This is the first time vol au vents actually worked for me. Before I used to try and roll out the pastry too thin then stack the cut out circles together only to get crispy discs. This time I watched a few online videos and tested out their ‘methods’. This time, I didn’t blunder; this time I made puffy, light vol au vents. Happy dance!
The trick I found was to roll out the pastry from its wrapping, then lightly flatten it, not too thinly either. I left it more or less the same thickness it was packaged as. Next I took a glass and cut out the circles, and then took a smaller glass and made a dent in the middle, (or if you don’t have one, you can engrave a circle roughly with a knife), then pricked the middle pieces. I stacked two circles together and baked them. This seemed to work. I am not all too clued up about the science of baking, I am still learning from my trials, errors and trusty tips online. This way seemed to work for me…so there you go. There’s my not so little secret of how to get puffy vol au vents.
This recipe was created for Today Puff Pastry’s mystery box challenge. We were given puff pastry, a clove of garlic, feta and aubergines. I decided to make these light bite size treats. Give them a go. They are really simple to make and more importantly won’t break the bank if you are catering for a crowd.
400g Today Puff Pastry
240g Baby Aubergines, half chopped & half halved
2 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 block feta cheese
1 egg, whisked
Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 180˚C. Spray a baking tray with cook and spray and set aside.
- On a clean surface, sprinkle over some flour. Roll out the Today Puff Pastry, and using a rolling pin, lightly roll over the pastry to make even but do not roll to make any thinner.
- Once puff pastry is rolled out evenly, take a cup and cut out as many circles. Try make sure it is an even number.
- Egg wash the sides of one pastry circle then place another on top. Using a smaller cup make a second thinner circle in the middle of the top pastry, and prick the middle with a fork.
- Once you have repeated step 4 with all pastry circles, place them on the baking tray prepped in step 1.
- Egg wash the top surface (that has the second circle and fork pricks) of each pastry circle. Place in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Once the puff pastry has puffed out and looks golden brown, take out of the oven and allow to cool.
- Using a spoon, crush out the centre where you have made the circle and pricks and fill with the filling below.
Aubergine, garlic and tomato filling:
- While pastry is baking heat a saucepan up, using half punnet of aubergines, cut into halves.
- Fry until cooked through. Set aside.
- In the same saucepan, heat up some oil and fry the other half of the chopped aubergines. Once the colour of the skin starts going from a vibrant purple to a dark brown, add in the garlic and soon after the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper, and the cumin. Leave on a medium heat to allow to thicken for a bit – 5 – 7 minutes. Set aside for pastries.
- Place pastry cases on plate.
- Place halved aubergines in each case and then fill the rest of the pastry cases up with the tomato, garlic & aubergine mixture.
- Sprinkle feta cheese over.
- Optional: Sprinkle some parsley over.