is lovely, though be forewarned if you're not a bread pudding type of person (as in: no soggy bread-type things) the texture might be a turn-off. But I found it very soothing--it would be a great thing to eat on a balmy spring day.

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