I'm Not Getting a Job at Mendl's

December 17, 2020

I had been planning FOR YEARS to make these adorable courtesan au chocolat (aka chocolate-filled cream puffs) from the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel. You would think that during the peak of stay-at-home orders, I would have used my time to make these. Well, it took about nine months of pandemic life to finally make these---and with some holiday flair. 
As Andrew Rea said on his video recreating these on Binging with Babish, it takes way too much effort and I don't have a delicate hand (nor the patience) to decorate these pastries with the finesse and beauty it may require. 

They turned out pretty clunky but then they managed to elevate to the level of extreme ugliness when I packaged the pastries into plastic treat bags. The glaze got too moist and started liquifying. It was all too horrifying. But the couple friends that I was brave enough to gift them to thought they were delicious, regardless of how hideous they were. 

Worth all the effort? Definitely, not. I was like a chicken with its head cut off for the 2.5 hours it took to make these. I burned white chocolate in the microwave, glaze was getting everywhere and there were too many variables to keep track of. BUT, they were quite delicious! 

Would I try again? Maybe because I like a good challenge but possibly in another 4 or 5 years (or in a few months because that's the equivalent in pandemic living, right?) 
The Recipe: Courtesan Au Chocolat from Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel are tasty but high maintenance little goodies.
Recipe Notes: 
  • make the chocolate filling ahead of time to alleviate the work on the day of making the pastry
  • when piping out the largest puffs, go for dollops. i'm not sure why i tried to pipe them like soft serve ice cream, which didn't give them much height. 
  • use a piping tip when filling them, makes it easier to get into the pastry. and don't overfill them.
  • molly suggested making the glaze thick (like frosting) so it adheres better to the pastry and shows off the color. 
the icing liquified after being put (they were cooled) into a plastic treat bag. very sad courtesan au chocolat

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