Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zol-au-Vent and Vol-au-Rocher

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.

This was a nice challenge, but I had an accidental shortcut to it.
September has been pretty hot here, not exactly the right climate to make puff pastry.

I had in the freezer some I had made in late spring. I kept it there as a last resort, waiting until the last moment to see if I had a cold day to document the entire challenge, but the cold day never came (and I can't say I'm sorry for that), so I hope that my word on being the maker of the pastry is valid enough as for the accomplishment of the challenge.
It must be, because if I had bought it, it sure would have risen much better!

Vol-au-vents are tricky to eat: the puff pastry crumbles a lot (at least, you hope it does!) and when they are big you risk The Big Splash Of Content.
That's why I went for bite-size.
Maybe too much, but in my opinion this is a case where smaller is better.

I made an appetizer and a dessert.
The appetizer involves one of my family's all time favourites: gorgonzola, which was paired with pears.

Nothing else: the pears were ripe and juicy enough to give out the right amount of liquid and only a few seconds of heat were needed to melt the zola in order to mix the two.

The dessert was a reinterpretation of a Ferrero Rocher, the puff pastry playing the part of the wafer.

A quick ganache with Nutella and whipped cream, added with ground hazelnuts.

In my intentions, a whole hazelnut was to be in the center of the vol-au-vent, but a whole hazelnut didn't fit in the bitesize structure without pulling the balance with chocolate too much.

I wish my husband took some classes of creative food writing: asking for an opinion and just getting "MMMMHHHH!" for an answer, as much as participated it is, is starting not to be enough for me.


  1. Ferrero Rocher vol-au-vent? Genius idea! Love it :)

  2. poires et bleu est une association assez fantastique ! un défi parfaitement réussi ! Bravo :)

  3. Great job, love your mini's and fabulous flavor combinations.

  4. I so want one of those rocher ones! They look amazing!

  5. Ciao ! Your minis are superb !! I can't choose !!

  6. As much as I love Nutella, I don't think I can go past the gorgonzola and pear ones! Great fillings :D

  7. They look lovely! delicious! my mom would love the gorgonzola and pear ones!

  8. Your bite sized vols au vent look super cute and delicious! I don't think anyone needs any more puff pastry than that anyway :)

  9. Oh yum; I LOVE ferrero rocher! Delicious ideas!!

  10. Holy wow, not only does your puff pastry look lovely, but your fillings are to die for! I'm lust with both of them, and will probably pilfer both ideas to fill some leftovers I froze. Beautifully done!!

  11. Ooo! I miss ferrero rocher, but this looks like the perfect solution! Wonderful job with this challenge, it all looks delicious =D.

  12. Anna--great job on your puff pastry! I LOVE the pear and cheese combo and then--I read further and I can't decide which one sounds better! I'll take two of each please! :)