There are quite a few things to contemplate while watching Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel – the colors! Ralph Fiennes! – but maybe you'll think more about the pastries. The courtesan au chocolat, specifically, the fictional pastry that's a favorite of main character Gustave H. and subsequently figures largely into the film's plot.
In the film, a fictional bakery named Mendl's Patisserie creates the sweet; in reality, BuzzFeed explains, German baker Anemone Mülle created it for the film, using a French pastry, a religieuse, as inspiration (incidentally, the religieuse is so named because it resembles a nun in her habit. What, then, is the courtesan au chocolat intended to resemble? Exactly.).
As fiction can sometimes become fact, the filmmakers also gave BuzzFeed the recipe (with video!) so you can make it in your own kitchen. If, however, you have neither the skill nor the patience to make this at home, do the next best thing and go visit the very real, and very good, Little Flower Candy Co., where pastry chef Cecilia Leung has re-created the courtesan au chocolat. Which is as terrific as Gustave makes it out to be.
The courtesan au chocolat at Little Flower may as well have come from Mendl's: three plump puffs neatly stacked atop one another, filled with lovely chocolate, frosted lightly in Wes Anderson-appropriate pastel. Does it resemble a courtesan the way a religieuse resembles a nun? Maybe. Probably depends on what the results of your Rorschach test look like.
Leung says the courtesans au chocolat will be available for just the next few weeks, all the more reason to see the movie sooner rather than later if you haven't already seen it, and to get to Little Flower sooner rather than later if you already have. To better discuss pastries as symbols, religious and otherwise.