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Strawberry Chiffon Charlotte

This recipe comes from which is one of the recipe groups at It was submitted by Bella.

"Here's a spectacular, rather elaborate low-calorie dessert that can be prepared in stages. You can make the meringue ladyfingers up to a week in advance, if you want, and store them in an airtight container. Recipe is from the book 'Great Recipes for Good Health' from Reader's Digest".


Nonstick cooking spray
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 large egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 pt strawberries, hulled
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs kirsch or cassis (optional)
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup superfine sugar
12 whole strawberries, hulled


Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Coat 2 baking sheets with the cooking spray and set aside. Also coat an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-in loaf pan, line the bottom and sides with wax papper, and set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks at moderate speed until thick and pale, then add 1/4 cup of the confectioner's sugar, 1 tbs at a time. Increase the speed to high and beat the yolks until they are the consistency of mayonnaise. Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a medium-size bowl, with clean beaters, beat 3 of the egg whites and the salt at moderate speed until foamy. Add 2 tbs of the remaining confectioner's sugar, 1 tbs at a time, then increase the speed to moderately high and beat until the whites hold stiff peaks.

In a small bowl, combine another 2 tbs of the confectioner's sugar with the flour. With a rubber spatula, alternately fold the flour mixture and the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture a little at a time, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip and pipe 4-inch long ladyfinger strips on the baking sheets, spacing the strips about 2 inches apart. Sift another 2 tbs of the confectioner's sugar over the strips and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until pale golden. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer the ladyfingers to wire racks
and cool completely - about 30 minutes.

To line the loaf pan, arrange some of the ladyfingers over the bottom of the pan, then stand additional ladyfingers around the sides, trimming them to fit snugly and reserving any leftovers. Set the pan aside.

In a small bowl, soften the gelatin in the water for 5 minutes; then set the bowl in a pan of hot water and stir until the gelatin dissolves. In an electric blender or food processor, whirl the pint of strawberries for 1 minute, then strain into a large bowl; stir in the gelatin mixture, lemon juice, and, if desired, the kirsch or cassis. Fold in the yogurt.

In the small bowl of the electric mixer, beat the 2 remaining egg whites at moderate speed until foamy. Add the superfine sugar, 1 tbs at a time, then increase the speed to moderately high and beat until the whites hold stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the beaten whites into the strawberry mixture, then gently but thoroughly fold in the balance. Spoon the strawberry mixture into the ladyfinger-lined pan, smoothing the top, and crumble any remaining ladyfingers on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, cover the pan with a small oblong platter and invert the charlotte onto it. Garnish with the whole strawberries, slicing some of them, if you wish, then sift the remaining 2 tbs confectioner's sugar on top.

Serves 8