Calligraphy and Cakes: A Capital Idea

Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2007

The monograms on these French patisserie-style charlottes, or molded sponge cakes, consist of piped chocolate batter baked into almond-flavored cake. Each confection is filled with milk-chocolate ganache and chocolate-espresso Bavarian cream; the top and bottom are sealed with chocolate cake rounds brushed with espresso syrup. Glossy chocolate glaze and a crisp twirl of espresso Swiss meringue complete the picture. Calligraphy by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls.

Chocolate Monogram How-To
Monograms are baked into joconde, a thin almond sponge cake. You'll need a mirror-image monogram, repeated several times; ask your calligrapher, or scan from a clip-art book. Each charlotte's design should be 8 by 3 inches; 8 will fit inside two 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheets.

1. Layer parchment over templates. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip (such as Ateco #2) with pate a cigarette batter. Trace design, and freeze.

Set parchment with frozen designs in baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Add joconde batter, and spread; then bake. Cut joconde into strips, place in acetate-lined ring molds, and fill. For further instructions on creating these cakes, see the recipe for Individual Chocolate-Espresso Charlottes.

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