When life gives you blackberries…
make a Charlotte Russe!*
Part of my yard has been going wild since my kids were born, and there is a thicket of Himalayan blackberry coming into season. I’m never content to make jam or jelly, and you can only have blackberry pancakes 3 or 4 days a week. I always want to do something spectacular with the berries, and this recipe definitely shows off their unique sweetness and tartness in a fabulous way. I may also have been watching a lot of the Great British Baking Show
This is not your typical dessert. It involves sponge cake, mousse, whipped cream, lady fingers, and preserves. It has many steps. You will need to plan ahead for each step. And you will impress everyone with both the looks and taste of the finished product.
I used this recipe, with just a few changes. I made my own lady fingers (recipe here), and, of course, used fresh blackberries instead of frozen. Because fresh berries are more intact then frozen ones, you do need to smash them a bit to extract juice from them. I used a cocktail muddler.
You use your extracted juice in the whipped cream mouse, and the juice turns the mousse a vibrant pink color. With the army of lady fingers on the outside, and that unexpected rosy interior, this is definitely a conversation starter of a dessert. Expect questions, admiration, and requests for some of those berries!
*The dessert, not the store at the mall.