Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vol Au Vent Cutters

Vol au Vent à la Financière
Invented by the early 19th century pioneer of haute cuisine, Marie-Antoine Carême, vol-au-vent are delicate puff pastries that resemble a small crock and lid. They’re so light and airy they may take "flight of the wind" if you’re not careful when pulling them from the oven. To keep them from escaping out the kitchen window on a summer breeze, the pastries should be filled with savory or sweet ingredients, from cocks' combs to raspberries and whipped cream. Wait. What? Cocks' combs? Yes, cocks’ combs, the fleshy, red mohawk-like plume on top of a rooster's head. One of the original and classic fillings for vol-au-vent is called à la Financière and involves cocks' combs, chicken quenelles, mushrooms, truffles, and Madeira. Essentially translating to Banker's Vol-au-Vent, the name refers to the rich ingredients, and presumably to their suitability for affluent finance workers. Cocks' combs may not be high on your list of appetizing ingredients, or popular with your stock broker, but there’s no need to go authentic if you’re not feeling so adventurous. Just about any type of ragout variation works well as savory filling. And just about any type of fruit pie filling or custard works well as a sweet filling. Some ideas to get your imagination started are listed below the pictures of Vol au Vent Cutters.

Traditionally vol-au-vent are round. But now vol-au-vent cutters from Ateco take the delectable pastry into new territory with flower, heart, triangle, tree, and star shapes. Carême would be envious.

Ateco Vol au Vent Cutter, 4-Petal Flower Ateco Vol au Vent Cutter, Daisy Ateco Vol au Vent Cutter, Heart
$5.09 $5.09 $5.09
Ateco Vol au Vent Cutter, Triangle Ateco Vol au Vent Cutter, Tree Ateco Vol au Vent Cutter, Star
$5.09 $5.09 $5.09

Savory Vol Au Vent Filling Ideas:
• Curried Chicken
• Caramelized Onions, Grilled Pears, and Blue Cheese
• Roasted Vegetables in Balsamic Glaze
• Shellfish Étouffée
• Lobster with Béarnaise Sauce
• Lamb Osso Bucco

Sweet Vol Au Vent Filling Ideas:
• Fresh Fruit and Whipped Cream
• Fruit Compote and Pastry Cream
• Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnuts
• Bavarian Cream with Shaved Chocolate
• Dried Fruits and Nuts Drizzled with Honey
• Stewed Apples and Cinnamon
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