The first time I heard of Roses de Reims biscuits, I instantly wanted to try them. Roses de Reims are little pink finger cookies, dusted with powdered sugar, that are usually used to dip into sparkling wines. The little pink finger cookies quickly absorb the bubbly liquid and make your sparkling wine experience that much more special.
Roses de Reims were created in the 1690’s in Reims, France. They are a product of the Biscuits Fossier Company. Unfortunately the company itself does not ship their product to the US, but you can order them from the website, Simply Gourmand. Or you could even try your hand at making them yourself. They might be a little different than Fossier’s, but at least you’d have the satisfaction of making them homemade. I have actually attached a recipe for them by Dorie Greenspan at the bottom of this post just for that very reason.
When I received my beautiful little package of Roses de Reims biscuits, of course, I had to have a few dipped in sparkling wine, but I decided to use the majority of them in this Charlotte with Strawberries recipe. It’s printed right on the side of the package. Of course, the recipe is listed in French, but I have taken on the trouble of translating the recipe for my readers. It’s a lovely springtime dessert. Keep in mind, the biscuits are basically a pink ladyfinger, so they do absorb liquid quickly. When dipping each one in the sugar syrup, make sure to do it quickly so you don’t absorb too much liquid, making the fingers fall apart.
CHARLOTTE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND ROSES DE REIMS PINK BISCUITS
24 Biscuits Roses of Reims
25 g of sugar
75 g of water
250 g of sliced strawberries
250 g of liquid cream (this is basically Crème fraîche)
125 g of fromage blanc (You can sometimes find this at Whole Foods or Trader Joes if you don’t have a specialty store nearby. If they don’t have it, substitute Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt)
1 sachet of vanilla sugar (if not available, use 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar, though sometimes you can find it at Walmart or on Amazon. Some people like to make their own vanilla sugar by scraping vanilla pods into their sugar and letting it sit for a time. If you are one of those people, then use 1 to 2 teaspoons of that.)
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Mix the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add vanilla extract, then let cool. Lightly dip the cookies on the unsweetened side in the syrup and line the sides and bottom of a 18 cm Charlotte mold with the sugared side of the cookies facing outward, syrup side facing inward. I used a flat bottom bowl because I don’t have a Charlotte mold, and it worked perfectly.
- Place the liquid cream (Crème fraîche) in a bowl and whip with the vanilla sugar, then gently incorporate the fromage blanc (or plain whole milk Greek yogurt).
- Pour half of the cream into the mold, sprinkle with sliced strawberries, then cover with 4 pink syrup-soaked cookies (Sugar side up). Cover with another layer of the cream and strawberries. Smooth and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
- Once set, gently dump the Charlotte out of your mold and decorate the top with strawberries.
Recipe by Biscuits Fossier Company
ROSES DE REIMS (PINK BISCUITS)
Yield: 16 cookies
- ⅔ cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (45 grams) cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Red food coloring, optional
- ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
- Working with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites at medium speed until opaque. Increase the speed to high, and add half the sugar (1/4 cup), 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a stiff-peaked, glossy meringue. Transfer to another bowl (if necessary), and put the yolks in the original bowl (no need to wash it). Beat the yolks, the remaining sugar and the vanilla on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping as needed, until pale and thick. Add enough food coloring to tint the batter deep pink, if you’d like.
- Turn the meringue out over the yolks, and working with a flexible spatula and a gentle hand, fold the 2 mixtures together until almost combined. Fold in half the dry ingredients, and when almost blended, add the rest, and finish incorporating — check the bottom of the bowl for lurking flour. If you’re using parchment paper, use a little of the mixture to “glue” the four corners to the baking sheet.
- Scrape batter into a piping bag with about a 1-inch opening (no tip needed). Pipe out roughly 4-by-1-inch fingers, spaced at least 1 inch apart. Sift confectioners’ sugar generously over the cookies, leave 5 minutes, then repeat.
- Bake for 6 minutes, then rotate the pan, and bake 6 minutes more. Turn off the oven, prop the door open a crack (I use a wooden spoon) and let the biscuits dry for at least 30 minutes (or for up to 2 hours). Serve now, or store in an airtight container. They’ll hold for 1 week.
Recipe by Dorie Greenspan