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Birthday Mingle: Lemon Mascarpone Charlottes

Yesterday, June 2nd was one special lady’s birthday: Meeta from What’s for Lunch Honey? blew another candle and knowing her I am sure it was done in style surrounded by many friends and family members. Happy Birthday one more time, dear Meeta!

During the last roundup of her event Monthly Mingle, she realised it was also a year ago that she started the Monthly Mingle event. Thus, she invited us for the June edition entitled Big Birthday Bang, to make a dish for her, the guest of honor. Smart woman, not only does she get to make her birthday last a little longer but given the past roundups, she can be sure to be served some pretty tasty things!

I have only known Meeta for a few months and through her blogs (she also writes The Daily Tiffin, and asked me to join its writers pool last month), The Daring Bakers, and emails and yet I imagine her to be strong willed, warm, organized and detailed, attentive, a great friend, wife and mother. I also imagine her stylish, feminine and full of pep and colors.

I had a list a mile long list of different birthday cakes I thought about making for her and that special day but once I imagined these Lemon Mascarpone Charlottes, I really found them fit for the event. Just like I envision Meeta, they stand tall with confidence, soft and strong in flavor and yet playful at the same time. A soft and just a bit decadent lemon mascarpone surrounded by Limoncello dipped ladyfingers…enough to make you happy, not tipsy!

Lemon Mascarpone Charlotte, inspired from Mercotte:

Serves 6

1 package Italian style ladyfingers
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 oz sugar
4 oz mascarpone cheese
150 ml. heavy cream, divided
2 tsp. powdered gelatin (1 sheet) + 1/4 cup water
zest and juice of one lemon

Syrup to dip the ladyfingers:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Limoncello

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, stir and let sit to bloom.
In the meatime, warm up 5o ml. heavy cream until hot but not boiling hot. Stir in the gelatin and allow to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone with the sugar, add 2 egg yolks and whisk until well incorporated. Add the lemon juice and zest.
Whip 2 egg whites until stiff, fold them into the mascarpone mixture.
Whip the remaining heavy cream to medium stiff peaks, and fold into the mascarpone.

To assemble the charlottes, I used 2.5 inch diameters pvc pipe cylinders (I use pvc for cold molded desserts and metal for baked ones), but you can use the diameters that you like best.
Dip the biscuits very briefly (1 second/turn/1 second/done…yes, that fast or you will end up with mush) in the Limoncello water and stand them straight one next to the other into the molds, fill with the mousse. Refrigerate until set. Trim the tops.
At this point I like to freeze the charlottes for a couple of hours, so it is really easy to unmold them. Just push through the bottom, they slide out of the molds very easily.
Decorate with sliced strawberries or whole raspberries.

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Mandy June 4, 2007 um 2:39 am

the charlottes are so beautiful! I wonder if I could make a tiramisu version of your adorable charlottes

MyKitchenInHalfCups June 4, 2007 um 2:48 am

that is perfectly beautiful
both the writing and the cakes!

Anonymous June 4, 2007 um 3:20 am

Those are amazingly beautiful cakes… your right about Meeta. I imagine her the exact same way!

Mercotte June 4, 2007 um 4:07 am

C’est superbe comme d’habitude ! merci pour le clin d’oeil!

Anonymous June 4, 2007 um 4:23 am

wow, those are amazing, Helen, and I´m sure Meeta is going to be delighted with her little cakes. I imagine her just like you do, and I´m sure she´s going to have a great time doing the roundup this month.
About this cake, I love the simple preparation and the clean citrusy flavors… and that tiny happy birthday sign cracked me up.

Meeta K. Wolff June 4, 2007 um 5:40 am

Oh Helene! You are too kind! I cannot begin to tell you how touched I am. This is a wonderful post and I really appreciate your words and most of all your friendship. These Charlottes are gorgeous – I am on the next flight over with my fork.
Thank you – Thank you!!!

Anonymous June 4, 2007 um 5:54 am

TRès mignonnes mini charlottes…

monica June 4, 2007 um 6:00 am

absolutely adorable, helene! i love your creativity and artistic eye. such an inspiration!

Anonymous June 4, 2007 um 6:09 am

wow! besides being beautiful, i just love the the sound of lemony mascarpone. and what are those preshus little pastry cups? i think i want to hug them before i eat them 🙂

Peabody June 4, 2007 um 6:58 am

Oh my, this looks intoxicatingly wonderful.

Myrtille June 4, 2007 um 7:49 am

Fantastic charlottes!I want to try this recipe…

Freya June 4, 2007 um 11:07 am

Oh my god! These look stunning! What a birthday treat!
(but where are the bananas?!)

Chantal33 June 4, 2007 um 11:10 am

Trop mignonnes ces petites charlotte! recette à garder précieusement!

Aimée June 4, 2007 um 12:37 pm

These are so darling, Helen. Outstanding job as always!

Patricia Scarpin June 4, 2007 um 3:20 pm

What a beautiful way to take part, Helen – we would never expect less from you!

Cheryl June 4, 2007 um 4:09 pm

Another set of just beautiful cakes. You would be the first person I would invite to a mingle.

Deborah June 4, 2007 um 4:41 pm

These look absolutely amazing!! What a special treat!

Mercedes June 4, 2007 um 7:13 pm

What beautiful little Charlottes- I love the idea of dipping them in Limoncello 🙂

browniegirl June 4, 2007 um 7:26 pm

What a lovely post Helene, and such delicious feminine cakes. Anything with Limoncello sounds good to me! You sound like a lovely friend to have 🙂

Anonymous June 4, 2007 um 8:27 pm

Oh Helene, I love them – they sounds lovely, and the fanned out strawberries on top are just gorgeous! I think they are the perfect entry for Meeta’s event!

Nora B. June 4, 2007 um 9:22 pm

Helene, what a beautiful creation and very aptly chosen for Meeta.

Veron June 4, 2007 um 9:26 pm

these charlottes look so dainty. Perfectly choreographed and looking so delectable!

Anonymous June 5, 2007 um 1:15 am

What a special treat for Meeta! They’re adorable, Helene!

Eva June 5, 2007 um 5:40 am

Well, I just have to agree into the chorus: Those charlottes are stunning! Everyone would be happy about such a birthday treat!

Anonymous June 5, 2007 um 4:07 pm

How beautiful. And the lemon mascarpone has to be delicious.

Anonymous June 5, 2007 um 6:52 pm

These Charelottes are so lovely and it must be really tasty with the lemon, citrusy flavor. A perfect dessert for summer time (or anytime…)!

Anonymous June 5, 2007 um 9:41 pm

J’arrive tout de suite. C’est me prendre la par les sentiments !

Anonymous June 7, 2007 um 12:16 am

How pretty! And lemon is one of my fav flavors. Don’t have any lemoncello though, now I need some!

Sylvia June 7, 2007 um 9:42 pm

Beautiful little charlottes ,is a great idea make in this size.

Maggie June 12, 2007 um 11:41 am

How wonderful. They look amazing.

Monique June 12, 2007 um 6:28 pm

These are so cute. I just made a Tiramisu in baking class yesterday and these charlottes look like a perfect 'cousin'. Thanks for the recipe, I’m looking forward to trying it.

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