Charlotte the fool: a layer cake

For this cake, I just really wanted to come up with a concept that fused multiple desserts into one. That included the charlotte cake, being a layer cake surrounded with ladyfingers, and fool, which is a cream that has puree folded through it, and I also technically made an icebox cake as well, since that was my choice of layer cake. So I didn’t want to do ladyfingers, I opted for eclairs, since they could hold a similar shape, and I could incorporate a second filling, in this case, a strawberry curd, into the entire dessert, just to add another surprise. It’s really a dessert-inception kind of cake, if I’m being frank. Or a Frankenstein cake. It’s a hodgepodge.

For the eclairs:
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
a pinch of salt

Bring water, butter, and salt to a simmer. Once the butter is melted, add in your flour and stir until incorporated. Allow the mixture to cool down and whip in the eggs, one by one. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto a lined surface, making sure that the eclairs are 6 inches longs. Bake at 375 degrees F for 18 minutes. Allow these to sit in the oven, turned off, for another 5 minutes before removing.

For the strawberry coulis:
1 pint strawberries
water
salt

Hull the strawberries and dice them. Bring to a simmer with water and some salt. Once the berries have gone opaque and pink, puree and strain. Allow to cool down before using in both your cake, fool, and curd.

For the fool:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup strawberry coulis
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip heavy cream, honey, and vanilla to stiff peaks. Fold in the coulis.

For the curd:
1 cup strawberry coulis
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Whip every ingredient but the butter together. Whisk on heat until the mixture thickens, and then whip in the butter. Pass through a sieve. Transfer to a piping bag. Pipe into the eclairs to finish.

For the ruby chocolate shortbread:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup ruby chocolate shards
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients sans ruby chocolate and then fold in the chocolate. Roll out to flat sheets and cut out 5 5-inch rings. Bake these at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. With your leftover dough, cut out a heart and bake at for 10 minutes at the same temperature.

For assembly:
Start by stacking up the shortbread with fool. Place in the middle of a 6 inch ring mold and line in the eclairs. Glaze the top of the cake with the leftover coulis and garnish with the heart. Allow the cake to sit for at least 3 hours before unmolding.

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