Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Vols-au-vent

This year is flying by. Why, we're already celebrating the ninth Daring Baker challenge for 2009! Only three more to go.

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.

While kitchens in the northern hemisphere should be getting cooler, kitchens in southern California are experiencing the usual heat waves that arrive with the first day of autumn. Yes, as with my recent buttercream adventures, I am suffering the 100°F-kitchen while preparing my puff pastry. My granite countertop will melt butter under these conditions, so it is not the right place to roll out heat-sensitive dough. Once again, my strudel table came to the rescue.

After the dough was well chilled, I chose the morning hours to actually make the vols-au-vent, since the sun wouldn’t be directly bearing down upon that side of the house until mid-afternoon.

For this challenge, the hardest part was choosing the fillings. In the end, I made two fillings: a savory one -- shrimp curry,

and a sweet one -- blood orange chiffon.

I only used half the dough for these pastries, so when the weather cools down (hopefully this coming week), I will roll out the remaining half and play with more fillings.

If you want the recipe, go to Steph's blog. It really is very easy to make, and since the dough and/or the unbaked vols-au-vent can be frozen, there's no excuse not to have some on hand.

The Daring Bakers are a very creative group of bakers and cooks. Be sure and stop by some of their blogs and be prepared to be blown away by all the variations.


Megan said...

You're still melting out there, aren't you? We've got a few more days of 100+ temps, then it's supposed to start cooling down by mid-week.

I applaud you for even attempting puff pastry in that kind of heat.

anna said...

The mere phrase "blood orange chiffon" has me drooling. Nice!

Dharm said...

shrimp curry eh? That sounds and looks like a great filling. Your vols-au-vents look just lovely too. Great job on this challenge!!

Anonymous said...

Great job making this puff pastry in the heat! Blood orange chiffon sounds yummy...I was craving orange this go-round too!

Anonymous said...

They look wonderful! I skipped out this month, but will go back and make them.

Madam Chow said...

Those look wonderful, and once again, I find myself envying you your strudel table. I loved this challenge!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

What a challenge for you, considering the temperature!! They came out lovely!

Kayte said...

Oh, these look fantastic. I made them in Whisk Wednesdays and it was fun! Thanks for the comment on my blog about the books. I, too, usually have four different books going at once...I think true readers often do! I have the Henry Clay book, an MC Beaton book for waiting in carpool line (can pick up and put down with ease and no need for serious concentration which is good for car pool lines as people tend to come up and chat), usually a cookbook (I read cookbooks seriously, this week it is Giada's latest; and then one that is prob something along the lines of your potato book (which I am very interested in reading btw, so name and author?), the latest was on the history of salt. Thanks for sharing...I enjoyed the Maisie Dobbs books, they were my carpool line reading and I devoured them and didn't chat much with anyone while I was reading them...LOL.

Lauren said...

Beautiful job!! Your vols-au-vent look amazing, and I love the fillings =D.