4 X 75 g/4 X 3 oz/4 small packets of
sponge (lady) finger biscuits
45 ml/3 tbsp milk
45 ml/3 tbsp brandy
50 g/2 oz unsalted (sweet) butter, softened
100 g/4 oz icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted
10 ml/2 tsp instant coffee powder or granules
10 ml/2 tsp hot water
300 ml double (heavy) cream
Walnut halves, to decorate
Use some of the sponge fingers to line
the base and sides of a 20 cm/8 in deep, round, loose-bottomed cake
tin (pan), sugared sides out. Mix together the milk and 15 ml/1 tbsp
of the brandy and brush the exposed surfaces of the sponge fingers.
Beat together the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Dissolve the
coffee in the water and beat into the butter icing (frosting). Whip
the cream until peaking. Spoon half into a separate bowl and whisk the
remaining brandy into the other. Spread a layer of half the butter
icing over the base of the lined tin. Top with a layer of sponge
fingers, trimming to fit. Brush with some of the remaining milk and
brandy mixture. Top with half the brandy-flavored cream. Repeat the
layers, finishing with a layer of brandy cream. Chill until firm.
Trim the tops of the sponge fingers level with the top of the cream.
Remove the sides of the tin but leave on the base for easier serving.
Place on a serving plate. Use the remaining whipped cream to fill a
piping bag fitted with a large star tube (tip) and pipe rosettes of
cream all round the top edge. Decorate with a few walnut halves and
chill again until ready to serve. For an attractive finishing touch,
tie a contrasting ribbon round the charlotte, if liked.