This recipe resembles a charlotte russe, a classic French dessert in which a mold is lined with ladyfingers, sponge cake or bread brushed with flavoring, such as liqueur, coffee or fruit juice. The mold is filled with whipped cream-custard and chilled until set.
Speed-thaw strawberries by placing them in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwaving 10 minutes on MEDIUM-LOW (20 to 30% power). Remove the bowl from the microwave and let it stand until the strawberries are thawed.
Use very low heat to dissolve gelatin, and remove it from the heat as soon as the granules disappear. To check that gelatin is dissolved, stir it with a clean metal spoon. If the granules cling to the spoon, continue heating until they dissolve.