The Daring Bakers Challenge: Vol-au-vents

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.

This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge and when I saw that it was Vol-au-vents I was so excited because I’d been wanting to try making it for a while.  I was in Scotland when I found out that we were going to make puff pastry and immediately decided that I would make it the day after I got back home.

Before starting the pastry I did a bit of research. I was sure to look at a bunch of different puff pastry resources to make sure that I didn’t mess up. It looked simple enough…. Well, it looked easier than it was! It was a little bit warm that day and the butter gooshed a couple time so I had to put it in the fridge quite a few times. I found that it was a little bit difficult to roll out the dough to the required size without it ripping and butter squirting out. Once I was able to get it to roll properly it was a piece of cake!

I ended up making both sweet & savory vol-au-vents.

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The first was made with Dark Chocolate & Bailey’s Irish Cream Whipped Cream with Strawberries and Raspberries.

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The savory one was Escargot with Crimini Mushrooms in a Creamy Garlic and Shallot sauce.

I wasn’t a super big fan of the pastry, but am thinking that it was probably because of the gooshing during rolling. I found that it didn’t rise as nice as I hoped it would have and the wasn’t as light as I would have liked.  I will definitely try the recipe again to try to perfect the pastry.

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