I sort of fell in love with Wes Anderson a little bit after seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel. Not only because his movie made me happy, but also because he came up with Courtesan au Chocolat, which also makes me happy. So, double happiness = in love.
That man clearly possesses a first-rate mind. He spun off Courtesan au Chocolat from the French pastry Religieuse. Instead of 2 profiteroles (cream puffs) stacked on top of each other like Religieuse, however, Courtesan has 3. Religieuse, as you know, means nun. Courtesan, on the other hand, means prostitute. 2-stack vs. 3-stack. I can’t explain it, but it’s just so clever. You can’t help but admire that creativity and the mind behind it.
There’s more. The Courtesan is also happily colored and playfully decorated. The puffs are dipped in pastel glaze and then decorated with white chocolate filigree. The whole thing is just too fanciful to be considered a “nun”. Courtesan seems more apt.
I don’t know what else to say. To think that a courtesan could make me so happy. I was happy when I first saw it in the movie, happy when I was making it, and happy when I was finally able to taste it. The whole thing just made me happy. Wes Anderson made me so darn happy and I never even met him!
Courtesan au Chocolat
This YouTube video shows you how to make this pastry from start to finish.
I, of course, deviated. Partly because I wanted a different kind of filling and I didn’t like the taste of the sugar glaze. This is what I did:
For the choux pastry
I followed my recipe for Religieuse, which is identical to the recipe posted in the video, with the exception of the sugar. I did try adding the pinch of sugar, but could not detect any difference in the result. A more interesting idea may be to sprinkle the sugar on top of the choux dough prior to baking, which yields a crackled finish on the exterior of the profiteroles. But since we’re going to dip them in glaze, or in my case, white chocolate ganache, this, too, is unnecessary.
For the filling
I wanted chocolate mousse, but I didn’t want to have to deal with raw eggs or heavy cream, so I opted for the simplest chocolate mousse recipe ever, using only 2 ingredients: water and chocolate. Yes, you read right. Water and chocolate, melted together, then whipped over ice, make light, fluffy, and chocolatey mousse. A French chemist, Hervé This, invented the recipe, which will forever change the way you look at water and chocolate. Food 52 has the recipe.
When I tried the recipe as is, I couldn’t get my mousse to get any thicker than the consistency of a thick fudge sauce. Could be because I used semi-sweet milk chocolate which may not have enough fat content, so I added 3/4 cup of extra chocolate chunks. The good thing about this recipe is that it’s very forgiving. You can re-melt the water & chocolate mixture and start over, which was what I did, with the addition of the extra chocolate. Now I got thick mousse!
For the glaze
I wasn’t crazy about the way the sugar glaze tasted or looked. I decided to use white chocolate ganache instead. Follow the recipe for the chocolate ganache from my Religieuse recipe, but use white chocolate. Tint as desired.
Assembling the courtesans
Use buttercream icing or ready-made cake icing to stack the profiteroles. Decorate as you like with more icing and melted white chocolate. Top courtesans with cocoa beans like the video suggested or use raisinets. That was what I did.
These were so much fun to make! To see them come together looking just like those in the movie was incredible. You really should give them a try. It’ll make you happy, guaranteed!
Features from FF41 are:
Blueberry Rosemary Foccacia from Julianna@Foodie On Board.
In Nancy’s words, “The first thing that caught my eye were the blueberries bursting open in the warm bread. Julianna’s photos had me drooling and tasting (if only virtually) the delicious flavors. I fear if I made this focaccia, I would eat it all in one sitting.”
As for me, I thought at first it was a sweet blueberry bread kind of thing. Which excited me. Then I found out it was focaccia. Which excited me even more, like thrice more. Yah, I just wanted to say thrice :D. But, seriously, I thought it was very creative to add blueberry in a savory bread. It’s unexpected and that was why that bread was so exciting! Great recipe, Chef Julianna!
Paleo Cranberry & Beef Stuffed Acorn Squash from Lina @Strictly Delicious.
In Loretta’s words, “A great presentation and explosion of flavors in this artistic and creatively put together acorn squash. Sweet and savory get together to come up with a hearty and indescribably beautiful dish. The pictures sure make you want to reach out and help yourself to a couple. Lina’s dish took acorn squash to a higher level.”
A great presentation, agreed. Artistically put together, agreed. Indescribably beautiful sweet and savory dish, agreed. Pictures make you want to grab a few, agreed. Agreed, agreed, agreed, Loretta! Including the higher level part. Just so pretty, and it’s only acorn squash. Wow, Lina! You really do know how to make vegetables so appealing. I still can’t get over your cauliflower mac n cheese, and now this!
Carrot and Dates Kheer from Charanya @Yes! I am Vegan :)) (Yes! It must include the smile).
Charanya calls this nothing super fancy, but I beg to differ. It looks fancy the way it is presented. It sounds fancy judging from the ingredients: saffron, cashews, pistachios. And then there’s the element of surprise. Carrots in a pudding? No way, I said to myself! And then I read it, and I changed my tune. Yes way, said I! I totally get it! Why ever not? They add sweetness and color, not to mention vitamin A. Now that’s creative!
Pot of Chocolate from Liz @spades, spatulas & spoons.
For something as simple as chocolate mousse, there sure is a myriad of different recipes floating out there. This one seems perfectly easy and quick to make. That’s what chocolate mousse recipe should be. I don’t want to go through multiple steps and multiple tools and multiple bowls just to make chocolate mousse. What’s the point in that? But at the same time I also want something rich and satisfying as chocolate should be. That’s why this is a win-win recipe. Quick yet satisfying. Simple yet decadent. Everyone, bookmark this or better yet, memorize it.
Fiesta Friday #41 is co-hosted by Tracy @Scratch It and Stephanie @The Cozy Cook, 2 middle school BFFs that recently reconnected through their food blogs. Isn’t that so freaking awesome? I knew there’s something useful and practical about this blogging thing. If I do it long enough, maybe I’ll eventually get in touch with my entire elementary schoolmates who are dispersed all over the world. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Anyway, I’m just so excited to have these two gals co-hosting this week. Although I’m a little worried as well. I heard they’re a little bit Mario Kart, a little bit *NSYNC. Don’t know which is which. I have no idea what to expect. Pray for me, please! 😀
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