Charlotte-Style Pear Mousse Cake

Charlotte-Style Pear Mousse Cake

This is my favorite cake. It's a custard bavarois with a little more work. I made it into a fancy dessert by adding soft ladyfingers. The way it melts in your mouth is delicious beyond words...

Ingredients: a 18 cm cake pan with a removable bottom

Egg yolks
60 g
Egg whites
Cake flour
70 g
Powdered sugar
As needed
Canned pears syrup
As needed
Gelatin leaves
9 g
Egg yolk
60 g
200 ml
1 tablespoon
Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 tablespoon
Heavy cream
200 ml
Diced Canned Pears
1 can
As needed
2~3 large
Raspberries, blueberries and mint leaves
As needed


1. Preheat oven to 180°C and drain the canned pears, reserving the syrup. Soften the gelatin leaves in cold water.
2. Make the ladyfingers. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until thick and soft peaks form. Add the sugar in two or three parts and continue beating to make a stiff meringue.
3. Add the egg yolks and stir until evenly mixed.
4. Sift the cake flour and quickly fold it in.
5. Put a sheet of paper the size of the circumference of the cake pan under the parchment paper to act as a guide for squeezing the batter to the correct height and length of the ladyfingers.
6. Put the batter in a pastry bag with a 1.5 cm tip and squeeze it out. You will use the leftovers, so make extra.
7. On a separate baking sheet, squeeze out a 16 cm diameter circle of batter to use for the base. Smooth the surface.
8. Sprinkle only the lady fingers to be used for the sides generously with powdered sugar so that the surface is white. Bake all of the parts for 12-13 minutes. (All at once, or in batches.) Leave on the parchment paper to cool.
9. Prepare the bavarois. Heat the milk in a pot. Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and add the warm milk, a little at a time. When all of the milk is mixed in, put it back in the pot.
10. Return to heat and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula. (Do not use a whisk.) The foam should disappear, and it should be bubbling lightly from the bottom. Remove from heat, add the softened gelatin and stir to dissolve. When the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in the liqueur.
11. Line a cake pan with a removable bottom with parchment paper, with the paper slightly peeking out above the top of the pan. Place the baked ladyfingers made in Step 8 tightly together around the sides of the pan, leaving no gaps. Put the cake base on the bottom. Brush the inside with canned pear syrup.
12. The leftover ladyfingers will be used in the bavarois, so cut about a ladleful into cubes and coat them with 1~2 tablespoons of pear syrup.
13. Go back to making the bavarois. Place the pot in Step 10 in cold water and stir until slightly thickened.
14. Whip the cream over ice water until soft peaks form. Stir in the mixture from Step 13.
15. Assemble: Pour half of the bavarois in the prepared cake pan. Next, put in the cut up ladyfingers and diced pears. Pour in the remaining bavarois. Smooth the top and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
16. When the bavarois is almost set, start the decoration.
17. Arrange thinly sliced pears on top and brush the top with warm nappage. (If you don't have any, you can top it with a jelly made with gelatin leaves, water, and sugar that has been chilled over ice water to spreading consistency.) Decorate with berries rolled in nappage.
18. Chill in the fridge for 3~4 hours until firmly set. This shows what it looks like when cut. To serve, dip a knife in hot water, wipe the knife clean, and cut, using a slow sawing motion. Repeat this for each slice.

Story Behind this Recipe

I love pear bavarois so I tried to make it myself.