Forever Manchester is a charity that raises money to support local people through community activity, across Greater Manchester. They are supporting a range of activities for young people, older people and disabled people. The charity was established in 1989 and their projects benefited 1.1 million people.
One of their projects is Caketober, that is a month long celebration combining cakes and fancy dress. I was asked to make a recipe using a secret ingredient. I had no idea what I’m going to receive and it was very exciting. I was delighted to receive the cute package and discover matcha. I’m a big fan of matcha, I already shared plenty of recipes with matcha, like Matcha pie, Vanilla and Matcha Baked Doughnuts, Matcha and cocoa fruit loaf, and many more.
I made this Vegetarian Matcha Charlotte Russe with pineapple because my husband likes Charlotte Russe, but there aren’t any recipes of vegetarian ones. I tried it once with a well-known brand vegetarian gelatine and it was a mess. Now I’ve tried with agar agar and it worked out amazingly. Discovering agar agar was one of the best things I did, culinary wise. Recipe is for six servings.
Ingredients for the jelly:
– 1/2 l water
– 30g sugar
– 3g agar agar (2/3 tsp)
Ingredients for the charlotte cream:
– 1/2 l milk
– 4 egg yolks
– 50g flour
– 100g sugar
– 5g agar agar (1 heaped tsp)
– 3g matcha
– 1/2 medium pineapple
– 12 lady fingers
– 300g double cream
– 2 tbs of icing sugar
Use a 15 cm base cake tin. Pad it with cling film to release the cake easier when it’s set. Place the lady fingers biscuits inside the mould, on the sides.
Put the water with the sugar and the agar in a shaker and mix them well. I’ve used a protein shaker. Put them in a pan over high heat. The water must boil for the agar to do its magic. While the jelly is on the hob, cut the pineapple and arrange it however you like on the bottom of the mould. Keep in mind that your cake will be flipped over once it’s unmoulded. I’ve arranged it to look like a flower, so it’s a bit more pretty. I didn’t put the smaller centre bits yet; just the “petals”. Once the water is boiling take it off the hob and pour it gently in the mould. You’ll have to hurry at this stage as the agar will set fast (not like gelatine). It has a higher set temperature. Add any small pieces of pineapple now and set them into the jelly.
Put the mould in the fridge to cool while you are making the charlotte cream.
Mix the milk with the matcha and the agar in a protein shaker and put it on the hob to boil. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until white and glossy. Whisk in the flour. Once the milk is boiling pour it over the yolks and continue to mix. Pour the mixture back in the pan and return it on the hob. Continue to mix it so it won’t catch the bottom of the pan. Leave on hob for 2 minutes. Take it off the hob and put the pan in a larger pan with some cold water to lower the temperature of the cream. Mix it so it won’t form a film on the surface.
Beat the double cream with the icing sugar until peaks. Pour the egg mixture on top and mix them together with the hand mixer. The charlotte cream is made. Now you can scoop it inside the mould and layer it with pineapple pieces.
Place the cake in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. When you want to serve, flip it with care on the serving plate.
Do you like Charlotte Russe? What you think of my version of Vegetarian Matcha Charlotte Russe?