I made this as a treat for Mr Greedy Frog and my father-in-law on Father’s day (which shows how long it took me to actually post this recipe!).
This recipe has been in my family for a long time; my grandmother used to make a bit of extra money by helping a local caterer with food preparation, and this is one of the recipes she learnt in this job. Her boss was renowned for her Chocolate Charlotte, and for every event she catered for, they would make a large number of these. This was in the days before food processors and other gadget went mainstream, so a strong arm was essential to cream all this butter and sugar!
I am taking what my grandmother would see as an easy way out: I use my beloved KitchenAid for this recipe; if you are doing it by hand, make sure you don’t cut corners during the creaming stage or the end result will be a bit grainy.
*Warning: This dessert contains raw eggs and a teeny bit of alcohol, so if you are pregnant you will need to bookmark it for later; if you are a teetotaller you can try using rosewater, or maybe coffee extract.
You will need (for 6 to 8 portions):
125 g butter
125 g caster sugar
125 g good quality dark chocolate
300g to 400g sponge fingers (depending on size)
4 tbsp dark rhum
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Separate the eggs; keep the whites for later and add the yolks to the preparation.
Melt the chocolate then add to the bowl. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and add to the rest of the preparation.
In a shallow dish, mix the rhum with 4 tbsp water. Quickly dip the sponge fingers in the rhum, then use them to line your Charlotte tin (or a pudding basin). Tip in half the chocolate mixture.
Finish with another layer of sponge fingers. Cover with a small plate slightly smaller than the tin, and press down firmly. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.