Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers September Challenge--Vols Au Vent

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

I was so excited when I heard about this challenge, a little nervous that it wouldn't work out but how fun to be able to say I made puff pastry!  I took advantage of the Labor Day 3-day weekend and made my puff pastry early in the month.  Everything went well, I didn't have any trouble with the butter melting and it was so convenient to be able to throw it in the fridge, run an errand or two, and then come back to it!  

The advantage of being a daring baker is that you end up trying recipes you wouldn't normally try.  And the host of the month has already tried the recipe and provides very helpful tips you don't normally find with a recipe.  This month I found those tips to be especially helpful and all worked well!  Here's my dough between turns. So pretty!

I happened to have 2 sizes of this scalloped heart cookie cutter, so I used that to form the vols au vents and I got a pretty good rise.  It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to put in them, but I knew I wanted to make a dessert for sure.  I ended up making white chocolate mousse (receipe from The Joy of Cooking) and combined that with some slightly too runny vanilla-peach freezer jam.  They were SO delicious that I'm craving it now as I write this!

  One of those tips from the host suggested using the scraps to make something that doesn't need a lot of rise like cheese straws. That gave me the idea of making cinnamon & sugar straws, sticks, twists, whatever you want to call them.  So, that same weekend I made these beauties that also tasted pretty good.

The next weekend I finished using up my puff pastry by making more vols au vents.  This time I used a couple different sized cups and didn't seem to get as good of a rise, maybe because the dough was a little old?  This time I made a savory filling.  I filled them with cucumber dill sauce and hickory smoked chicken!  It was pretty good.  

Then, I used the scraps and made another item suggested by the host, Napoleons!  For some reason I've been wanting to make these and using my own homemade puff pastry made it even more fun.  I made the custard from scratch and just dusted the top with powdered sugar (recipe from The Joy of Cooking), rather than making the frosting you typically find on them at bakeries.  They were SO good!


1 comment:

Lauren said...

Gorgeous job!! Your vols-au-vent look stunning =D. I love all of the shapes and how you played with it!