Executive Summary: A Charlotte Royale is a traditional French dessert with a jelly roll crust and soft custardy filling. This version looks impressive but takes only minutes to make using store bought jelly rolls and an ice cream filling. Delish!
Over the Christmas holidays my family introduced me to The Great British Bake Off. It's a strangely captivating show with amazing baked goods made by charming hobby bakers competing for the title of best baker. It lacks the cut throat competition and sometimes vile hosts of North American competitive cookery shows but is still very engaging to watch.
In Season 4, "The French Week", they blow my mind with this beautiful brain-like dessert called a Charlotte Royale. Having loved jelly rolls as a child and still loving ice cream as an adult, I had to try one. I called bakeries around town to no avail so I decided to make my own.
Now I have baked but I wouldn't call myself a baker by any means. Not to mention I was in a particular time crunch at that time in my life and with my special someone's birthday fast approaching necessity was the mother of invention and this is what I created... A Charlotte Royale Ice Cream Cake the can be assembled from off the shelf ingredients in about 5 minutes and served shortly after a few minutes setting in a freezer. And oh yah, it's delicious!
Step 1: Ingredients
Store bought Swiss Rolls (aka Jelly Roll)***
Ice Cream of your choice
Medium to large bowl
Access to a freezer
*** Tip: So although I could recall seeing Jelly Rolls many a times in grocery store bakery sections, they were harder to find than I expected. So call ahead or be ready to do a little leg work in case your local grocer isn't carrying them at the time. The number you need depends on the size of the rolls and and size of the dessert that you want. The main photo uses full size Swiss rolls whereas the video uses personal sized ones.
Step 2: Instructions
Step 1: Take a moment and watch the video, because a picture is worth thousand words.
Step 2: Once you've rounded up a Swiss Roll slice it up. I made my slices a little thicker than your average slice of bread. Put a several slices aside now to later form your bottom layer.
Step 3: Don't pull a Ruby (contestant) and forget to line your bowl with plastic wrap... otherwise things will be difficult to extract intact. Make the strips larger than the bowl as you will need to fold them all over.
Step 4: Start from the bottom and line you bowl the sliced jelly rolls.
Step 5: Fill with ice cream or an alternative filling... wikipedia suggests Bavarian cream, mousse, citrus curd, whipped cream or fruit preserves.
Step 6: Smooth out the filling and cover the top of the bowl with jelly roll slices that you put aside. This layer will form the bottom of the cake.
Step 7: Envelope the top of the bowl with the excess plastic wrap and let set in a freezer for at least 20 min. You can make these in advance and leave the wrapped in the freezer for days.
Step 8: Remove from freezer. Unwrap the top of the bowl and flip on to plate. Remove the remaining plastic wrap "et voila! Une Charlotte Royale!"