The September 2009 Daring Bakers' Challenge has been chosen by Steph of a whisk and a spoon. Steph chose Vols-au-Vent, which we are pretty sure in French means, “After one bite we could die and go to heaven!”
Well, this was a fun challenge, I've made puff pastry from scratch twice so far, once in home economics when I was about 12, and once in class at college recently. It really is excellent when you make it yourself.
I was really excited to make vol-au-vents too, I've had them at many parties and occasions, unfortunately they seem to have fallen out of favor recently, being just way too dated, but I really loved those little fluffy bites and was really looking forward to making them from scratch.
The building of the pastry worked very well, but unfortunately when I rolled it out, I didnt persist, getting a nice thin pastry, so they were a little stodgy. I was also kind of worried about weighing them down with a silpat to make them rise evenly, so they were a little loopy when they baked! My husband says they look like geoducks. Ick!
I decided upon two fillings, I remember really loving mushroom vol au vents, so I sauteed some mushrooms and garlic, added a sprinkle of red pepper and black pepper, a touch of 'better than bouillon' mushroom, a sprinkle of flour and then reduced the sauce down. Mmm. Bit ugly looking but very tasty.
For dessert I whipped up some heavy cream with honey, and filled the vol au vents, then added slices of figs and walnuts.
I was very happy to see all the layers in the pastry, although they were really heavy to eat since they were so thick. Oh well, I'll just have to keep practicing!!