Chocolate, Meet Charlotte: Martha's Rich Take on a Classic French Dessert

From the cake to the cream filling to the topping, Martha's chocolate charlotte bursts with deep, dark, chocolatey flavor.

chocolate charlotte martha bakes
Photo: Mike Krautter

When it comes to the elegant French dessert known as charlotte, Martha seems to know no bounds. The basic concept-line a mold with sponge cake, ladyfingers, biscuits or cookies; then spoon in some sort of filling, whether fruit, mousse or custard-is endlessly adaptable. She's made individual charlottes with brioche and pears, a gorgeous green charlotte with store-bought ladyfingers and pistachios, and even a muffin-tin version with thinly sliced bread and sour cherries. Now, she's reinventing the classic again, this time in a way that will delight chocolate lovers.

Nearly every component of Martha's chocolate charlotte is loaded with luxurious chocolate flavor, from the cocoa ladyfingers to the chocolatey Bavarian cream filling to the milk chocolate curls on top. The combination of semisweet chocolate (55 to 61 percent), Dutch-process cocoa powder, and milk chocolate make for an opulent, nuanced dessert perfect for a special occasion. Find out how to make this treat below, and tune in to Martha Bakes this weekend to learn more about cocoa and see how it can also enhance an unusual (and delicious) savory black bread, as well as an outrageous chess pie.

Chocolate Charlotte

After you place the cocoa-flavored ladyfingers standing upright inside the cake ring, Martha has you brush them with a rum syrup before pouring in the chocolate filling. As the charlotte sets, the ladyfingers absorb the syrup, and the result is truly decadent.

Get the Chocolate Charlotte Recipe

black bread martha bakes
Mike Krautter

Black Bread

This strikingly dark bread looks fantastic when sliced and served with bright toppings, such as cream cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber slices. The secret ingredient-cocoa powder -lends a rich color and depth of flavor.

Get the Black Bread Recipe

chocolate chess pie martha bakes
Mike Krautter

Double-Chocolate Chess Pie

Cookbook author, Virginia Willis, shares her chocolate twist on the old-fashioned Southern dessert known as chess pie. She keeps many of the traditional elements-cornmeal, buttermilk-and then adds bittersweet chocolate chips and cocoa powder.

Get the Double-Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

Martha Bakes season 11 airs on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings).

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