Wes Anderson’s quirky and touching film The Grand Budapest Hotel may not be favorited to win for Best Comedy/Musical during Sunday night's Golden Globes ceremony (critics are rooting for Birdman), but it is one of the most charming movies of 2014, especially when it came to dessert. For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, we won’t spoil the significance of Zubrowska’s best dessert—Mendl’s Courtesan au Chocolat—but we can share how to make it for your Globes Party. Fox Searchlight released a video with step-by-step instructions and we've detailed them below.
NOTE: These guys are filmmakers, not bakers, so forgive them if their descriptions aren’t quite as precise as you’re used to. We've tried to fill in the gaps. If it still feels dubious, just use this Food & Wine recipe for cream puff dough (aka pâte à choux)
1 cup flour
1 cup water
8 tablespoons butter
4 eggs, beaten
A pinch of salt
A larger pinch of sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Several large pieces of semi-sweet chocolate
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch (plus more if your filling isn't thick enough)
Buttercream frosting for assembly
Special Equipment: A pastry bag
Related: Strawberry Cream Puffs Recipe
For the pastry
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the flour. Return the pan to the heat and stir until the dough forms a single lump. Allow to cool just enough to keep the eggs from cooking and stir them into the pan gradually with a strong wooden spoon.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper pipe the dough into dollops of three sizes: tablespoon, teaspoon and hazelnut-sized. Bake for 25-35 minutes (the smaller pastries will cook more quickly). Remove from the oven and pierce the bottom with a knife.
For the filling
In a saucepan heat the milk gently (over medium-low) and add the chocolate, stirring to melt into a rich, almost steaming chocolate milk. In medium bowl whisk the egg yolks, flour, sugar, cocoa and 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 low heat until the mixture thickens to a custard. Remove from heat and chill for 3 hours.
Once cooled, spoon the chocolate crème into a pasty bag and pipe into the large and medium pastry balls.
Prepare a glaze of confectioners sugar, a dash of vanilla and enough milk to achieve the desired consistency. Separate the glaze into 3 small bowls and add food color to each – one lavender, one pale green and one pink. Dip each pastry in icing (to the midline) and place it on a tray—the large pasty in lavender, the medium in pale green and the small in pink. Decorate the balls with filigree of white chocolate as desired.
Place a dollop of icing atop a large pastry ball. Take a medium size ball pastry ball and press it gently on the larger so it sticks in place. Repeat with one of the small balls atop the first two. Make a small butter cream "star" (using a fluted tip) on the top and place a single cocoa bean on the star as a garnish.