HomeRecipesRed Fruit Charlotte by Aurelien Decaix

Red Fruit Charlotte by Aurelien Decaix

(This recipe appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

I wanted to work on a cake that reminded me of being a kid. The combination of the tonka bean and  red fruits takes me back to my childhood. I wanted to create a pastry that visually represented a large piece of candy. I would love to bring that happiness and nostalgic feeling to everyone. Is that not the goal of a pastry chef?

Yield: three 7ʺ (17.78 cm) cakes

Decoration ‘Cigarette Russe’ Mixture

  • 100 g unsalted butter, soft
  • 100 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g egg whites
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 g white food coloring
  1. Combine the butter, flour, egg whites and sugar. Add the white coloring.
  1. Using a pastry brush, draw vertical stripes on a Silpat and allow to dry overnight.

Ladyfinger Sponge Cake

  • 320 g egg yolks
  • 320 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 385 g egg whites
  • 3 g pink food coloring
  • 160 g all-purpose flour
  • 160 g potato starch
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks with 160 g of the sugar to a mousse-like texture.
  1. In a separate mixer bowl, using a clean whisk attachment, whip the egg whites with the remaining 160 g of the sugar until a firm meringue is formed, then add the pink food coloring. Fold the whipped egg yolks into the meringue. When almost completely folded in, sift the flour and potato starch on top and fold into the batter until smooth.
  1. Spread 700 g of the batter on top of the dry Cigarette Russe and bake for 7 minutes at 335˚F (168˚C).

Tonka Bavaroise Cream

  • 250 g whole milk
  • 700 g heavy cream, divided
  • 1 whole tonka bean, ground
  • 100 g egg yolks
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 90 g gelatin mass (12 g gelatin powder plus 72 g water)
  1. In a saucepan, boil the milk with 250 g of the heavy cream. Add the ground tonka bean, cover and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
  1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar and temper into the infused cream mixture. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the temperature is 185˚F (85˚C). Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over the gelatin mass. Mix and cool down to 82˚F (28˚C).
  1. Whip the remaining 450 g of the heavy cream to a soft texture. Fold the cream into the yolk mixture.

Candied Red Fruits

  • 120 g raspberry purée
  • 140 g frozen red fruit mix
  • 95 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 g pectin NH
  • 28 g gelatin mass (4 g gelatin powder plus 24 g water)
  1. In a saucepan, heat the raspberry purée, the frozen red fruit mix and 40 g of the sugar to 158˚F (70˚C). Add the pectin NH with the remaining 45 g of sugar. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, and then add the gelatin mass.
  1. Pour 130 g into three 6.3ʺ (16 cm) round cake molds 6.30” and freeze.


  • 200 g simple syrup, cold
  • 75 g blueberry water, cold
  • 10 g lime juice, cold
  1. Mix all ingredients together.


  • 500 g neutral glaze
  • 30 g strawberry purée
  1. Mix the neutral glaze with the purée.


  • Pink chocolate ring garnish
  • Fresh red fruits (raspberries, strawberries, red currants)
  • Gold leaf
  1. With a 7.08ʺ (18 cm) cutter, cut out 3 rounds of the Ladyfinger Sponge Cake. Then cut three 22.83ʺ (58 cm) x 1.18ʺ (3 cm) strips of this sponge cake to create the border of the cake. Set aside.
  1. Fill the mold (Silikomart “Universo 1200”) with 2/3 of the Tonka Bavaroise Cream. Place the Candied Red Fruit in the cream. Add some fresh red fruits and fill again with a small amount of the cream, then seal with the sponge cake. Freeze.
  1. Place the cake on a baking rack and glaze each cake with the pink neutral glaze. Stick the lady finger strip on the glaze to create a border around the cake. To decorate, add a ring of pink chocolate on the top of the cake and fill with fresh red fruits. Garnish with gold leaf.

About Aurelien Decaix

Aurelien Decaix is the Executive Pastry Chef at Boulangerie Christophe in Washington, D.C. His desserts are inspired by his French heritage. He describes his style as precise and technical.

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