Courtesan au Chocolat (prototype)

Well, it took almost all day but…I was successful in making these. They are the pastries from the movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, that I am totally enchanted with. They were quite a project. The choux pastry was a challenge. The chocolate filling turned out marvelous but was difficult to handle due to its consistency. The glaze and frostings were too thin but…I didn’t want them thick so I guess it’s a trade-off.

So here’s the final judgment. I was forewarned about failure concerning the amount of eggs, the necessity of beating vigorously when incorporating those eggs and making sure to bake the puffs until brown all over. Well, I wasn’t totally successful but…it’s just one of those days. That’s why these are only a prototype. Practice makes perfect, right???

Taste: wonderful!!!
Choux pastry: could have been browned more but…will watch more carefully next time.
Frosting colors: very close to the original so I wasn’t too unhappy about that.
Chocolate filling: so good that it almost didn’t make it into the puffs!!!
Assembly: really does need a stick to keep the puffs all together. Otherwise, they would slide apart.

Sorry, you weren’t here to enjoy one. I photographed, sampled and gave away.

Here’s the recipe. It is vague because it’s vague in the video on the official website for The Grand Budapest Hotel. It worked out OK for me but what is it about a “pinch of” this and a “spoon of” that??? We all get a little unsure of ourselves with those kinds of measurements. And, I was advised that “medium eggs” were important and I had “large eggs.” So, a look at the internet told me that a medium egg should have 2 T. white and 1 T. yolk. I measured mine (not an easy task) and discovered the large eggs to be that exact measurement. Should I go back to the store and complain???

1 c. sifted flour
1 c. water
1/4# butter
4 medium eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Heat water to almost boiling and add butter to melt. Remove from heat for a moment and stir in flour, sugar and salt vigorously. Put back on heat and cook until the flour starts to form a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Gradually stir in eggs, beating well to incorporate. Put batter in a pastry bag and pipe onto parchment lined baking sheet making 3 sizes of dollops, small, medium and large. I was able to make 8 of each. Bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Mine needed a lot of extra time. I was warned to bake them until good and browned all over. Put on rack to cool and punch a small hole in the bottom to let out steam.


1 1/2 c. milk
“chocolate pieces” There was no measurement on the recipe but it looked like about 4 oz. so that’s what I used. I actually used chocolate chips for this.
3 egg yolks
1 T. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 “spoons” cocoa; use your own discretion.
“A little cornstarch” to thicken. I used 1 T.
Heat the milk and add the chocolate. Stir to melt and combine. Beat egg yolks in a bowl. Add the flour, sugar and cocoa. Then stir in the cornstarch. Add a little of the milk mixture to this and stir well. Pour the back into the saucepan and cook until thick. Chill.

To assemble: The large and medium puffs get filled with chocolate. All puffs get a glaze of confectioners sugar and milk. I mixed up some lavender, green and pink. Each puff is dipped in the glaze and set aside. Then I mixed up some yellow frosting and put a filigree pattern on each puff. When ready to assemble, put the largest puff on a plate, place a dollop of blue frosting on the puff and place the next one on that, doing it again with the last. Use wooden skewers to hold them together. On top, place another dollop of blue and a chocolate chip or disk or nut.

A lot of work??? Yes!!! But…if only done now and then I guess worth it!!! Job would even go better if you had some help!!!