With Valentines Day just a few days away, this brightly colored “magenta” colored cake is perfect to make with or for loved ones!
Baking is not my forte. Not sure that I should be admitting this on a food blog, but it’s true. I owned a Kitchen Aid for many years before I was even brave enough to take it out of the box, no less actually use it. When I first ventured into baking I would search the web for cake or cookie recipes that required only measuring and mixing. In fact, I even found some recipes where you could make a cake and never have to turn on the oven! Think Icebox Cookies (which was adapted from a cake recipe by Ina Garten). I am now able to use the Kitchen Aid with relative ease (and a minimum of anxiety), but love nothing more than a great no-bake cake.
Enter Charlotte. I have mentioned reading Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. In it she writes a recipe for a “Student Charlotte” made with ladyfingers, Greek yogurt, and apricots in syrup. My version uses sour cherries and lightly sweetens the Greek yogurt. It is served cold and is perfect for breakfast or Sunday brunch. Better yet, you can use any canned fruit in syrup or fresh fruit (like strawberries or pineapple) macerated in sugar and a bit of cornstarch. Not the most beautiful cake, but looks can be deceiving.
1-24oz. jar pitted, Morello sour cherries
2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1-16oz. container 2% Greek yogurt
½ cup confections sugar
1-3oz. package ladyfingers
Strain the cherries from the liquid. In a small saucepan heat the cherry juice. When lightly simmering, whisk in the cornstarch and water slurry into the cherry juice. Once thickened into syrup, remove from heat and cool.
In a bowl, mix together the yogurt and sugar.
Line a 6” bowl (I use a glass Pyrex bowl) with plastic wrap. One at a time, dip a ladyfinger into the cherry syrup and line them up around the bowl. Then cover the bottom with ladyfingers (also dipped in syrup). Do this neatly, as it will become the top of your cake. Pour a thin layer of cherry syrup on top of the ladyfingers. Then cover with a thin layer of yogurt. Next is a thin layer of cherries. Repeat starting with the ladyfingers. Add a final layer of ladyfingers on top and some additional syrup. Chill for 6 hours (giving your ladyfingers a chance to soak up the syrup and solidify into a “cake” shape). To serve, put a dinner plate on of the bowl and invert. Remove the bowl and slowly peel off plastic wrap. You can always drizzle with a bit more syrup or confections sugar. Enjoy