Sweet Puffy Towers: Courtesan Au Chocolat Recipe

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Courtesan au chocolat! Je t’aime! I knew as soon as I saw these star-making pastries in Wes Anderson’s completely fantastic latest movie Grand Budapest Hotel that I had to try making them. Plus… I’m pretty pumped about this – it’s an online baking party and you’re invited, as I’m not the only one having an OMG choux moment today! Check out my sweet fellow blogger friends rocking some amazing courtesan au chocolat: Molly’s post on My Name Is Yeh and Renee’s post on Will Frolic For Food! So FUN to see what everyone came up with!

courtesan au chocolat - coco cake land

So what the heck are these cartoonish looking stacks?! Tall, whimsical towers of chocolate ganache-filled choux pastry dunked in the prettiest pastel glazes – I felt like a little kid creating a fantasy land of candy coloured cream puff castles. Biting into the pastry, the sugary vanilla glazed puff was airy and crisp yet it collapsed like a light, chocolate-filled cloud in my mouth. It was my first time making choux and it was pretty much this Grand Budapest Hotel courtesan au chocolat video that propelled me to get baking. Chouxper powers!

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I love the cartoon-like, fantastical feel of these  - I topped them with the cutest berry shaped candies my friend Amy sent me in the mail and a light dusting of sprinkles. Serve these crazy things at your next party and get ready to blow some minds!

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Courtesan Au Chocolat A La Grand Budapest Hotel

One dozen

Choux Pastry Puffs

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 larger pinch of sugar
  • 4 beaten eggs

Milk Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 cups of high quality milk chocolate (I used Lindt brand)

Vanilla Cream Glaze

  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 5 teaspoons cream (plus more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • gel colouring in pink, sky blue and green

Simple Vanilla Buttercream

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk

Make The Choux Pastry Puffs

Note: you will need three baking sheets, each lined with a piece of parchment paper. You will also need a piping bag fitted with an open circle tip. 

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat. Slowly mix in sifted flour.
  3. Return to heat, stirring and cook for a minute until dough forms a buttery lump.
  4. Let cool slightly.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until combined.
  6. Stir in the egg mixture into the flour mixture, mixing until combined.
  7. Using a piping bag fitted with an open circle tip, pipe out the choux dough in three different sizes to form the towers – golf ball sized, walnut sized then quarter sized. Tip: if your piped dots have “tails”, fill a tiny bowl with warm water and dip a clean finger into the bowl and use your finger to press down the “tail.”
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until puffy and happily browned on the bottom; remove the quarter-sized ones after 20 or so minutes.
  9. Using a paring knife, cut an “X” slit into the bottom of each puff to allow steam to escape.

Make The Ganache!

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream on medium-low heat until it reaches a low boil.
  2. Add the chocolate; turn off the heat and let sit for ten minutes untouched.
  3. Whisk together to form a silky ganache.
  4. Power chill in the freezer for 30 minutes until ganache thickens enough to pipe into pastry puffs.
  5. Once puffs are cool and ganache is thick enough fill a piping bag with ganache and pipe into the bottoms of the puffs.

Make The Glaze

  1. Combine all ingredients for the glaze in a medium bowl; whisk together until smooth.
  2. Pour equal amounts into three smaller bowls and tint each one a different pastel colour.

Make The Buttercream

  1. Combine all ingredients for the buttercream in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Beat on high until fluffy and light. Add a tiny amount of sky blue gel food colouring to tint.
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star tip with the buttercream.

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The lump of flour and butter before the eggs are added.

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Piped out choux in three sizes, and the ganache!

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Just out of the oven puffy puffballs – make an “X” cut into the bottom of each to release steam (and for filling!)

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Use a piping bag filled with cooled, thickened ganache to fill the puffs. Then, dip them into bowls of glaze!

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With your blue buttercream in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip, build up your towers of power like so! Serve them freshly made the day-of!

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So completely dreamy and truly, rather comedic-looking. Kind of in love with pastries inspired by movies! I need to make the creepy Valentines cake from Picnic At Hanging Rock. What other movie pastries should I attempt?? Hope you enjoyed this triple whammy online choux party courtesan au chocolat blogger attack as much as I did. Have you made courtesan au chocolat yet? I think it would be such a fun thing to make for a fanciful baking party for a bridal shower or birthday – get your buddies together and go crazy with decor and piping…! xo Lyndsay

35 Responses to “Sweet Puffy Towers: Courtesan Au Chocolat Recipe”

  1. Kelly @ Studio DIY

    These. Are. AMAZING. I can’t even TAKE IT! I need these in my life. STAT!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      kellllyy thank you so much!! i can totally see you having a BALL making these!!! xoxo

  2. Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    !!!!

    YOU GUYS ARE ADORABLE.

