before the “jump” or “cut”
Puff the magic pastry is flaky as can be. And frolics in the oven’s heat in a land that’s buttery.
So I found an online baking group, which you may have noticed the link on the left, called the Daring Kitchen. They have a cooking side and a baking side; I obviously chose the latter. Every month, a challenge is set. And my first challenge was vols-au-vent. The recipe can be found here.
I have never made puff pastry before, nor was it high on my to-learn list. Not because it isn’t delicious, because I think we all agree that it is. But because of the high fat content (1 pound of butter!). Nonetheless, I am not one to back down from a challenge.
The recipe to follow was put up and it went completely over my head. Something about a lot of butter, and making turns, and fold the dough like a book… what??? Thank God for YouTube. I found an excellent video on making puff pastry from two girls who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
I figured out how to incorporate the butter with a series of six “turns,” and to fold the dough in thirds like a book, keeping the butter cold the entire time. This process keeps the flour mixture and the fat layered to achieve maximum rise in the oven. What genius came up with that? Brilliant!
Once the dough was made and well chilled, I rolled some out and cut them in circular shapes to make my vols-au-vent. A little docking here and a little egg wash there and they were ready to rise to fame and glory. I found myself watching through the window in the oven and cheering them on like a sports match.
The puffs puffed perfectly (try saying that 5 times fast) and didn’t deflate like my failed chocolate souffles. Not only did they turn out great, but they were actually really fun to make. I may not want to eat a whole lot of it (actually I do, but I must practice willpower so I don’t puff up too), but I can foresee making many batches of puff pastry in the future.
The vols-au-vent weren’t finished until they were filled. Rather rushed, I put some melted chocolate on the bottom inside of the shells and topped with chocolate whipped cream. I also put a dollop of vanilla icing on the tops to adhere chocolate designs to.
The pastries were buttery and flaky and reminded me of France, but the cream was a little subtle. I froze half of my puff pastry dough to make millefeuilles, or napoleons, another day. Mmm.. millefeuilles. I drool like Homer Simpson when I think of those.
September Daring Bakers Challenge: A
Make sure to stop by at the end of October for another baking challenge.