Written by Rae
Normally I like to make simple things that involve 1 or 2 mixing bowls max. However, recently I found some motivation to push myself a little harder and to start making some things that challenge me. I used to think that I would just wait until I attended pastry school to attempt some more difficult techniques, but it’s never too early to get started. Therefore, I saw this charlotte as a great way to train myself and prepare for the day when I do enter pastry school.
I also really wanted to make something using the bartlette pears we found (canned) at Bangsan Market. They were only 4,000 won for a large can. Here in Korea, we have to buy canned bartlette pears because they only have the large asian pears, which are less sweet and have a very different texture.
For starters, I made the lady fingers. I made a bunch of little ones around 1cm thick, and then I made two big disks. One for the bottom, and one for inside the cake. I made each of the lady fingers individually for the edge, although next time I will probably just pipe them in one long strip and put that around the cake.
It was my first time making lady fingers and they turned out very well. I need to refresh my memory on whipping eggs because I get the peaks confused with cream. I was unsure if I was doing the process right, but they turned out great. They were soft and fluffy, and slightly golden on the outside.
After, I made the pear Bavarian cream. I let half of a vanilla bean steep in boiling milk and combined it with egg yolks to make a custard. Next, I dropped into some gelatin and added some diced pears, then blended everything with an immersion blender. Last, I folded in whipped cream and let it cool.
After the cream cooled, I lined the spring form pan with lady fingers that I had soaked with a pear vanilla syrup.
I lay down some cream, and added some diced pears in the middle. After, I put another disk of lady fingers on top and put another layer of cream.
After the second layer of cream, I put it in the fridge to chill. It chilled for about 2-3 hours. When it was done chilling, I topped the cake with diced pear, and put a glaze on top to make them shine. I topped them off with a pickled cherry blossom, which we picked up last year in Japan. To finish the cake, I tied a pink ribbon around it. It ended up looking really beautiful and was a perfect thing to bake for spring. The cherry blossom on top looked really nice, and was appropriate because right now in Korea, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Overall, I was really happy with the results. Not only did the lady fingers turn out great, but the pear cream was sinful. It was soooooo good (yes, I do need that many Os). Normally in desserts, we might be used to eating a pear slice, so I wasn’t sure what the expect from pear flavored cream. But, holy moly! It was full of pear flavor! There is no doubt that I will definitely be making this again. I ended up sharing it with some old and new adoptee friends that we met for dinner that night for Korean food, which I was really happy to do. Nothing like bringing people together through homemade sweets!