Charlotte aux Poires

16 December 2005

I can’t help making this dessert when there are such lovely pears around – a classic mousse cake with piped sponge (biscuits à la cuillére) around it – normally you leave the round edge of the biscuit showing at the top, but I prefer to lay the pears over the edge as it emphasises their juiciness. (you can put a pretty ribbon around it too – it looks like a hat called ‘charlotte’ hence the name) To make the mousse, poach the pears in syrup, keep some whole for the top, and puree/dice half each of the rest then add lemon juice (you can also add liqueur if you like), gelatine, pâte à bombe and lightly whipped double cream. Top with thinly sliced pears and raspberries – I like to slightly brown the pears with a blow torch. Very simple, no surprises – just enjoy the taste of pears…


Food - Sweet        27 comments    Permalink

  • That is so beautiful! The perfect dessert.

    Posted by L | 16 December 2005 #
  • Keiko,

    Wow. I am totally blown away by your presentation on this one. So perfect! Do you have backdrops you use when photographing (the white and black backgrounds) or is there a particular spot in your place you have setup for photos.

    Just beautiful, as always with your creations.

    Posted by Anita | 16 December 2005 #
  • Mouthwatering. I have a kitchen full of pears at the moment, too!

    Posted by Nic | 16 December 2005 #
  • very pretty and festive! happy holidays to you, matt, and maya!

    Posted by santos. | 16 December 2005 #
  • I am drooling...

    Posted by Kat | 16 December 2005 #
  • so beautiful. a perfect dessert for the season.

    Posted by J. | 16 December 2005 #
  • The pictures are really very elegant. Very nice! One question, do you cut your sponge cake in 2 halves and then spread the mousse inside? How do you make your pâte à bombe? Merci

    Posted by Béa | 16 December 2005 #
  • Beautiful! It reminds me of a globefish sashimi platter in Japan!

    Posted by poth | 16 December 2005 #
  • Keiko-

    Is there a particular pear that works best for this? It is beautiful.

    Posted by Fran | 17 December 2005 #
  • The browned pears added the final touch of perfection...

    Happy holidays!

    Posted by Marcela | 17 December 2005 #
  • What can i say more?..............BEAUTIFULL

    Posted by Latifa | 17 December 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Absolutely magnificent. I love pears and I’m sure I’d love this! *sigh*

    Posted by reid | 17 December 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko- your pear caherlotte looks so nice. It is one of my favorite desserts of all time. I specially like the light and refreshing taste of pear specially when it is made into a mousse or to a bavarian cream. This cake reminds me of the Pear and Fig Charlotte that I made before from the book Desserts by Pierre Herme, the cake is composed of ladyfinger sponge, poire william syrup, poached pears, poached dried figs, and pear bavarian cream. The cake is very refreshing and with a cruch coming from the sseds of the figs which cut the richness of the cream. The cake is indeed delicious so I also recommend you to try it. I was also able to taste a pear charlotte before which has chocolate sponge, caramel mousse abd pear mosse, the charlotte was also good. Thank You and Merry Christmas.

    Posted by cathy | 17 December 2005 #
  • that’s one cool-looking pear charlotte, and I admiring the skill you have with your kitchen knifes - those pear slices are so translucent thin!

    Posted by eatzycath | 17 December 2005 #
  • before I read the whole post just looking at the pic I knew you used a blow torch.

    My fave for charlotte are raspberries.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS KEIKO!!! kala xristougenna as the greeks say

    Posted by sha | 17 December 2005 #
  • What a beautiful dessert! The pears are sliced so thinly, they’re translucent. So skillful! ^_^

    Posted by Tea | 18 December 2005 #
  • Hey Keiko. This looks fantastic. I’ll have one please. You do do mail order right? ;-p

    Posted by Chubby Hubby | 18 December 2005 #
  • Beautiful! I still haven’t chosen my x-mas presie and blow-torch sounds ideal. Thanks for a nice recipe too.

    Posted by Dreska | 19 December 2005 #
  • It looks like a jelly fish. A nice jelly fish though ;-)

    Posted by Monkey Gland | 19 December 2005 #
  • I envy how perfect each of your slices are. Mine are always lopsided. :)

    Posted by emi | 29 December 2005 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much for all your kind notes, sorry for the late response!

    Anita - I don’t have any backdrops or lighting equipment, all I’ve got is a camera and tripod! The white and black backgrounds in above pics are both tables :)

    Nic - looking forward to seeing your beautiful pear creations.

    Santos - hope you had a lovely holiday season with your sweet doggies!

    Bea - sorry there wasn’t enough explanation in the post. I made two sponges - a round one for the base, and a long narrow one to form the side. Most of my books suggest making pâte à bombe with egg yolks and boiled syrup - add the syrup into the yolks, put on a bain marie and whisk until any "ribbons" you draw on the surface do not immediately disappear.

    Poth - when I saw the picture with the black background, I thought exactly the same thing! Oh, I’m getting hungry :)

    Fran - any firm type will do, I used cornice pears this time.

    Cathy - I’m sure your pear charlotte tastes wonderful! I remember the pear and fig tart in PH book - I shall look forward to trying it next time, it sounds really delicious.

    Sha - raspberry charlotte, sounds fabulous!

    Dreska - did you get a blow torch for Christmas? :)

    MG - tell me what nice jellyfish is like :)

    Emi - pears aren’t too hard to slice evenly, are they?

    Posted by keiko | 5 January 2006 #
  • Do you have a recipe for this? I’ve been looking for this recipe for awhile and your’s is the most beautiful looking charlotte I’ve seen.


    Posted by Marci | 16 January 2006 #
  • Hi Marci - I’m afraid that the recipe was from one of my Japanese books - you should be able to find recipes for basic fruit mousse and ladyfingers, this cake has only two components (and the pears on top).

    Posted by keiko | 20 January 2006 #
  • Everything I’ve seen so far looks wonderful.

    How do I get the recipes?

    Posted by leona | 3 May 2006 #
  • Hi Leona - thank you for your notes. I’m afraid the recipe for this dessert is from one of my Japanese books, but usually I note which book each recipe comes from.

    Posted by keiko | 9 May 2006 #
  • have you got any traditional English recipies that require a certain amount of skil to make??? This looks delicious, I’ve made something similar, was gorgeous and so light and juicy!!

    Posted by Scarlett | 9 September 2006 #
  • Hi Scarlett – I’m afraid I don’t make traditional English desserts often (I’m not a big fan of them…). Sorry this isn’t much help!

    Posted by keiko | 12 January 2007 #

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