Over the last century, scrumptious desserts have been on the menu at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. Now Canadian cooks can recreate a Charlotte à la Russe at home with this recipe from the famed hotel.

Charlotte à la Russe

Lady Fingers


  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 10 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour


Whip the egg yolks, whole egg and the 200 grams of sugar until light and fluffy. Whip the egg whites and 50 grams of sugar until you get stiff peaks. Take half of the whipped egg whites and fold into the egg yolk mixture. Slowly add the sifted flour and fold into the egg mixture. Lightly fold in the remaining whipped egg whites. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe small fingers. Pipe onto a parchment lined baking tray). Bake them in a preheated 300 F (148 C) oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until it is a light golden brown.

Strawberry Mousse


  • 2 cups Ontario Strawberry purée
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups whipping cream, whipped soft
  • 5 teaspoons gelatin powder


Mix the gelatin powder with the two tablespoons of sugar. In a small sauce pan warm one cup of the strawberry purée with the remaining sugar. Mix the gelatin powder/sugar mixture into the warm strawberry purée. Mix the gelatin really well to prevent any lumps from forming. Add in the remaining strawberry purée. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature. Fold in one-third of the whipped cream and then the remaining whipped cream.

Directions to assemble the Charlotte

This can be assembled using individual small molds or large molds.

Using an individual Charlotte mold or a four-inch round ring mold, line the container with lady fingers. If using a ring mold line the bottom of it with some lady fingers.

Pipe the mousse half way up the container, add some fresh raspberries to the centre and pipe in the mousse until it is level with the mold. Refrigerate the Charlotte for at least three or four hours.

If using a Charlotte mold, flip the dessert onto a plate. If using a ring mold, place the ring onto a plate and carefully remove the ring. Garnish with fresh berries and mint leaf. Add some fresh fruit coulis or Auglaise sauce if desired.