For this purpose you must have a circular or drum-shaped un mould, or a pair or more of them. The mould should be without a bottom. They can be procured at a tin-store, and are useful for other purposes. The day before you want the Charlotte russe, make a stiff plain jelly by boiling a set of calves' feet (four) in a gallon of water till the meat drops from the bone. It should boil slowly till the liquid is reduced to less than two quarts. Then, having strained it, measure into a pan three pints of the liquid, cover it, and set it away to congeal. Next morning, it should be a solid cake, from which you must carefully scrape off all the fat and sediment. Boil a vanilla bean in half a pint of milk, till the milk is very highly flavoured with the vanilla. Then strain it, and set it away to get cold. Take three pints of rich cream, put it into a shallow pan, set it on ice, and beat it to a stiff froth with rods or a whisk; or churn it to a foam with a little tin churn. Next, add to the cream the vanilla milk, and beat both together. Melt the jelly in a pan over the fire. Beat very light the yolks of six eggs, and then stir gradually into the beaten egg half a pound of powdered loaf-sugar. Next, add, by degrees, the melted jelly to the egg and sugar, stirring very hard. Keep the vessel sitting on ice, and continue stirring till the mixture is firm enough to retain the mark of the spoon. Then stir in the cream as quickly as possible. Have ready the tin mould, lined with the long thin cakes callen lady-fingers, or finger biscuits, brushed over with beaten white of egg. They must be laid closely across, each other on the bottom of a dish, and be so arranged as to stand up in a circle round the sides of the mould, each wrapping a little over the other. Then carefully put in the mixture, and cover the top with lady-fingers laid closely across. After the whole is nicely arranged, set it on ice till wanted. When you wish to turn out the Charlotte russe, (which must be done with great care,) wrap round the outside of the mould a coarse towel dipped in cold water, and lift it off from the charlotte.
Instead of lady-fingers you may use sponge-cake for the shape or form. Cut two circular slices from a large spongecake, one for the bottom, and one for the top of the charlotte, and for the wall or sides arrange tall, square slices of the cake, all of them standing up so as to wrap a little over each other. All the cake must be glazed with beaten white of egg.
A still easier way is to make an almond sponge-cake, and bake it in a drum-shaped mould or pan, or an oval one with straight or upright sides. When cold, cut on the top in one thin slice, and carefully cut out or hollow the middle, so as to make a space to contain the mixture of the charlotte, leaving bottom and sides standing. They must be left thin. Then, when the mixture is ready and quite cold, fill up the cake with it. It must be set on a china or glass dish, and kept on ice till wanted. It will require no turning out; and there is no risk of its breaking. The pieces that come out of the almond-cake when it is hollowed to receive the charlotte mixture, can be used for some other purpose, for instance, to mix with other cakes in a basket, or to dissolve at the bottom of a trifle.