Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: 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.

Mmmm, homemade puff pastry. It seems much harder to make than it really is.

Puff pastry is a laminated dough, where a slab of butter is first wrapped in a simple flour dough, almost like a present wrapped in wrapping paper , and then repeatedly rolled out and folded like a business letter.

With all of the rolling and folding, the butter layers get thinner and thinner, sandwiched between increasing layers of dough. When baked, the moisture in the butter turns to vapor and the layers poof and puff, hence the name.

We were to use our puff pastry to make Vols-au-Vent, or cute little puff pastry "bowls" holding our choice of filling. I filled mine with peanut butter mousse (recipe below) and just a touch of leftover chocolate icing from another recipe that I thinned down.

I cut various shapes, two of each size. One of each was used to form the bottom of the bowl and one was cut a second time using a smaller cutter to form the sides of the bowl.

The shapes are stacked in preparation for baking. The "leftover" cutouts can be baked and used for lids (or snacking).

Then it's time to fill and enjoy!

I have to say I really enjoyed making puff pastry. Something about the rolling and folding... very therapeutic! And it tastes fantastic! So light and flaky, it's a dream.

I don't think mine rose as much as some I've seen. I'm not sure why though. But it was still good and I'm so thankful I've had a chance to make it. Thanks Steph!

Michel Richard’s Puff Pastry Dough
From: Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan

You can find a copy of the printable recipe by clicking ----> HERE.

Peanut Butter Mousse

3 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. peanut butter
2 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla

Cream the cream cheese with powdered sugar. Add milk and peanut butter. Whip and fold in the cream and vanilla.


Sara said...

Oooooh, looks delicious! I love the idea of filling these with peanut butter mousse. YUM! :)

Isabelle said...

c'est super joli toutes ces formes de vols au vent !
défi réussi ! bravo :)

Megan said...

Peanut butter mousse?

I'll take two, please.

Grace said...

bravo. puff pastry is something i'm much too lazy to attempt at home, but peanut butter mousse is a different story. :)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Wonderful! I love the shapes, very creative.

anjelikuh said...

WOW! extra props for all the different shapes you tried out! and peanutbutter mousse? genius!

Madam Chow said...

I enjoyed making the puff pastry, too. And I love all those shapes that you cut out!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Oh those shapes are ultra cute! I have that book and swear I'll attempt these one day 8).

Marcellina said...

I love all the different shapes. Great work. I too love working with the dough.

Anonymous said...

Your vols-au-vent look wonderful. i'll have to go back and make them one day. The peanut butter filling sounds yummy.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Congratulations on conquering puff pastry! Love all the shapes you've used!!

P.S - I've given you an award, that you can see here

steph- whisk/spoon said...

great job, and i'm so glad you enjoyed the process of making puff!!

Jill said...

I love all the cute shapes and wow, peanut butter mousse, I think I'm in heaven! :)

sweetakery said...

love all the different shapes. peanut butter mousse wow! yumm Great work!

Lisa said...

Love the shapes, and your layers look lovely. BTW, I dipped my milk chocolate mousse into your peanut butter I made a milk choccie-peanut butter mousse for one prep :) Fantastic puff n' stuff and vols au vent!