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      michelle!!! awww! you are adorable too! ^__^

  3. renee shuman

    yes yes yeeesss! that gif RULES! Those whole thing rules! *does a choux inspired dance* YAYYY!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      heehee i am so pumped you like my GIF! haha… choux inspired dance!! i’m doin’ a little choux jig right now, too! ^__^

  4. cynthia

    These are so fantastic!! You three ladies are too talented — and I loved your comment on Renee’s post, I so agree about the process being laughably hilarious in a lot of ways. I made choux a few weeks back and kept exclaiming “THEY’RE PUFFING” every few minutes like a broken record. Love this so much!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      haha! they’re puffing – yes i was watching mine in the oven and i did a little squeal when i saw them rising too!! aw thanks so much cynthia, i’m such a fan of your beautiful food! xo

    2. cynthia

      Ooh, I forgot to say — LOVE your step photos!!! <3<3

  5. danielle @ this picture books life

    The photo in process/GIF is too much. This whole post is too much! In the absolute best most wonderful way!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      heehee! thank you so much, danielle! i had a lot of fun making the GIF! ^__^ xo

  6. jan

    so cute lyndsay!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      hooray! thanks so much jan! xo

  7. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    This all turned out so well!!! I’m sad I wasn’t able to squeeze this into my crazy hectic life at the moment, but hopefully I can join in on your next blogger partay. !!! xoxo

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      hi sara! aw thank you!! yes, next blogger party once everything is less busy for you! ^__^

  8. Emily

    oh these are AMAZING!!! you did such a great job. I love the grand budapest hotel and I’ve been meaning to give these a try but there is no hope that they will turn out at as wonderful as yours! thanks for sharing :-D

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      emily!! no way, i just know you’d make the cutest vintage-touch adorable courtesan au chocolat!! isn’t the movie fantastic??

  9. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Lyndsay, you are so incredibly talented! Your courtesan au chocolat is simply stunning, as are these photos. I made choux pastry for the first time a few months ago and it was pretty disastrous (no puffing. They were sad ‘n flat). I still ate them though ;)

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      nancy, you are so sweet!! thank you so much. eeks, i was pretty freaked to try the choux, and i gotta say i was surprised it puffed up – i’ve had MANY first time bombs in the kitchen! you should definitely try it again! i bet they were still delicious! :)

  10. Sarah | The Sugar Hit

    These pastries? These photos? That GIF?! All killer no filler.

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      sarah!! love it! thank you kindly!!

  11. Kathleen

    Lyndsay, OH MY GOODNESS these are beyond words. So adorable, you’re a genius!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      oh geez thank you SO much, kathleen! too sweet! xo

  12. Ombre Pink Lemonade Courtesan au Chocolat

    […] Molly Yeh (My Name is Yeh),  Lyndsay Sung (Cococakeland) and I geeked out nerd-girl style over these pastries. We’ve all posted Mendl’s inspired courtesan au chocolat recipes today! You can check out Molly’s Matcha, Ube, & Raspberry version here. And Lyndsay’s sweet puffy towers of goodness here! […]

    Reply
  13. Kate

    Hi Lyndsay! I found your blog via my friend (and your friend) Tara Carmichael. So, so gorgeous. I love the Courtesan au chocolat, they remind me of something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      hi kate! aw i love that comparison!! thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

  14. Michelle @ MakeMeCake.Me

    These are so Alice in Wonderland! I love them!! :) Also, that video was so much fun. That movie is on my must see list!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      another fantastic reference – these would be SO fun at an alice in wonderland tea party!! thanks for stopping by, michelle! ^__^

  15. lori

    Maybe we should have a summer baking afternoon with Christa + sister + wild kids! Or summer backyard picnic with new & old pals….

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      LK yeah!!! we can make these crazy things together!! kid-free though… :) i think backyard summer picnic sounds perfect!! those kiddos are too young to bake just yet… only a couple of weeks ago i had teddy crack his first egg though, it was hilarious! he cracked the whole shell into the bowl and then put his hand in the bowl to play with the egg. ^__^

  16. Janet

    Simply fabulous dawling! Fun,fun,fun. I started decorating cakes after 11th grade. Learning to decorate cakes was the most wonderful way to spend a summer! 44 yrs decorating and I have never tried to make these pastries. Your pics are very helpful and inspirational. Thank you for sharing your talent and enthusiasm.

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      janet, i LOVE it! thank you so much for stopping by. 11th grade!! incredible. i wish i had started earlier… :) 44 years is an illustrious career indeed, i am so glad that my post has inspired you! xo

  17. fridays are my fave | You Are My Fave

    […] the best at throwing perfect understated parties 2. Hooray Today! 3. I’m going to make these sweet puffy towers when I feel fancy 4. I’m one click away from buying this painting from Hillary Butler 5. […]

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  18. JulietteSurprise

    OK i must admit, being french, american so-called “cake recipe” often amaze me as they mostly consist in “mix a box of cake magic powder mix with…” and end up being un-tasteful pretty things. But THIS ONE! THIS RECIPE OF YOURS! It just sounds as GOOD as it looks amazingly pretty. I MUST TRY THOSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Thank you!!!

    Reply

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