I always thought Charlotte Russe was a store for teenagers in the mall. Until I was flipping through my vintage Virginia Hospitality cookbook and found a recipe titled Charlotte Russe. According to Wikipedia, Charlotte Russe is a dessert created by French Chef Marie-Antoine Careme who named it in honor of his former employer George IV's child, Princess Charlotte, and his current employer Czar Alexander I (russe in this case being the French word for Russian) A dessert I'd never tried? Well, then, I had to make it.
My first obstacle arose when I couldn't get the custard to set up. Seems I cooked that custard for hours (not really - maybe 20 minutes). Finally I took it off the heat and let it cool. It still wasn't thick like a normal custard.
I got my heavy cream whipped up no problem, but I ran into an issue with the egg white. It just wouldn't stiffen up. I even got the boys ready for bed - all while whipping that white. Nada. Then I realized - I was supposed to put that raw egg white into the dessert and it would never be cooked. Now I am a champion raw egg eater in the form of cookie dough, brownie batter, and cake batter. I rationalized that the alcohol in the sherry (which also would not be cooked) might kill the salmonella in the egg white, but in the end, since it would not firm up anyhow, I just left it out.
I mixed my concoctions together and they really didn't look very appetizing. I didn't have much hope as I poured it over the ladyfingers and stuck it in the fridge for the night. Overnight, a miracle happened. The darn thing set up!
Readers, have you ever had Charlotte Russe?