Strawberry Rose Charlotte

This exclusive recipe from Shannon Grochowski includes fresh-baked ladyfingers encircling decadent layers of pistachio cake, strawberry mousse, chocolate ganache, and fresh berries.

Strawberry Rose Charlotte
  • Ladyfingers:
  • 5 eggs, room temperature, separated
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon rose oil
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Pistachio Cake:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup pistachio flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamon (optional)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio paste
  • Strawberry Mousse Filling:
  • 1½ pounds fresh strawberries
  • ⅓ cup plus ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon rose oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pink food coloring (optional)
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (70% to 74%)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Garnish: ribbon, fresh strawberries, jam
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. For ladyfingers: In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with a mixer at medium speed. Gradually beat all but 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar into yolks until pale and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spatula, fold flour into mixture until incorporated.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, beat egg whites and salt with a mixer, beginning at a low speed. Add remaining 1½ teaspoons sugar and rose oil. In increments, increase mixer speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Using a separate spatula, fold egg whites into yolk mixture until all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Spoon batter into a piping bag fitted with a ¾-inch decorating tip.
  6. Pipe batter onto prepared pan in 3½-inch ladyfingers. Dust with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar
  7. Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.
  8. Set aside or freeze until ready to use.
  9. For cake: Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan with butter.
  10. Sift all-purpose flour, pistachio flour, salt, and cardamom into a medium bowl.
  11. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl.
  12. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition until fully blended. Add vanilla extract and
  13. pistachio paste; continue to beat until fully combined.
  14. Add flour mixture and blend until combined. Do not overbeat. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  15. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  16. Using a cake slicer or serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally.
  17. For mousse: In a large saucepan, cook strawberries over medium heat until smooth; blend with an immersion blender or blender. Add ⅓ cup sugar and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer.
  18. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together gelatin and lemon juice; let stand until softened, about 2 minutes.
  19. Add gelatin mixture to strawberry mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  20. In a medium bowl, beat cream with remaining ¼ cup sugar with a mixer at medium speed until stiff peaks form. If desired, add rose oil and food coloring; beat 1 minute more.
  21. Fold strawberry purée into whipped cream until combined.
  22. For ganache: In a medium saucepan, bring cream and honey just to a boil over medium heat; immediately pour cream mixture over chocolate, and let sit for 3 minutes. Whisk well. Add butter and whisk until smooth.
  23. To assemble: Line an 8-inch cake pan with plastic wrap, letting excess extend over sides of pan. Place one cake layer inside, and smooth down sides of plastic wrap. Spread strawberry mousse over cake; top with remaining cake layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  24. Using excess plastic wrap as handles, remove from pan and transfer cake to a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Pour ganache over top until it drizzles over completely; spread evenly with a spatula. Before ganache sets, press lady fingers around sides of cake, making sure they adhere. Tie a ribbon around charlotte and top with strawberries glazed with jam, if desired.
Note: For cake, all-purpose flour can be substituted for pistachio flour. For garnish, glaze fresh strawberries with any light-colored jam.

To learn more about Shannon Grochowski’s life in Burgundy, see “Amid the Tranquil Meadows” on page 45 of the May/June 2020 issue, available on newsstands and at

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