We have sandstorms going on in Doha/ Qatar these days..With my asthma stories, it’s not very promising. I hope things don’t get worse!
And while we are on the subject, let’s have some vol au vent? What’s the link? Because Vol au vent is literally “Fly with the wind” since the puff pastry layers get so airy while baking..
A Vol au Vent is a pastry case made from puff pastry, the centre of which is hollow which will be filled by any filling of your choice. Here again there are some standard fillings but it doesn’t stop you from being creative.
So these cases can be made ahead of time, frozen unbaked until you really need them. They’re very handyn to be handy for a buffet, parties and gathering or just a quick meal. You stuff them up with sweet (whipped cream and strawberry is a classic) or savory ingredients, they usually make a good impression.
I alsays make my Vol au vent cases at home, they turn out way better than the store bought one. Now most of people are dreading the puff pastry making from scratch..I sometimes buy mine as well (but not always), depending on which country I live in, which is mainly due to the type of butter that might be used there..
So you need a rolled out puff pastry not more than 5 mm thickness.
Cut the central part out of the 2 top layers to completely create a ring, making sure to leave a larger border in proportion with the overall size. You want to have an even Vol au vent and not a funny looking one.
I usually pile 3 layers of cold puffy pastry on each other, cut the first shape (round or rectangular for example). The next act is to take the 2 layers which need to have a “hole” in them and cut in the middle with a cookie cutter, usually round shaped (but you can be creative, here I used flower cookie cutter), then separate them for later..This allows you to have a similar shape in both of them because they will need to fit once piled up.
The 1st layer is a piece of pastry which will form the base needs to be pricked with a fork several times and egg washed.
Place the 2nd pastry “ring” on top of it and egg wash it again and then place the 3rd ring.
Preheat the oven at 200C. Place the cases on a flat baking tray and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown. It’s so beautiful to watch it rising and taking shape. Kids love it.. One of these scientific wonders.
Once baked, remove from the oven and immediately press the central section down firmly with the back of a spoon or just scoop it and DO NOT REMOVE THE BOTTOM TOO! You will need this cavity to place your filling at a later stage. Let it cool on a wire tray.
Make sure you read this before you start!
Avoid spilling egg wash on the borders as this will disturb the rising.
Bake separately the removed middle part that has been cut separately, egg wash and sprinkle with your fav seasoning.
Always work with cold dough.
Always pre-bake the cases and let them cool down before filling them.
No runny gravy or anything that’ll make them soggy.
In general, you need about 500g of puff pastry (you can’t substitute this one actually) to make 6 big pieces or 12 small vol au vent cases . you just multiply according to the need.