Appetizers

Make your own taste of Mendl’s

The fictional Mendl’s bakery of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” inspired these chocolate-filled cream puffs, condensed versions of the movie’s Courtesan au Chocolat pastries.
The fictional Mendl’s bakery of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” inspired these chocolate-filled cream puffs, condensed versions of the movie’s Courtesan au Chocolat pastries. Kathy Morrison

When it comes to food on film in 2015, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” maybe a runaway winner — at least in the pastry division.

That movie inspired plenty of real-life cooks to tackle the film’s fictional (and magical) Mendl’s bakery specialty: Courtesan au Chocolat. Basically a triple-decker cream puff, this fantasy pastry is as incredibly light yet rich and complicated (and many layered) as the Oscar-nominated movie. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is up for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture. The winners will be revealed Sunday night.

Home cooks can make the multi-story Courtesans or stick to something a little simpler. Our version, created by The Bee’s Kathy Morrison, is one-puff tall but loaded with all the extras. Find the recipe here along with a video on how to make Courtesan au Chocolat.

For folks in a rush or who feel overwhelmed by making the pastry puffs, there’s a short cut. Start with pre-made pastry puffs (available in the supermarket freezer case), then concentrate on making the filling, frosting and assembly. The results will still wow your Oscar party guests — or any movie fans who want a taste of fantasy pastry.

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

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