I have seen the recipe in my friend Caty from A 2 mains Cap délice and it reminded me how I loved eating these when I was a teenager. They are the kind of hot food to go you’d buy at the boulangerie at lunch time. They are really tasty and not so hard to make though they need a little bit of prep’ time.
Source: A 2 mains cap délice
200g puff pastry, rolled in a rectangle of 20x35cm
500g cheese sauce (made with 50g butter, 50g flour, 90g cheddar/Emmenthal, 500g milk)
Ham, cooked chicken or cooked mushrooms for filling
1 egg yolk + milk for the glaze
- Preheat the oven at 180C.
- Cut the rolled puff pastry across the longer side into 16 strip about 1 inch wide.
- Make tubes with kitchen foil (don’t make them too thick) and brush with melted butter all over. Pinch each end to make it narrower.
- Take 2 strips of dough and join them together by pinching one extremity to the other.
- Roll that strip of dough by overlapping slightly so it looks like a sea shell over one end of the foil tube. Use the other end of the tube to roll another 2 strips.
- Glaze the rolls with a mixture of milk and egg yolk using a brush (I used only milk so my glaze wasn’t as golden after cooking).
- Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden.
- Meanwhile, make the béchamel. Add the chicken/ham cut in strips or the mushrooms cut in quarters if using and stir into the sauce. Set aside.
- Take out the rolls from the oven and remove carefully the kitchen foil. That’s when you’ll be glad you used butter to grease them!
- Leave them to cool down so they are not so brittle.
- Use a spoon to fill them with cheese sauce (the sauce should be almost cold at this stage so it’s not too runny).
- Bake again for 10 minutes at 180C.
- Serve immediately with a salad.
I had never made vols au vent cases until I read a post from Helene of Superkitchenmachine where she explains all the step-by-steps to achieve those delicious puff pastries. Up to then, I was buying them from France so when they ran out (which happened pretty quickly), I had to wait for my next trip home to get my hands on those beauties. Now, I can tell that I shall never have to wait to eat these again! Thank you Helene for sharing this recipe and giving me the motivation I needed to attempt to make vols au vent from scratch!
90g ice cubes
180g frozen unsalted butter (cut into 1cm chunks and freeze at least 24 hours)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water
It’s up to your imagination really but we like it with Bechamel, ham, mushrooms, cheese and cooked chicken.
- Put the ice cubes, butter, flour, and salt in the TM bowl and mix 7 sec, speed 7.
- Mix 5 sec, reverse, speed 5.
- Lock the lid and knead for 3 min while adding the water through the hole. The dough should look like beads at this stage.
- Tip out the dough onto a piece of cling film and bring it all together as quickly as possible. Wrap in the cling film and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Put the dough between 2 pieces of cling film (or on the floured worktop)
- Working quickly, roll out the dough into a rectangle shape about 5mm thick.
- Fold the top third towards the middle and the bottom third on top of the folded dough. Turn the folded dough 90 degrees to the right (or the left but keep turning the same way at each folding step).
- Repeat step 6 and 7 at least 3 or 4 times (this will create the layers on the puff pastry).
- If the dough gets too hot and sticky during the folding steps, put it back to the fridge for 20 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Roll one last time to a rectangle of 1 cm thick.
- Using a dough cutter, cut out circles into the dough.
- Either use a smaller cutter or a sharp knife to cut out the “hat” but careful not to cut through the dough (note that if you want bigger vols au vent, you put 2 circles of dough on top of each other, in that case, only cut out the hat on the top circle).
- Brush the dough with milk or egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp of milk).
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes (more for bigger vols au vent) or until they are golden and crispy.
- Let them cool down a little before cutting out the hats and stuff with the filling of your choice. I usually put them back to a cooler oven (about 150C) for 10 to 15 minutes to heat the filling.
This is a very much loved classic in our family. It’s very tasty and is made in minutes with the Thermomix. The pancake batter only takes 20 secondes (and there is no lumps to worry about) and the bechamel sauce takes 7 minutes! The beauty with this recipe is that any remaining pancake batter can be used to make sweet pancakes by just adding 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract (and 1 tbsp of rum if you like), so you also have a dessert as well!
3 slices of ham, cut in 1 cm squares
500g milk (or 250g cow’s milk and 250g of soya milk for lighter batter)
1 tbsp neutral oil (like sunflower)
1/4 tsp salt
50g cheddar cheese cut into 3cm chunks
500g milk (or 250g cow’s milk and 250g of soya milk for a lighter version)
A pinch of grated nutmeg
- A couple of hours before, make the pancake batter by adding all the ingredients to the Thermomix bowl and mix 20 sec, speed 6. Pour out in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
- Make the bechamel sauce: add the flour, butter and cheese in the Thermomix bowl and mix 8 sec, speed 5
- Add the milk and cook for 7 min, 90C, speed 4
- Add the nutmeg and ham and stir 10 sec, reverse blade direction, speed spoon
- Pour a laddle of batter in a hot pan with a knob of butter and cook 1 minute on the first side and 20 seconds on the other side. Tilt the pancake out on a plate and fill it with the ham and cheese bechamel.
- Fold the pancake and serve immediately.
- Note that you can vary the filling by adding cooked sliced mushrooms, pieces of cooked chicken, cooked bacon or some cooked vegetables to the bechamel sauce.