- 1 (3-ounce) package store-bought soft ladyfingers
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons almond or walnut liqueur
- 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup crumbled pralines, recipe follows
- Butterscotch Sauce, recipe follows
Line the bottom and sides of 2 quart charlotte mold or souffle dish with a piece of waxed paper. Line the sides of the mold with the ladyfingers, fitting them in side by side, with the lightly browned side facing outward. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the ladyfingers with 2 tablespoons of the liqueur. Set the mold aside.
Place the milk in a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the gelatin softens. Heat over low heat until the gelatin dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining liqueur. Set aside.
In a cold bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla until the mixture is thickened. Pour the cooled gelatin mixture into the bowl, and continue whipping until the mixture forms soft peaks. Using a balloon whisk, fold in 3/4 cup of the crumbled pralines. Do not over beat. Gently pour the mixture into the lined mold. Cover the mold with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly set, at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, gently unmold the charlotte by inverting the mold onto a serving plate and giving a sharp tap onto a solid surface. Return to its upright position and top with some of the remaining 1/2 cup crumbled pralines. Serve immediately, with some of the Butterscotch Sauce spooned over the charlotte and around the plate.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water and cook over medium heat, undisturbed, until the sugar reaches an amber color, about 8 minutes. Swirl the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking. (If the sugar syrup splatters up the sides of the pan while cooking, use a clean pastry brush to wash down the sides with some cold water.) As soon as the sugar reaches the desired color, remove from the heat and slowly add the heavy cream and butter. (Be very careful of splatters.) Swirl the pan until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm before serving.
Yield: 1 cup
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup pecan halves
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, heavy cream, butter, and water. Place over a medium-high heat and stir constantly until the pralines reach the softball stage, 238 to 240 degrees F. Add the pecans to the candy, and pull the pan off of the stove. Continue to stir the candy vigorously with a wooden spoon until the candy cools, and the pecans remain suspended in the candy, about 2 minutes. Spoon the pralines out onto a parchment or aluminum foil lined sheet pan and cool completely before serving.
Yield: 12 (3-inch) pralines