Famed French chef and pâtissier Antoine Carême is often credited for these small crisp puff pastry cases traditionally filled with savoury meat or fish. While the claim is unsubstantiated, its origins in France are not, where vols-au-vents have long been a favoured canapé. It takes its name, meaning ‘windblown’ in French, from its light-as-air pastry. This version houses a creamy mix of mushrooms and thyme.
- 2 x 375 g blocks frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 40 g butter, chopped
- 1 eschalot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 150 g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
- 100 g king brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 40 g dried porcini mushrooms (see Note), rehydrated
- 2 tbsp dry white wine
- 60 g (¼ cup) crème fraîche
- chervil leaves, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Thawing time 2 hours
Cooling time 30 minutes
Drink match 2011 Simmonnet-Febvre Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons, Burgundy, France ($35)
Preheat oven to 200°C. Roll out pastry to 5 mm thick. Using a 10 cm round pastry cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Using a 6 cm round pastry cutter, cut a smaller circle out of the centre of 6 rounds and discard. Brush the 6 whole 10 cm rounds with egg wash and place the 6 rings on top. Place pastry rounds on an oven tray lined with baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and crisp. Using your fingertips, push down centres slightly and set aside to cool.
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add eschalot, garlic, thyme and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are golden. Add wine and cook for a further 2 minutes or until wine has almost evaporated. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Stir through crème fraîche.
Divide mushroom mixture between vol-au-vent shells and scatter with chervil leaves to serve.
• Dried porcini mushrooms are available from select greengrocers and specialist food shops.
Photography Ben Dearnley. Food preparation Kirsten Jenkins. Styling Vanessa Austin. Drink suggestion Dan Coward.
As seen in Feast magazine, April 2014, Issue 30.