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Nice and sweet! Delicious charlottes that are so very easy to make
All sizes and descriptions of the toothsome dessert
There are no desserts in all the range of the cook’s resources so easily made, so wholesome and so delicious as charlotte russe, yet a perfect charlotte russe is a rare dish in domestic cookery. The vast majority of housekeepers to prefer to depend upon the inferior charlottes furnished by cheap bake shops than to take the risk of preparing this simple dessert at home. This is probably because of the general belief that it is impossible to get cream in the city thick enough to whip. This was true of the markets of New York a score of years ago, but today it is as easy to get good cream in New York as in the best farming district of the country.
The recipe for the best charlotte russe cream
In the matter of milk and cream, no city in the world is more faithfully served than is New York. If one pays enough for it, he is quite likely to get Alderney cream, which is too thick or heavy to whip and must be thinned with milk or it will turn to butter before it froths. Contrary to the general idea, the best cream is not needed. A medium cream, but not a thin cream, whips better.
There are many churns and patent beaters for cream. The professional cook, however, uses an ordinary whip made of light wire, and accomplishes his purpose in about half the time of the novice using the churn. It all consists in “knowing how.” After the simple motion of cream beating is once acquired, it is no more trouble than beating eggs. Yet the fact remains that it has been so difficult for the average woman to learn how to beat eggs, and even to boil eggs correctly, that fortunes have been built up on patent utensils which offer to do the work without any expenditure of brainpower on the part of the worker.
It has been frequently shown that cooks more often fail in the simplest portion of their work because it is not done in an exact, methodical manner than they do in more complicated processes to which they deign to pay more attention. She who would triumph in this matter must, like a French woman, be mistress of details. The beating of cream is a detail of work by which, once mastered, a hundred delicious desserts are at one’s command.
Nothing makes a prettier garnish than a wreath of beaten cream on a low crystal platter, arranged around a roesate mould of strawberry pudding, a snowy dish of iced rice, or a charlotte russe, tinted pale green with pistachio icing. An excellent quality of cream may be purchased in New York at about 30 cents a quart. Double cream, at 40 cents, is usually too heavy. All this, however, depends on the dealer. No cream will whip evenly into froth, as there will always be about half a cupful of liquid left when a quart of cream has been whipped to a froth. Theoretically, cream quadruples in bulk. Actually, this depends on its quality; Three pints of whipped cream is an allowance for a pint of ordinary cream.
When a thick, fine froth covers line cream, skim it off on a sieve set over an earthen bowl to drain it, and continue beating steadily till only a little cream that will not rise remains. Now beat the other half. An expert cook will beat a pint of cream to a froth without stopping to skim off any portion, but it is easier for a beginner to divide the amount.
To make a charlotte russe large enough to fill a two-quart mould, or twelve individual moulds, take a pint of cream. It must be perfectly fresh and ice cold. Set half the cream, which should be put in a tin pan or large earthen pudding-dish, on a pan of cracked ice. and begin beating with the very lightest wire whip you can find. The one the writer has always used cost five cents, and has been in steady family use for cream and eggs for over a dozen years. There are bamboo whips in the shops that cost about 25 cents, and are said to be excellent for cream, but the French cooks generally prefer a light wire. Tip the dish containing the cream a little, so as to bring it one side, and begin whipping softly at first; and as the froth rises increase the swiftness of your strokes.
There is no harm in a cream churn, if it is large enough. The miniature tin churns sold at 25 cents in the shops are playthings and of no practical value. To be of any use a churn should be at least three and half inches in diameter and ten inches high. Such churns can be made to order, but are net ordinarily on sale. They are generally used in cooking schools in place of whips, because it requires a little more muscle to use the whip than is required to use a churn. The churn is more trouble to wash, and more complicated, yet some women succeed admirably with it when they fail to use a whip.
As soon as your cream is beaten and drained set it on ice, for it will not “go back,” as eggs will, but is all the better for resting on the ice. A charlotte russe mould is an oval basin about three and a half inches high, with its side sloping more than the boned-turkey mould, which is of a similar shape. The two-quart size generally costs about 10 cents, if made of superior quality of tin, and it will last a lifetime if kept only for this purpose. Individual charlotte moulds are three inches at the top, two at the bottom, and two and a half inches high.