Cute mini Charlotte cakes with homemade ladyfingers, mousse, and Chantilly cream! Use whatever jam that you'd like to make it your own.
Notes: Heavy cream is the same as whipping cream, or heavy whipping cream. Powdered sugar is the same as icing or confectioners sugar.
Preheat your oven to 350F/175C.
Whisk the egg yolks and half of the granulated sugar together until slightly lighter in color.
Whip up the egg whites on medium speed until no liquid egg white is left in the bowl. Then increase the speed to medium-high and start gradually adding the remaining granulated sugar little by little. Whip until the whites have formed a stiff peak. This can take between 5-10 minutes!
Give the yolks/sugar one last whisk and pour over the whipped whites. Carefully fold together. Try not to deflate the egg whites.
Sift the flour over the batter in two additions, folding in after each.
Transfer to a piping bag with a 10mm (Ateco 804 // Wilton 2A // .38 inch // 1cm) round tip.
Pipe lines about the length of a finger on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They don't have to be perfect! Each will be trimmed when constructing the Charlottes.
Dust the ladyfingers liberally with powdered sugar and immediately put in the oven. The batter needs to be piped and used immediately before the egg whites start to deflate.
Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and puffed up. The surface will be cracked too.
Cool at room temperature.
Whip the 1 1/2 (360 ml) of cold heavy cream to medium peak.
Add the jam and then whip until very firm. Scrape the bowl as needed to help redistribute the jam.
Transfer to a piping bag (fill only halfway for more control) with no tip. Cut a large opening (1/2 inch - 1.5 cm) at the end. Set aside.
Whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until medium-firm peak. Essentially to the point where it will hold its shape while piped.
Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip.
Carefully peel the ladyfingers off the parchment paper. (See video for a little trick to do this all at once).
Pipe a tall mound of mousse in the center of a small plate, mug, or teacup (about 2 inches / 5cm tall).
Use kitchen shears to trim the ladyfingers to be about 1 inch (2.5cm) taller than the mound. Place around the mound of mousse, pressing in to hold them in place.
In the center, place the ladyfinger cake scrape and small pieces of optional fresh fruit.
Cover with another swirl of mousse to reach the top of the ladyfingers.
Finish it off with a swoosh of Chantilly cream.
Wrap with a ribbon if you'd like. Then chill about 30 minutes before serving.
These are great for about 2 days. Keep chilled until serving.