Hey friends, we’re almost done with holiday season – just one more to go! Time to give it all you got for New Year’s Eve, and I have the perfect, somewhat difficult, show-stopper for your friends and family. If you’ve watched the Grand Budapest Hotel, you’ll remember a very desirable dessert called Courtesan Au Chocolat. It looks regal and elegant and fragile. Believe it or not, it’s a pretty heart dessert, but elegant all the same.
Pastry can be a tricky thing. It’s all about timing and attention. But once you have it down, pastries can be incredibly durable and you can get creative with it. You can add different fillings, diving icings, and all kinds of different decorations to make something that is truly unique to you.
Best part, Courtesan Au Chocolat is chalk-full of calories. How many? I don’t know, but you better get them all in before you decide it’s time hit the gym on January 1st. I’m not your personal trainer, I’m your temptress. I use real butter and sugar. So go at it. Eat it all. I’ll try to get more everyday life health-friendly come January. I promise!
Purim is around the corner.
Would you look at that chocolate custard oozing from the light and fluffy pastry? Good stuff!
Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve been trying to think about mine. I’m sure there are things to change about my life, particularly when it comes to being active, but sometimes I have so much going on, I don’t know how to fit things in. One thing is for sure, I’m going to be spending more time here. I’ve had this blog for eight years, and it’s truly where my heart is. So tell me, what are your New Year’s resolutions?
You need this Courtesan Au Chocolat recipe. Pin the pic below!
- 1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 cup water
- 1 stick butter
- 4 eggs, beaten
- A pinch of salt
- A larger pinch of sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- Several large pieces semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 spoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Cornstarch to thicken
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Dash of vanilla
- Food coloring (pink, lavender and green)
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Bring the water, butter salt and sugar to a boil.
- Remove from the burner and quickly mix in the flour. Return to heat for a few minutes, stirring, and cook until the dough forms a single lump.
- Allow to cool just enough to keep the eggs from cooking and stir in very gradually with a strong wooden spoon.
- Line a baking sheet in parchment paper or a silpat and pipe the dough into spoon size dollops. You will need small, medium, and large size pastry balls (large tablespoon, teaspoon and hazelnut size dollops) to make a courtesan.
- Bake in the oven for about 25-35 minutes. You may want to put the smaller pastries on a separate tray as they will cook more quickly.
- Remove from the oven and discreetly make a small piercing in the choux to allow the steam to escape.
- In a saucepan, heat the milk gently and add chocolate until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, flour, sugar, cocoa and a few spoons of 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 in the saucepan, stirring over gentle heat for a few minutes until the mixture thickens to a custard.
- Remove from heat and chill.
- Mix powdered sugar, a dash of vanilla and enough milk to achieve the desired consistency.
- Separate into 3 small bowls and add food coloring to each - one pink, on lavender, one pale green. Reserve a small amount of white icing.
- Once cooled, spoon the chocolate custard into a pastry bag and pipe into the large and medium pastry balls.
- Dip the large balls in the pink icing, the medium balls in the green icing and the small balls in the purple icing. Pipe decorative squiggles on each ball with the white icing.
- Stack the balls on top of each other starting with the larger ball and ending with the smaller ball. You may want to insert a dowel down the middle for extra support.
- Pipe a dollop of white icing on the top, and place a coffee bean.