Charlottes are beautiful cakes that are not your traditional layer cake. The cakes are made by lining a mold with sponge cake or ladyfingers, then filling the mold with mousse, custard or cream. The whole cake is then chilled until it is set, when it can be popped out of its mold and sliced, like a more traditional cake can be. Charlottes can be a little bit labor-intensive to put together, especially if you are baking all your sponge components from scratch. Though the results are well-worth it, you can give yourself a shortcut by using the Nordic Ware Charlotte Cake Pan.
The heavy duty cast-aluminum pan is made in the shape of a traditional charlotte, complete with a design that resembles ladyfingers around the rim of the pan. The pan can be filled with any cake batter – including cake mixes – and baked. Your cake should pop out easily thanks to the pan’s nonstick interior, then it can be topped with a mousse, custard or cream and decorated with fresh fruit. A charlotte-style cake that is baked in this pan won’t have as much cream in the filling as a traditional one, but it will take half the time to make and you’ll have a lot of flexibility when it comes to flavors. This pan would also be a wonderful way to present strawberry shortcakes or fruit “tarts” during the summer months.