Creamy mushroom and thyme vol-au-vents are amazing appetisers. Vol-au-vent is French for ‘windblown’, which describes the lightness of these oh-so-retro pastry cases. These small, hollow puff pastry cases have a round opening cut in the top and the pastry scooped out to create nifty little holders for delicious fillings – they make the perfect dinner-party canapé.
Creamy mushroom and thyme vol-au-vents
- 500g puff pastry
- flour, to dust
- 1 egg yolk
- 15ml (1 tbsp) water
- 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
- 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
- 250g mixed mushrooms (oyster, porcini, portabellini and button), roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 15ml (1 tbsp) fresh thyme leaves, plus extra to serve
- 5ml (1 tsp) fresh rosemary, chopped
- 45ml (3 tbsp) brandy
- 125ml (½ cup) fresh cream
- 30ml (2 tbsp) Parmesan, grated
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180°C and roll the pastry out on a floured surface. Cut the dough into 8 squares, each 10cm thick. Place the squares on a baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Combine the egg yolk and water together to make an egg wash.
To build the vol-au-vents, use pastry cutters to cut two round discs of 10cm in diameter out of two of the pastry squares. Brush one with egg wash, and cut a 6cm round disc out of the centre of the second square, to obtain a ring. Place the ring on top of the first disc, edge to edge. Return to the lined baking tray and refrigerate. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares.
Brush the pastry lightly with egg wash and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and once cooled, scoop out the pastry that’s puffed up inside the pastry case to form a hollow shell.
For the filling, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary and brandy. Fry for a further 1 minute.
Add the cream and Parmesan and cook for 1 minute until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and season well.
Spoon the filling into the vol-au-vent cases and scatter with the extra thyme before serving.