For this Vol au Vent Cases recipe, start rolling out the puff pastry. Although puff pastry is quite technical, I invite you to follow my easy, step-by-step recipe for a home-made flaky pastry. You won't be disappointed! For best results, I recommend using extra dry butter.
Roll the puff pastry to a thickness of 4 or 5mm. Using an Exoglass round pastry cutter Ø 10cm (I used a fluted cutter for this recipe), cut the pastry into discs...
... and slightly twist the cutter on your floured worktop to make sure the disc is cut in a perfectly neat shape. The pastry disc will detach easily from the puff pastry slab.
Cut as many discs as you need. 500 grams of puff pastry yields 12 discs of Ø 10cm, for a total of 6 bouchées.
Arrange 6 pastry discs on a Silpat baking mat, placed on top of a Silichef XL perforated baking sheet.
Using a pastry brush, glaze the discs with eggwash (a beaten egg yolk with a little water).
With the 6 other pastry discs on your floured worktop, cut a hole in the centre with a smaller pastry cutter. I used an Exoglass round fluted cutter with a diameter of 6cm.
Repeat the operation for all discs. You should now have 6 pastry rings.
Carefully arrange the rings on top of the pastry discs. The rings will adhere to the glazed pastry discs easily.
Glaze the pastry rings...
... and store in the fridge for about 2 hours before baking. Ideally, start the recipe the day before and refrigerate overnight to prevent the pastry from shrinking during baking.
Remove from the fridge and apply another brush of eggwash along the rings.
Place small dariole moulds (height 5 or 6cm) in the four corners of the baking sheet. This will help control the rise of the puff pastry shells while baking...
... and place a baking sheet on top of the dariole moulds. I recommend using a heavy baking sheet, such as black steel. An aluminium baking sheet might not be heavy enough.
Bake in a fan-assisted oven at 170°C (gas 3) for 20 to 25 minutes.
20 minutes later, the pastry cases should have risen to a regular height. Remove the baking sheet on top.
Bake for a further 5 or 10 minutes. At this stage, there is no more risk of the pastry cases collapsing. Make sure the base of the pastry shells is well cooked. Gently lift the vol au vent cases to check.
When cooked, remove from the oven...
... then place the tray on your kitchen worktop and leave to cool.