There are two dessert offerings for this brunch. The first dessert takes advantage of the fresh strawberries that are currently coming out of South Carolina. It also takes me on a trip down memory lane because Charlotte Malakoff was one the first gourmet desserts that I prepared in the 70’s. I bought a special tin charlotte mold and loved the contours of it and the heart shaped handles. Recently while unpacking kitchen boxes after our permanent move to Lake Lure, I unearthed this treasure and decided that charlottes of all description would be in our future.
A Charlotte Malakoff is made with Ladyfingers surrounding a filling of whipped butter, sugar, cream and strawberries. Sometimes the lady fingers are soaked in Kirsch. I chose not to soak them at all in this rendition. Another element in the flavoring is almonds; in this case ground almonds. Charlottes can be flavored with chocolate, pumpkin or peaches or any flavoring that appeals to you. If you do not have a charlotte mold you can use a souffle dish.
Enough Lady fingers to line the sides of the mold
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 ounce package of sliced almonds, ground
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
1 pint of strawberries
Line the bottom of a charlotte mold or souffle dish with waxed paper. Arrange lady fingers in a circle around sides of mold.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the ground almonds and almond extract. Gently fold the mixture into whipped cream.
Save 6 nice strawberries for the top. Cut the rest into fourths and fold into whipped cream mixture. Place the mixture into ther mold. Chill for at least 2 hours.
To serve, unmold the charlotte onto a serving dish and remove the wax paper. Decorate with the whole strawberries.
Since this is Barefoot Blogger Thursday, I decided to include Ina’s Outrageous Brownies as part of my brunch menu. Thank you Eva of I’m Boring
for choosing this decadent dessert. I have actually made these brownies before so I knew that everyone would be in for a treat with this dish. They are rich, but very easy to prepare and there is nothing better than a little chocolate to round out a satisfying meal. Thank you for following me on the never ending (or so it seemed) brunch party. It was fun for me to put together and I enjoyed having all of you come along.
OUTRAGEOUS BROWNIES ( I halved this recipe )
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra large eggs
3 Tbls instant coffee granules
2 Tbls pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbls baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1 inch baking sheet.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.