Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Puff Schmuff

Okay.. let's just call this Oh hell I don't know what to call it.

Meet my lopsided, falling over, super poofy shooting stars. Gah.

I'm covered in fakking flour, I have egg wash on my pants, my lips are burning because I figured "well maybe they'll taste good" before the lil bastards cooled off, and my heart is broken. I spent two days on these vols-au-vent thingies.

EEK! I forgot the important stuff during my initial ranting and raving!

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of a whisk and a spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Continue on with the craziness...


I stressed over the perfect fillings. I researched the perfect goat's cheese mousse. I squashed grapes for these things. And for what???

Notice the burnt "shooting star" on the right?

EVEN I'M EMBARRASSED TO SHOW YOU PHOTOS! Me! The gal who thrives on making a total ass of herself on the internets for your reading pleasure!


The chicken salad is placed ON THE SIDE because there were no INSIDES of these lil fakkers.

I had such high hopes. I still have one millimeter of a sliver of hope still.. but it's only like 1/8 inch high.. not "such high" as with the first batch. Everything was going so well.. SO WELL. I only had one tiny ooze of butter yesterday and that was on the first turn.. FIVE TURNS LATER and no oozing. I wanted to kiss my puff pastry dough because it was behaving SO WELL.

Oh I had poofiness alright.. just not the centered properly. :P

And then the oven. That dirty bastage. It was not nice to my first batch which was supposed to be filled with the best tasting chicken salad EVER. But there's NOTHING to fill people! I docked! Apparently not deep enough.. but who the hell knew?? I did forget the silpat on top.. but seriously? How unforgiving a recipe to mock you just because you forget the silpat after doing everything else correctly???

That puff pastry dough has some issues and it needs to see a therapist, tout de suite. And lemme tell you, that therapist will earn his/her money dealing with this dough. My oven needs to go too. Screw my oven. I keep her clean. I cook lovingly on top of her. There's NO NEED for this kind of behavior.

It's like a star shaped accordion. :P

I'm spent, kids. I'm. Spent.

Will post horrible photos later.. if I can talk my camera into not shutting it's lense in horror. If you happen to read this before I put my 2nd batch in (which is sitting, all shaped and stacked and egg washed in the fridge WITH A SILPAT ON TOP ALREADY), say a prayer for me. Please?

Baking Gods I rue the day you were given uhhh.. Baking Godness Powers. May the fleas of a 1000 camels infest your flour-y armpits!



Okay well.. slightly tipsy, but look at that poof! And well.. it's not really bleeding.. that's a concord grape reduction. Ohh and I ended up not finding a goat's cheese mousse recipe that I liked, but I found an AWESOME goat's cheese custard recipe on David Lebovitz's site. Bless him. :D

***THIS JUST IN: 2nd batch is BEEE-U-TEEEFULLLLLLL!!!! it's all about the silpat. I'll be damned. Photos of these babies will definitely be added as soon as they are cool enough to fill. :D xoxox

Okay so maybe I got a lil uhmm.. frustrated before finishing. Oopsie. *grin* I haven't tried the goat's cheese custard & Concord grape reduction filled v-au-v's yet, but hubbs said they are fabulous. I did try the world's best chicken salad in a v-au-v and it was amazing. Eating the shell, just to taste it was very salty.. but you couldn't tell that with the fillings, thank goodness. :)

Thanks so much Steph! Even though I SPAZZED out, this was a great challenge and I'm glad I've now got puff pastry in my freezer! Yay! :)

Now that ya'll have seen my trainwreck.. go check out the 1000's of Vols-au-Vents on the Daring Baker's Blogroll

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Daring Cooks' September 2009 - Indian Dosas

Hey ya'll.. well talk about the last minute AGAIN. I kept putting this challenge off because of time restraints.. but come to find out, time wasn't even an issue. Every component was quick and simple to put together.

To me this challenge was more about trying a cultural food I'd never had before. This wasn't much about learning a new technique in cooking. It was so simple that Hubbs joined in and between the two of us, we were done in less than an hour. I don't mean that he can only cook simple dishes, that's not true at all.. he's quite handy in the kitchen, bless his cotton reinforced toe tube socks. Actually he's a fantastic cook.. but he's an even better sous chef when I'm cooking. ;)

Never having ate Dosas before.. hell, never having ate Indian food before, I have nothing to compare this dish to. The flavors were very good, I enjoyed that aspect of it. It was the texture that kind of put me off. Although my "pancakes" were thin, they were still pretty spongy in texture. They reminded me of the pancakes that come with Mu Shu.. which I tried once and ended up eating the filling and not the pancakes - for the very same reason. hehe The filling, although we decided to not puree the chickpeas and instead mashed most of it and left some whole or partially whole, it was still too smooshy beany texture-wise for me. The coconut-curry sauce was delicious, but neither of us tasted coconut and we used a brand new can of coconut milk. Oh I should also mention, we halved the recipe but we followed it exactly, except for two things. We used all purpose flour instead of spelt and we used coconut milk in the pancakes instead of almond, rice or soy milk. Both changes were because of having to buy a large quantity of the ingredient for just a few tablespoons and/or less than a cup needed. In these times, it's almost a sin to waste anything.

Now with all of my negativity - we can definitely say that's just me. Hubbs loved it. He ate several Dosas and says he'll bring the rest for lunch tomorrow. And he doesn't do leftovers, so go figger. ;) He said that he'll forego the pancakes and just bring flour tortillas with him to wrap around the filling, which he'll mix with the sauce. This makes me happy. I'm glad he enjoyed them so much.

This doesn't mean much, since this is only the second time I've cooked/baked Vegan.. but my eyes have definitely been opened. Again, without ever trying what I assume are traditional Indian Dosas made with animal products, the flavors in these Vegan Dosas were so enjoyable that I didn't miss butter (don't hate me, Paula!) or cow's milk.

A great big Thank You to Debyi of The Healthy Vegan Kitchen for being a wonderful hostess and for turning many of us on to the pleasure of cooking Vegan. :)


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