Tested till perfect Lightened-Up Strawberry Charlotte
Lightened-Up Strawberry Charlotte
Photography by Matthew Kimura

Lightened-Up Strawberry Charlotte

No one will miss the fat in this show-stopping dessert: traditionally layers of fruit and custard or whipped cream in a cake-lined mould. Yogurt mousse replaces the traditional filling, and a lightened-up topping replaces the whipped cream. For a quicker option, follow the tip to use store-bought ladyfingers.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: June 2003

Recipe5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Portion size 8 to 12


  • 1 cup 1cupBalkan-style plain yogurt
  • 1 cup 1cupwhipping cream
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cupinstant dissolving (fruit/berry) sugar
  • 8 8hulled Strawberries, halved


  • 2 pkg 2pkgunflavoured gelatin
  • 4 cups 4cupshulled Strawberries
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupgranulated sugar
  • 2 cups 2cupsBalkan-style plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup 2/3cupwhipping cream
  • 1 tsp 1tspvanilla


  • 3 3egg whiteegg whites
  • 1/4 tsp 1/4tspcream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cupgranulated sugar
  • 3 3egg yolkegg yolks
  • 1 tsp 1tspvanilla
  • 3/4 cup 3/4cupall purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspicing sugar
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Ladyfingers: Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 12- x 6-inch (30 x 15 cm) rectangle on 1 sheet and 7-inch (18 cm) circle on second sheet; turn papers over. Set aside.

In bowl, beat egg whites until foamy; beat in cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the granulated sugar, 2 tbsp (25 mL) at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form; set aside.

In large bowl, beat together egg yolks, vanilla and remaining sugar until pale and thickened; fold in one-third of the egg whites. Spoon half of the remaining egg whites over yolks; sift half of the flour over top and fold in gently. Repeat with remaining egg whites and flour.

Using large piping bag, pipe batter into diagonal strips, each about 6 inches (15 cm) long and just barely touching, to fill traced rectangle. Pipe remaining batter in concentric circles to fill traced circle. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Bake in top and bottom thirds of 325°F (160°C) oven, switching and rotating pans halfway through, until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pans on rack. Gently remove papers. (Make-ahead: Store in waxed paper-lined airtight containers at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)

Place ladyfinger circle on bottom of parchment paper-lined 8-inch (2 L) springform pan. Cut ladyfinger rectangle in half lengthwise; one at a time, stand puffed side out around edge of pan, trimming if necessary.

Filling: In small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup (50 mL) water; let stand for 5 minutes. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring often.

Meanwhile, in bowl, coarsely mash strawberries with sugar until sugar is dissolved; stir in yogurt and gelatin mixture. In separate bowl, whip cream with vanilla; fold into strawberry mixture. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until chilled enough to mound on spoon, 20 to 30 minutes. Scrape into ladyfinger-lined pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Meanwhile, scrape yogurt into cheesecloth- or paper towel- lined sieve; cover and refrigerate until reduced by half, about 4 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

In bowl, whip cream with sugar; fold half into yogurt. Fold in remaining cream mixture. Spread on cake; top with strawberry halves.

Additional information :

Tip: Instead of making your own ladyfingers, use about 40 of the soft store-bought variety, cutting and patching to leave no gaps.

Nutritional Information Per each of 12 servings: about

cal 320 pro 7g total fat 17g sat. fat 10g
carb 36g fibre 1g chol 104mg sodium 59mg

% RDI:

calcium 11 iron 5 vit A 18 vit C 47
folate 13
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