Why This Recipe Works
The classic Charlotte Russe, a grand dessert consisting of a Bavarian cream encased in sponge cake, has fallen out of favor, partly because it’s fussy to make, and partly because lean sponge cake and bouncy gelatinized mousse don’t hold much appeal for modern cooks. In our recipe, we swap the sponge for a simple and quick-baking chiffon cake, which is tender and moist but sufficiently sturdy. Instead of basing our filling on a high-moisture crème anglaise, we use a more foolproof homemade raspberry curd lightened with whipped cream with just enough gelatin to give it structure, and we pack in a full pound of berries for bright fruit flavor. Finishing with a swirl of raspberry jam and fresh berries gives our charlotte visual appeal and an extra jolt of flavor.