What an irresistible sight, this array of raspberries! On Maison Pichard’s Charlotte, our wandering hands can’t help themselves from snatching a raspberry – and then two, and three. And since they are numerous, we can help ourselves again without causing too much damage. By now this dessert finds itself rather naked, so we might as well dig into it. Half of it soon disappears – but how can we be sure of savoring it properly without having another taste? Now all of it is engulfed, and the verdict falls.
This dessert is composed of a ladyfinger crust surrounding a raspberry-flavored sponge cake and Bavarian cream. It is topped with fresh raspberries and lightly dusted with icing sugar.
The Raspberry Charlotte by Maison Pichard has a diameter of 77 mm and a height of 58 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 115 grams and costs 3.35€.
Unsurprisingly, a pleasant smell of raspberries wafts from the cake. We start our tasting with the fresh fruits laid on the surface. The raspberries reveal themselves to be quite flavorful and very acidic – perhaps exaggeratedly so, and we might have wished them to be slightly sweeter and gentler. Their somewhat soggy drupelets instantly burst in one’s mouth.
The Bavarian cream is nice and airy, akin to a sort of mousse. It softens the raspberry flavor, and is pleasantly light in sugar. It contains in its center a somewhat shriveled raspberry, which has disgorged its fluids into the surrounding cream. On the charlotte’s outer rim, the ladyfinger crust remains nicely dry, with no trace of sogginess. Its surface has a slight crispness to it, while its center is moist, thus adding an additional complexity to the cake’s texture. As for the sponge cake at the base of the charlotte, it is completely moistened, to the point of falling apart upon being sliced.
This Raspberry Charlotte by Maison Pichard presents no great surprise. We are presented with a classic, well-made product which would do very well in prosaic circumstances, but may not offer enough sensations to the gourmet in search of novelty and surprise. Most of the textures are carried out with success, mostly in line with classic charlotte conventions, and sugar is used in moderation. We have our doubts as to the choice of fruits, as the raspberries seem too acidic and somewhat worn out. It would no doubt be interesting to add an element of tartness at the heart of the Bavarian cream, in order to enrich the dessert’s palette of tastes and textures.
Score: 3.5/5 Good
88 rue Cambronne, 75015 Paris, France
Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 7 am- 1.30 pm and 4 pm- 8 pm.
Tel : +33 1 43 06 97 37