ByJonathan J Moya, writer at
Movie loving owner of a fashion boutique.
Jonathan J Moya

[The Grand Budapest Hotel](movie:400227) is so evocatively rich and cultured that it is not surprising that director Wes Anderson is sharing with fans some of its culinary secrets. The cooking lesson (of hopefully many more to come) is all about creating M. Gustave’s (Ralph Fiennes) favorite dessert, “courtesan au chocolat”. The pastry is the signature piece de resistance from Mendl’s, a bakery featured in the film. It looks so decadently scrumptious that I will get my master chef wife to recreate one. Look for the foodie review sometime early next week.

For more see my blog.

Here is the recipe to save you many reviewing and lots of mental calories:


I The Pastry

II The Filling

III The Decoration

IV The Assembly

I The Pastry

Make a choux pastry of flour, water, butter and eggs.

Though correct portions may vary depending on one’s elevation and humidity, we recommend: 1 cup of plain flour

1 cup of fresh water

1/4 lb of butter

4 eggs beaten in a bowl

A pinch of salt

A larger pinch of sugar

Bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil.

Remove from the fire and quickly mix in the sifted flour.

Return to heat for a few minutes, stirring and cooking until the dough forms a single lump.

Allow mixture to cool just enough to prevent the eggs from cooking when added. Stir in eggs very gradually with a strong wooden spoon.

Remove from heat and chill.

Once chilled, spoon the chocolate cream into a pastry bag and pipe into the large and medium pastry balls

Pipe the dough into small, medium and large size dollops on a tray. Large tablespoon dollop. Teaspoon dollop. Hazelnut size dollop.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for about 25-35 minutes. The smaller pastries are best put on a second tray as they will cook more quickly.

Remove from the oven and discreetly make a small piercing in the choux to allow the steam to escape.

II The Filling

Once cooled, the large and medium choux should be filled with a cream patissiere of chocolate, egg yolks and sugar.

1 1/2 of whole milk

Several large pieces semi-sweet chocolate

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

2 spoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon of flour cornstarch to thicken

Heat the milk gently, and add chocolate, stirring to melt into a rich, almost steaming chocolate milk.

Whisk egg yolks, flour and sugar, cocoa and a few spoonfuls of cornstarch into a smooth mixture.

Add half of the hot chocolate milk to the bowl, a little at a time, stirring constantly.

Then add this mixture back into the rest of the hot milk, stirring over gentle heat for a few minutes until the mixture thickens to a custard.

III The Decoration

Prepare a glaze of confectioner’s sugar, a dash of vanilla and enough milk to achieve the desired consistency.

Separate into 3 small bowls and add food color to each– one lavender, one pale green and one pink.

Dip each pastry into icing (to the midline) and place it on a tray– the large pastry in lavender, the medium in pale green and the small in pink.

Allow to dry.

Decorate the balls with filigree of white chocolate as desired.

IV The Assembly

Place a dollop of icing (preferably a pale blue) atop a large pastry ball.

Take a medium pastry ball and press it gently on the larger so it sticks in place. The butter cream should act as a glue.

Repeat with one of the small balls atop the first two.

Make a small butter cream “star” on the top and place a single cocoa bean on the star as a garnish.

Serve fresh.

The End.


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