You are receiving friends last minute? Here's a pudding they'll love. It's a french classic, the Charlotte (of Russian origins I believe). A friend of mine at Uni showed me how to do this particular one, many moons ago.
It is based on the same principle as tiramisu (recipe to come soon on this blog), only I'd say it is more a summer pudding.
For 4 You'll need:
-500g 'Total' Greek yogurt, or fromage blanc in France if you can't get hold of it.
- A can of raspberries - yes I said a can, and they are surprisingly very good..
- Sponge biscuits (also called finger biscuits: biscuits a la cuillere in french)
- A dash of alcohol that suits raspberries (smell the bottles and decide which ones goes best is my best advice)
- My own secret weapon option: lemongrass, finely chopped
- 4 spoons of sugar
- A medium dish, square is easier, but round looks better I'd say. In the photos you'll see I I used a silicon mould.
There is no cooking involved, just 1/2h at least in the fridge, just the time to have the rest of the meal. longer is better of course, but since you are short of time and ravenous...
Drain the raspberry juice in a hollow plate and add the alcohol. Leave the raspberries in the can for now
Dip the biscuits one by one and lay them tight in a dish of medium size, so that the bottom and the sides are covered.
Mix directly in the pot of yoghurt the sugar and the lemongrass finely chopped, mix well, and cover the biscuits with half the yogurt.
Cover the yogurt layer with the raspberries, spread them evenly.
Then add the last layer of yogurt, make sure it is flush with the biscuits on the side of the dish.
Place in the refrigerator for at least 1/2h, and when comes the time, place a plate on top of the mould, reverse the lot quickly, and you should not have any difficulty to unmould the Charlotte. it should then look like that:
You can decorate it in whatever fashion you want if you have some spare time, but I must say I don't usually have enough time to fool around. In any case, the charlotte always goes down a treat and disappears in no time. When i have a little more time, I use fresh fruits:
- Ripe bananas that I heat up to a compote with a slither of butter and sugar. tend to use dark rhum for the biscuits
- fresh peaches heated up with a bit of sugar and lavender, with these , I dip the biscuits in Earl Grey tea.
- And of course, anything else that takes my fancy at the time!
I tend to use the 'Total' Greek yogurt for everything these days, It replaces advantageously sour cream, even when you heat it up a it does not separate like other yogurts. it makes dishes so much lighter, and of course, for me it has become to my fridge what the tinned chopped tomatoes is to my pantry...
And you can always have it in the morning with runny honey and fruits on it - or cheat and serve it like that as a desert -.
Source: Laurent Ganne who managed to drop the content of the whole can of raspberries on his boxer shorts one morning as he was showing me and another friend how to make this dessert of his....