It's not that there's anything particularly difficult about making a charlotte russe, nor is it very expensive. It has more to do with the time --there's a lot of fridge time while parts of it "set", and the actual construction of it.
It's worth the time though. Drool...
All you need is a bit of jello mix, some whipping cream, custard powder mix, and a swiss roll (commonly called a jam sponge roll).
This is all you need:
The first thing you do is mix your jello according to the package instructions. And then let it cool. DO NOT LET IT COOL SO LONG THAT IT SETS!
Then line a really large glass bowl with cling wrap. It doesn't have to be pretty or neat:
Slice the swiss roll into 1 cm thick pieces:
and then line the bowl with the pieces.
Cut up the last two pieces to fill in the gaps:
Now you ladle your cooled but not set jello over the roll:
Make sure the sponge rolls are completely soaked in jello!
Now put it in the fridge overnight (or all day) to really set the jello.
Let's make the custard --it too goes in the fridge all day.
Add three times as much custard powder as the directions call for. Yes, it will be lumpy even after heating and stirring thoroughly. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 15 mins or so. It will look like you ruined the custard, don't worry.
Put the lumpy, ugly custard into a mixing bowl, pour in scant 1/2 cup of whipping cream and then beat the heck out of it with your electric mixer. See, all nice and purdy and really tasty now!
Put that bowl in the fridge overnight too.
The next morning...
The custard should be thick enough to paste to the inside of the jello-set spongecake:
Don't be afraid to use lots of custard!
Now put it back in the fridge for a few hours.
At around lunchtime open your can of peach slices and drain them really really really well.
Arrange them nicely in the custard thusly:
It's now time to whip the whipping cream! Once it's whipped so it's really thick then pile the whipped cream on!
Place a piece of cling wrap over the top, and set a large plate on top:
Turn it over so the plate is now on the bottom:
Put it in the fridge till dessert time. It's own weight will pack it down nicely after a few hours.
When you are ready to serve it, take it out of the fridge. Take the bowl off:
Remove the cling wrap too.
Get ready to slice and serve!
It holds together quite well:
This piece is MINE! You can't have it so go make your own!
And don't forget to run an extra 20 miles the next day...