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Introduction

Welcome to the delightful world of Vol-au-vents, a savory pastry dish that originated from French cuisine but has found its way into the hearts and kitchens of South Africans. Whether you’re planning a cozy family dinner or hosting a festive gathering, Vol-au-vents are sure to impress with their flaky pastry shells and delectable fillings. In this recipe, we’ll explore how to create these mouthwatering treats from scratch, infusing them with the flavors of South Africa.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Stand Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 12

Ingredients

To prepare these scrumptious Vol-au-vents, you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • 200g chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 200ml chicken broth
  • 100ml cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)

Cookware Needed

Gather the following cookware before you begin:

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry brush
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Pastry cutter or round cookie cutter
  • Small mixing bowl

Now that we have everything ready, let’s dive into the culinary adventure of making Vol-au-vents!

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Pastry

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Roll out the thawed puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Use a pastry cutter or round cookie cutter to cut out circles from the pastry sheet. These will be the bases and tops of your Vol-au-vents.
  4. Using a smaller cutter, cut out smaller circles from the center of half of the larger circles to create the tops of the Vol-au-vents.
  5. Place the larger circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then place the smaller circles on a separate part of the sheet. These will be baked separately as they cook faster.
  6. Brush the tops of the pastry circles with beaten egg to give them a golden finish.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

  1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, sautéing until translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add the cooked and shredded chicken breast to the pan, stirring to combine with the onions and garlic.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken mixture and stir well to coat.
  4. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
  5. Once the mixture has thickened slightly, pour in the cream and continue to cook until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.

Step 3: Assemble the Vol-au-vents

  1. Once the pastry shells are baked and cooled, carefully remove the centers from the larger circles to create a hollow cavity.
  2. Spoon the creamy chicken filling into the hollowed-out pastry shells, filling them generously.
  3. Place the smaller pastry circles on top of the filled shells to create the lids.
  4. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley for a pop of color and flavor.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy!

  1. Arrange the assembled Vol-au-vents on a serving platter and serve them warm to your eager guests.
  2. These delightful treats are perfect for any occasion, from brunch gatherings to cocktail parties.
  3. Enjoy the flaky pastry, creamy filling, and burst of flavor in every bite!

Nutrition Facts

NutrientAmount per serving
Calories220
Total Fat14g
Saturated Fat6g
Cholesterol45mg
Sodium180mg
Total Carbohydrates15g
Dietary Fiber1g
Sugars1g
Protein8g

Note: Nutrition information is approximate and may vary depending on specific ingredients used.

Conclusion: My Personal Experience

Creating Vol-au-vents has been a delightful journey through flavors and textures. As a South African home cook, I’ve always loved exploring different culinary traditions and infusing them with local ingredients and spices. Making these savory pastries from scratch not only fills the kitchen with the irresistible aroma of baked goods but also fills the hearts of those around me with joy and satisfaction.

One of the most rewarding aspects of preparing Vol-au-vents is seeing the faces of my loved ones light up as they take that first bite. The crispy, flaky pastry paired with the creamy, flavorful filling never fails to impress, making every effort in the kitchen worthwhile.

So whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, I encourage you to embark on your own Vol-au-vents adventure. Get creative with the fillings, experiment with different flavors, and most importantly, have fun along the way!

FAQs

Q: Can I make Vol-au-vents ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the pastry shells and filling ahead of time and assemble them just before serving. Store the baked pastry shells in an airtight container at room temperature, and keep the filling refrigerated until ready to use. Assemble the Vol-au-vents shortly before serving to maintain their crispness.

Q: Can I use store-bought puff pastry for this recipe?

A: Absolutely! While homemade puff pastry adds an extra level of flakiness, store-bought puff pastry works just fine for making Vol-au-vents. Simply follow the same instructions for cutting and baking the pastry sheets, then proceed with preparing the filling as directed.

Q: Can I freeze Vol-au-vents?

A: Yes, you can freeze both the unbaked pastry shells and the assembled Vol-au-vents. Place the unbaked pastry shells on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container for long-term storage. When ready to use, simply bake the frozen pastry shells as directed, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time. As for assembled Vol-au-vents, freeze them on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container. To reheat, bake the frozen Vol-au-vents in a preheated oven until heated through.

Q: Can I customize the filling for Vol-au-vents?

A: Absolutely! While this recipe features a classic chicken filling, you can get creative with your fillings to suit your taste preferences. Try experimenting with different proteins such as beef, seafood, or even vegetarian options like mushrooms or spinach. Add your favorite herbs, spices, and sauces to create unique flavor combinations that reflect your personal style. The possibilities are endless!

Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or need additional tips for making the perfect Vol-au-vents. Happy cooking!

Hey there! I’m Christine, a nutritionist on a mission to make healthy eating fun, delicious, and totally doable for everyone. So, let me give you a peek into my world and how I ended up here.

Growing up, I wasn’t exactly a kitchen whiz. Sure, I knew the basics of eating healthy, but cooking? That was a whole different story. It wasn’t until I started my journey as a nutritionist that I truly began to appreciate the magic of food.

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