Baked Goods & Sweet Treats Recipes

The Bakeoff Bake Along: Week 7 (Victorian Bakes)

This week I was fairly disappointed. There was no way I was going to be making a game pie; I don’t really like fruit cake (the main ingredient in the tennis cake); nor do I like jelly (aka jello to Americans) for the Charlotte russe. I decided to bend the rules a bit and make a jello-free charlotte russe.

I can easily say that this was my worst Bake Off experience in the whole time I’ve baked along (this year and last). It’s the only time where I feel I out and out failed. As I was bringing my charlotte to the “judging” table the ladyfingers started falling off at the back.

Luckily, Sam was there to catch my quick facial change from joy to horror for your amusement.  Because of that, I feel a bit bitter towards the charlotte and haven’t eaten very much of it. However, despite it’s completely naff appearance, Sam seems to love it so it hasn’t gone to waste. Next week I really need to step up my game for pattisserie.  chocolate charlotte russe

Chocolate Charlotte Russe
3707 calories
395 g
1558 g
203 g
76 g
114 g
1285 g
931 g
274 g
4 g
72 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3707
Calories from Fat 1809
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 203g
Saturated Fat 114g
Trans Fat 4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 12g
Monounsaturated Fat 60g
Cholesterol 1558mg
Sodium 931mg
Total Carbohydrates 395g
Dietary Fiber 19g
Sugars 274g
Protein 76g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the lady fingers
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 125g of caster sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  4. 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  5. 115g of plain flour
For the mousse
  1. 190 g of dark chocolate
  2. 115 g unsalted butter
  3. 3 egg yolks, 5 egg whites
  4. 5 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
For assembling
  1. water
  2. coffee
  3. sugar
  4. chocolate shavings
  1. Start by baking your ladyfingers. Preheat your oven to 190 C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and put your largest round nozzle on a piping bag.
  2. Whisk your egg yolks with 63 g of sugar and the vanilla extract for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they make stiff peaks and then fold the the remainder of your sugar and your salt. Then gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Put your mixture into a piping bag and pipe 9 cm long fingers, about an inch apart, onto your parchment. Bake for 15 minutes and then set them aside on a wire rack to cool.
  5. Whilst your ladyfingers are cooling prepare your mousse.
  6. Melt your chocolate. (I melted mine bain marie). Whisk your butter in, until the texture is smooth and then add in the egg yolks.
  7. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until the form stiff white peaks. Halfway through the whipping process, stir in your sugar. Then fold your egg whites into your chocolate mixtures.
  8. To begin assembling, dip each ladyfinger quickly into a bowl of cold coffee then stack the fingers around the bowl. Then pour in your mousse and set aside in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours. Top with chocolate shavings before serving.
Rhyme & Ribbons
creating wall of spongeafter chocolate

Why that sad, lone finger squeezed back from all the others? Well, the wall seemed more flimsy on that side so I added one extra support. Little good did it do…. 

grating chocolatechocolate charlotteclose up on chocolatenoticing the collapsesaddened by itfallen apartmary berry judging
No surprise there! 
 not star baker

This week I have the pleasure of announcing the winners from pastry week! They are: Chris for his gorgeous flaounas  with food photography by his husband John (also if you don’t yet, follow him on instagram. It’s like a beautiful baking dream.); Camila for her adventurous vol au vents; and Hannah for her delightful Raspberry and Nectarine frangipane tart. 

winner collage

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  • I suspect Sam will always be on that winning side with delicious bakes to mop up!

  • Hehe, love the changing facial expressions! I still think it looks exceedingly tasty though! xxx

  • Hannah

    Oh wow, thank you so much! That’s a real shock (in a good way) – I’m so happy that you liked my little frangipane tart.

    Don’t feel bad about the Charlotte. They are notoriously tricky (I didn’t even consider attempting it so you are hugely brave in my eyes) and I am sure yours tasted absolutely delicious xx

    • It does taste miles better than what the final result looked like! I should have whacked on a “decorative” ribbon around the cake to dress it up aka to hold it up! x

  • At least it looks nice… the chocolate looks yummy πŸ™‚ I wish I had thought to make it gelatin-free… but do you think that led to its downfall? Let’s all just forget about this week and start fresh, haha.

    • I think that was definitely its downfall- I think the gelatine would have given it more structural integrity but…. meh πŸ˜€ x

  • Cate in the Kitchen

    Brave, brave soul. I too was very uninspired by this weeks bakes!! Love the picture of dismay though.

  • I love that Sam managed to catch your facial expressions in this! Sad that it didn’t work properly, but I love the idea of the chocolate mousse if you aren’t a fan of jelly! Alice xx

  • Carrie L

    I love your photos! It was a struggle to get inspired this week I agree, luckily I had a houseful of pie lovers!

  • Haha those photos are great!

    • I couldn’t believe that it worked up until the moment that it was time to take photos. Then the darn thing falls apart! x

  • That still looks very delicious! I wouldn’t mind trying to make this! (Trying being the operative word)

    That second to the last photo of you is classic!

    Honey x The Girl Next Shore

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    Yours looks so neat! Mine would just be a mess πŸ™‚

  • Miu

    Omg, you even baked the ladyfingers? That would have been the first thing I’d buy πŸ˜€ Plus, it doesn’t matter how a cake looks like as long as it tastes good πŸ˜‰

    • Haha, I think my rage at this cake tainted it for me! Luckily Sam has been tucking into it! x

  • Ala

    Ohhh it’s not that bad my dear! But I can totally sense your frustration hehe, I guess we are all perfectionists at the end of the day! Don’t worry, you have excellent baking skills and this was a silly week for everyone involved I feel xx

    • Ala

      p.s. I love Mary’s new pink scarf – what a babe!

      • Hahaha she loves pink! ;D To serve a slice of mine you just spoon the mousse into the bowl and then plonk the fingers on top. Inelegant but it does the trick! x

  • Your lady fingers look great! Chocolate Charlotte Russe sounds so much nicer than what they did on the show anyway x

    Sophie Loves Food | Recipes & Reviews

  • Looks good I am not a baker but I love to eat baked goods just saying

  • Damn! I could have totally helped eat up the rest of it if I was there. Any baking mishap you make is definitely leaps and bounds better than my baking. The pictures still came out looking lovely…and yes, I love your horrified expression haha x

  • I love the photos, haha. I took a cake decorating class, and every cake I made stuck to the pan. It was a terrible feeling to take a broken, crumbling cake in public.

  • First, thanks so much for featuring my sad little vol au vent haha I was slightly crazy to attempt it! And two, oh it’s such a shame to know that it started falling off, because it looks SO good! I mean your sponge fingers look awesome! I love making those and wish I’d done it correctly actually, mine were just slabs of dough xx

  • I always thought ladies fingers were special biscuits for babies! As a Victorian lover I am ashamed! I think your (cake?!) looks amazing – assembly is always the hardest bit and I think you did great πŸ™‚
    I’m just typing up my post now!

  • Honestly the combination of everything sounds like the most delicious thing, even if it was in crumbles! ALSO, totally going to try to make my own lady fingers now for tiramisu, as I thought they were a lot more difficult then how you’ve described them.